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03/02/2013 4:44 PM EST
Flyers top Senators 2-1, move to .500 for 1st time
PHILADELPHIA 2, OTTAWA 1

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- On the seventh try, the Philadelphia Flyers
finally brought their record to .500 for the first time this
season, beating the Ottawa Senators 2-1 Saturday afternoon.



Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds scored for the Flyers, who
fought past a lethargic start to win their second game in a row,
and fifth of seven. Their record now sits at 11-11-1.



"We had a couple chances this year to have it, and to be able to
have it, it's pretty cool," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said.



Defenseman Marc Methot scored at 14:11 of the second period for
the Senators, who had not lost in regulation since Feb. 16.



The Flyers began the game trapped in their own zone, but the
Senators were unable to take advantage. Both teams appeared
sluggish through the first half of the opening period, trading
shots but struggling to create quality chances.



A hard hit on Senators defenseman Mike Lundin by winger Harry
Zolnierczyk midway through the first period jarred both teams to
life. The hit resulted in a five-minute major and game
misconduct for Zolnierczyk, who appeared to leave his feet as he
made contact.



The play will automatically be reviewed by the league. Lundin
did not return to the game.



I think Harry's hit and my fight really got the team going and
back into the game," Rinaldo said. "We took it to them."



After a scoreless first period, the Flyers made it 1-0 at 7:24
of the second period on Voracek's team-leading ninth goal. He
powered past the Senators' defense to cut toward the net and
beat goaltender Ben Bishop. Voracek now has 15 points in his
last eight games.



Bishop had won his last four starts for Ottawa (12-7-3), posting
a 1.69 goals-against average during the stretch. But the
Senators have had trouble scoring on the road, and though Bishop
stopped 39 of 41 shots, it was the Flyers who tacked onto their
lead next.



Simmonds' goal came just four minutes after Voracek's, as the
Flyers' winger took a pass from Brayden Schenn to beat Bishop
and give the Flyers a 2-0 lead.



Across the ice, Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov put in arguably his
most impressive performance of 2013, stopping 33 of 34 shots and
earning his 200th career victory.



"I thought the guys played hard today, we had lots of chances to
score," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "There are some
things I'd like to tighten up defensively, but overall, the
walkaway, we said before the game just because of their
goaltending and the way they play defense that you know we have
to get comfortable winning a 1-nothing game or a 2-1 game, you
know that's what it came down to. The effort I thought was good,
it was there, so it was a big win."



Both teams were 0-for-5 on the power play, but the Senators'
penalty kill was particularly impressive despite the outcome of
the game, killing off a late 2-minute Flyers 5 on 3 and nine
total minutes of Flyers power play. Even the coach, Paul
MacLean, made note of his team's effort while disadvantaged,
calling his penalty-killers "excellent."



Senators right wing Daniel Alfredsson received a five-minute
major and game misconduct for crosschecking Rinaldo, but Ottawa
was able to keep it a one-goal game. The Senators have only
allowed four goals on the power play while on the road this
year.



"It was a chippy game, no question," Alfredsson said. "I think
we took exception to some of their hits and felt like the
referees didn't call everything that maybe they should have. We
stuck up for each other, and obviously my five minutes kind of
hurt us in our chance to get back, but they killed it off and we
got really close at the end to tie it up."



Ottawa, however, was careless in the third period, taking
several penalties and thwarting their chances to push the game
into overtime.



"It's an unfortunate one," Methot said. ". I thought we gave
ourselves a chance coming into the third period, and then we
ended up burying ourselves over again with penalties and what
not. It's just the way it worked out today."



NOTES: Giroux's six-game scoring streak come to an end. ...
Simmonds recorded the game-winning goal for the second
consecutive game. ... Schenn passed his points total from last
year (18) with his assist on Simmonds' goal. . Alfredsson's
major was the second of his career. The first occurred on April
9, 2002 vs. Montreal. . The Flyers had 22 shots in the second
period, more than half their total for the game (42).

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