for this game

Knuble propels Flyers past Senators

Feb 29, 2008 - 5:11 AM
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray sensed his team needed a spark and named himself coach. However, that change alone didn't end the Senators' season-long struggles against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Mike Knuble scored two goals - including the game-winner - to power the Flyers to a 3-1 victory over the Senators on Thursday in Murray's return to the bench.

The Senators, who won 15 of their first 17 games this season, could not shake a long spell of poor play over the last month, prompting Murray to fire coach John Paddock on Wednesday.

"It was a little different," Murray said of his return to the bench. "You see the things that have to be done and it's where the action is. It is not something that I was really looking to do. In a couple of days, I'll feel better about it."

Ottawa has dropped three of its four meetings this season with the Flyers, who closed February with two consecutive wins after going 0-8-2 in their previous 10 contests. In the process, Philadelphia snapped its six-game home losing streak.

"We have three wins and a shootout loss against them, which is good against the top team in the conference," goaltender Martin Biron said, although the New Jersey Devils (37-21-6, 80 points) actually has two more points than the Senators (36-23-6, 78 points). "We've been able to play them when we've been at the top of our game."

"We are showing some signs of life here," Knuble said. "Maybe it was the threat of falling out of the playoffs. We seem to show a lot of the traits we (showed) when we were winning a lot of our games."

Just 41 seconds into the third period, captain Jason Smith corralled the puck near the blue line and fired a shot that deflected off Knuble's leg and into the net to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.

Knuble ended up being at the right place at the right time just a few minutes later when he netted the insurance tally at 6:30 of the final period. He broke away and put a wrist shot on goal, which netminder Ray Emery turned away.

However, Scottie Upshall poked at the puck to keep Emery from maintaining complete control. With Emery searching for the puck, defenseman Wade Redden - in his haste to hurry back - appeared to trip over Upshall and slid head-first into the goal, taking Emery's legs out from under him and pushing the puck into the net.

"They were ugly goals," Knuble said. "The second goal was kind of embarrassing. You go around the net and good things happen sometimes.

"Scottie went in there and it wedged under his (Emery's) pad," Knuble said. "I got another whack at it and it wedged there some more. Wade Redden slid in there and knocked it in the net."

Ottawa, which is 7-13-2 in its last 22 games since January 13, fell to 1-13-2 when scoring three goals or fewer in that span.

"I thought that we played a lot better," Murray said. "A couple of bounces didn't go our way, but it is something that we can build on."

The Senators - the highest-scoring team in the NHL - has averaged just 2.55 goals over that stretch and had been shut out in their two previous games.

All-Star Jason Spezza ended the 146-minute, 36-second drought at 13:27 of the second period on the power play when defenseman Andrej Meszaros' slap shot from the point bounced off his skate and past Biron for the game's first score.

Perhaps symbolic of his team's relief, Spezza raised both of his arms to celebrate, a gesture which angered Biron. The goaltender promptly shoved Spezza from behind, setting off a melee in front of the net.

"I didn't like the celebration," Biron said. "He stood there too long for my taste. I had a flashback of (temperamental goaltender) Ronnie Hextall with the two-handed slash at the back of the net. I decided to push him in the numbers. That means he was there a while."

"I'm just standing there and not worrying about Marty Biron," Spezza said. "I was just happy, it had been a few games without a goal. He was yelling at me from the crease. I guess he doesn't like getting scored on. It seemed pretty stupid to me."

After being pulled away by Braydon Coburn, Spezza speared the blue-liner with the butt end of the stick, resulting in a five-minute penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct - much to the disbelief of Spezza and Murray.

"It seems a little ridiculous to get kicked out of the game," Spezza said. "I don't think that I'm much of a threat to anyone out there. He (Coburn) had a hold of my stick and I was yanking it out. I did give a little poke but it was pretty innocent."

"I'm just dumbfounded that, in this league, a guy can get grabbed from behind, punched in the back of the head and there is no penalty," Murray said. "It was disappointing to say the least. An incident like that didn't have to be a game misconduct."

Biron received a two-minute roughing penalty for his role in the incident.

While the Flyers could not take advantage of the ensuing power play, veteran Jim Dowd tallied his first goal since January 13 at 13:32 of the second. The 39-year-old center sped down the left side of the ice and blasted a slap shot to the top right corner of the net past Emery to level the contest.






  • 25
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    SuketoKetchi Added 5 roots

    Senators 1, Flyers 3  FinalFeb 28 9:48 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 1 0 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) JASON SPEZZA 25 (ANDREJ MESZAROS, CORY STILLMAN)
    6:33
    PHI - JIM DOWD 4 (RILEY COTE, KIMMO TIMONEN) 13:32
    3RD PRD: PHI - MIKE KNUBLE 23 (JASON SMITH) 0:41
    PHI - SCOTTIE UPSHALL 10 (KIMMO TIMON

    Feb 28 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    3RD PRD: PHI - SCOTTIE UPSHALL 10 (KIMMO TIMONEN, JEFF CARTER) 6:30

    Senators 1, Flyers 3  3rd - 13:30Feb 28 9:09 PM
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Senators 1, Flyers 1  3rd - 19:55Feb 28 8:56 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - MIKE KNUBLE 23 (JASON SMITH) 0:41

    Senators 1, Flyers 2  3rd - 19:19Feb 28 8:54 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 1 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) JASON SPEZZA 25 (ANDREJ MESZAROS, CORY STILLMAN)
    6:33
    PHI - JIM DOWD 4 (RILEY COTE, KIMMO TIMONEN) 13:32
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 7

    Feb 28 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - JIM DOWD 4 (RILEY COTE, KIMMO TIMONEN) 13:32

    Senators 1, Flyers 1  2nd - 6:28Feb 28 8:22 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) JASON SPEZZA 25 (ANDREJ MESZAROS, CORY STILLMAN)
    6:33

    Senators 1, Flyers 0  2nd - 13:27Feb 28 8:10 PM
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    bore Added 5 roots

    Senators 0, Flyers 0  1st - 0:46Feb 28 7:40 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 7 7
    PHI 11 11
    GOALIES: OTT - RAY EMERY
    PHI - MARTIN BIRON

    Feb 28 7:40 PM
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    sensfaninohio Added 5 roots

    Senators vs. FlyersFeb 28 2:30 PM
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    Senators vs. FlyersFeb 22 4:21 PM