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Flyers and Sens cap home-and-home in Ottawa

Jan 8, 2012 - 3:44 PM (Sports Network) - Danny Briere turned in a memorable performance to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a home victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Briere will try to stay hot today when the clubs meet again at Ottawa's Scotiabank Place for the finale of a home-and-home series.

Briere completed his fifth career hat trick with just 5.3 seconds remaining in overtime, lifting the Flyers to a 3-2 win over the visiting Senators on Saturday.

For the Flyers it was their second straight win after losing a 3-2 regulation decision to the New York Rangers in Monday's Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The Flyers, who have also won three of their last four, are four points in back of the Rangers for first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

After getting benched in favor of backup Sergei Bobrovsky in the Winter Classic, Ilya Bryzgalov has posted wins for the Flyers in their next two games. Bryzgalov made 30 saves in Thursday's 5-4 win over visiting Chicago and turned aside 35-of-37 shots on Saturday afternoon.

"He was excellent, I thought, from the start to the finish," Philadelphia head coach Peter Laviolette said about his goalie.

Meanwhile, Briere, whose power-play goal tied the game 2-2 at the 9:12 mark of the third period, emerged with the puck from behind the net in overtime and tried to jam it in at the right post. The initial attempt was thwarted by Ottawa's Craig Anderson, but Briere backhanded his own rebound between the goaltender's pads.

"It wasn't our best game, to be honest, today," Briere said. "[The Senators] are a team that skates well and they battled hard. I don't know if it was the afternoon game or what but it didn't feel like we were at our best. But to be able to somehow find a way to get a win, this is huge. Back to back wins against two good opponents after dropping the [Winter Classic]."

The diminutive Briere also engaged in just the third fight of his career when he went toe-to-toe with Ottawa's Kyle Turris late in the second period. He became the first Flyer to record a hat trick and a fight in the same game since Scott Hartnell on December 11, 2008 versus Carolina.

Milan Michalek scored his 20th goal of the season for Ottawa, while Bobby Butler added the other tally in the loss. Craig Anderson stopped 36 shots for Ottawa, which had its win streak snapped at four games and is four points behind Philly in the East standings.

"Yeah, we are going to look forward to [Sunday's rematch in Ottawa]," said Senators head coach Paul MacLean. "I think it is going to be another good game. We get to play at home and we get the last change. Things could go a different way."

On the injury front, Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr could return to action today after sitting out the last two games with a groin injury suffered in the Winter Classic. Jagr, who is third on the Flyers with 31 points this season, is expected to be a game-time decision today.

The Senators have lost both meetings with the Flyers this season and Philadelphia has taken four of six overall in this series. Ottawa has 10 victories in its last 12 home tests against the Flyers, but Philly posted a 7-2 win on Oct. 18 to snap a seven-game losing streak at Scotiabank Place.

Philadelphia is 14-5-2 as the visiting team this season, while Ottawa has compiled a 13-8-1 record on home ice.