All phases finally click for the Flyers
Wayne Simmonds checks Zack Smith during the Flyers' 5-0 win over the Senators. (USA Today Images)
Updated: 11:06 p.m.
OTTAWA -- They talked about building on their victory over Edmonton last weekend and doing some damage on this three-game road trip to get back into the playoff picture.
Well, the Flyers could not have asked for a better start with a 5-0 rout over the Senators on Tuesday night at Canadian Tire Centre.
It was goalie Steve Mason’s first career shutout as a Flyer. He had 24 saves.
It was also the first time this season the Flyers had consecutive games in which they scored three or more goals.
The game featured two wraparound goals by the Flyers on Sens goalie Craig Anderson. Better yet, the Flyers sustained pressure on the Senators. Even when they weren’t getting shots on net, they controlled the puck and thus, controlled the game.
Which is what coach Craig Berube has been preaching.
It was a milestone game for Claude Giroux and a breakthrough game for Scott Hartnell.
Giroux’s second-period assist on Jakub Voracek’s goal represented the captain's 300th NHL point in 350 games played.
Hartnell’s marker on that very same goal ended his assist drought at 38 games, stretching back to last season.
Giroux’s line was dominant and hard on the puck with nine shots through two periods.
On Wednesday, the Flyers will try for a season-first: A three-game win streak.
Nick Grossmann left the game late in the third period with an apparent injury and never returned. After the game, Berube said Grossmann was "fine."
Berube elected to match top line for top line, pitting Giroux head-up on South Jersey’s Bobby Ryan, who came into the game with nine goals and 19 points, tied for 12th-best in the NHL in scoring.
Ottawa had a goal waved off late in the game because Chris Neil’s stick was above the crossbar.
No shots, then score
After starting the game outshooting the Senators, 6-2, the Flyers then went 10 minutes without a shot. Guess what? They scored on their seventh shot to end the drought with 3:36 left in the period. Steve Downie shot one over the net and it bounced behind as Matt Read caught it dead still, then quickly faked to beat Anderson on a wraparound for a 1-0 lead. Anderson actually thought the puck was going to carom into the boards and it didn’t. The Flyers had the puck for most of the period but didn’t get shots on goal.
Voracek had a perfect breakaway in the first period, tried to go backhand five-hole on Anderson and was stoned. Wayne Simmonds tried the same right after and shot right into Anderson’s pads. Voracek got it back with a wraparound goal just 28 ticks into the second period, then scored a power-play goal later in the period.
Ottawa defenseman Marc Methot tried a cross-ice pass that was picked off by Vinny Lecavalier early in the third period. Lecavalier turned and fired between the circles for his seventh goal that gave the Flyers a 4-0 pad.
As the buzzer went off in the second period, Anderson got the paddle of his stick on Giroux’s shot at the left post to prevent a goal that would have counted given time on the clock.
Downie returned from a four-game absence because of a concussion. He was on Sean Couturier’s line with Read.
The Flyers are in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to take on the Penguins in the second half of this current back-to-back. They will have a complete day off on Thursday when they travel to Winnipeg in the morning. They meet the Jets on Friday night.
Voracek’s second goal in the middle period was the Flyers' first power-play goal in three games. The Flyers scored two power-play goals in the same game for the first time this season.
Defensemen Andrej Meszaros and Hal Gill.
Michael Raffl missed the game with the flu. Although he made the trip, he did not skate in the morning. ... Last time the Flyers were here -- last April -- this building was called Scotiabank Place. Now it’s Canadian Tire Centre. ... The Flyers' first two goals saw their entire lines earn a point.