Jason Spezza always believed he could score in the shootout. The Ottawa Senators star then proved it to the Philadelphia Flyers.
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Spezza scored the winning goal in the tiebreaker to lift the Senators over the Flyers 5-4 on Monday night.
Ottawa earned its first shootout win of the season after dropping its first four in the tiebreaker. The Senators snapped a five-game skid at home,
”I’d been good in the shootout historically,” Spezza said. ”You take pride in that stuff, and especially when you’re losing games. There was definitely a little extra fist pump, and it felt good.”
Spezza wasn’t alone in feeling relief. Craig Anderson was elated when he stopped Sean Couturier to seal the win.
”It’s about time,” said Anderson, who made 25 saves. ”I think we’ve been in this situation a few times and haven’t been on the right side of that.
”We find a way to get two points, and that’s really all that mattered. You’ve got to be excited about two points.”
Clarke MacArthur had two regulation goals for the Senators (12-14-5), and Patrick Wiercioch and Kyle Turris also scored.
Michael Raffl, Jakub Voracek, Luke Schenn and Kimmo Timonen had goals for the Flyers (13-14-3). Steve Mason stopped 30 shots.
It wasn’t enough to stretch out the Senators’ home woes.
”Home ice has been a struggle, and we want to give the people something to cheer about,” Spezza said. ”We’ve been frustrated with the fact we can’t win, and it was nice to finally send the fans home happy.”
Turris gave the Senators a 4-3 lead with his first in eight games. He carried the puck from his end, moved in along the side boards and sent a shot in off Schenn at 8:21 of the third.
The lead was short lived as Timonen tied it 2:37 later with his second of the season with a floater from just inside the blue line.
Trailing 3-2, the Senators got even 2:21 into the third when a rebound of Bobby Ryan’s shot went in off MacArthur for his second of the night.
”Anytime you go in the third period with a lead you want to keep it,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. ”You want to make sure everyone is accountable for what they do, and they were able to get a couple of goals. We fought back and got a point, but it’s tough to lose in a shootout.”
MacArthur has seven goals and four assists in his past 10 games.
”He has probably been our most consistent guy all year,” Spezza said. ”Even at the start of the year when he wasn’t scoring, you just knew it was a matter of time. Now that he is, he’s driving us offensively and doing a lot of great things.
”He’s been a heck of a pickup.”
Ottawa got off to a better start in the second and took the lead on Wiercioch’s power-play goal at 9:30. Ryan made a back pass to Wiercioch, who scored into an open net to make it 2-1.
”It was good to get rewarded,” MacArthur said. ”We’re still sloppy in some areas. We still can play better, we’ve still got to play harder if we want to win every night.”
The Flyers regained the lead with two goals in less than a two-minute span midway through the period.
Voracek tied it with a power-play goal at 11:43, and Schenn made it 3-2 with a shot from the boards at 13:33. Anderson, with traffic in front, never reacted to the shot until he heard the crowd.
Raffl, with his first NHL goal, gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead 8:18 into the game.
”It’s nice to get the first goal, but it would be even nicer with the win,” Raffl said. ”It’s kind of disappointing at the same time.”
Ottawa tied it 1-1 with 9:23 left in the first. Spezza fed MacArthur, who broke in alone on Mason and got his stick on the bouncing puck for his 10th goal of the season.
The Flyers won the season series 2-0-1.
NOTES: D Eric Gryba and C Mike Hoffman were healthy scratches for the Senators. . . . The Flyers were without C Vinny Lecavalier (back fracture). LW Tye McGinn was recalled from Adirondack (AHL) and was a healthy scratch along with D Erik Gustafsson and D Hal Gill.