Sens pay the penalty

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

Flyers 5, Senators 3

THE NHL might have "new" rules this season, but the old laws still apply.

Hand your opponent four straight power plays, like the Senators did for the Philadelphia Flyers in the second period last night, and you get what the Senators got.

Twenty-four hours after the high of thrashing the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Senators (8-2) were beaten 5-3 by the Flyers last night at the Corel Centre in front of a crowd of 19,335.

It was the Senators' first loss on home ice in five outings this season.

"We obviously took too many penalties. Those power plays had nothing to do with anything more than we stopped moving our feet," said Senators coach Bryan Murray.

The Senators looked a little flat after Saturday night's convincing win, giving up a breakaway goal to Flyers rookie Jeff Carter 9:20 into the first period and seeing Simon Gagne double the Philly lead at 14:52 on the power play with Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson off for hooking.

"I was not happy with the emotional state of our team at the beginning of the game," said Murray.

"We talked about not having a letdown," said Senators centre Jason Spezza, "and we did start out a little slow, but it was not because of the 8-0 win. I know that's the way it looked, and that's the way it'll be talked about, but it's just that we made too many mistakes and took too many penalties."

CHARA SPARKS RALLY

The Senators showed some spunk to battle back on a pair of goals by defenceman Zdeno Chara, his third and fourth of the season. They might have taken the lead if not for some outstanding work by Philly goaltender Robert Esche, who faced 42 shots on the night.

Then came the string of four-straight minors in the back half of the second period which cost them the game.

Mike Knuble, with his first of two on the night, and Jon Sim -- with just 19.1 seconds left in the second -- scored on the power play to make it 4-2 for Philly.

Were the Senators' penalties deserved?

Yup.

Three of four were taken because Flyers had jumped by defenders or were going to get to the puck first.

The other came when defenceman Chris Phillips was penalized for shooting the puck into the crowd, a new rule this year.

The penalties started at 11:37, when Senators defenceman Wade Redden saw Gagne go down when Redden's stick got tangled in his feet as the Flyers forward jumped by him at the Ottawa blue line.

The Senators penalty killers wiped that one out and a hooking call to defenceman Anton Volchenkov at 13:36, too.

Their luck ran out when Phillips fired the puck into the crowd with one second left in Redden's penalty.

"We were looking tired," said Murray of that one.

Knuble then deflected a shot by Eric Desjardins past Hasek at 16:21.

Volchenkov was off for tackling Sim on a break-in when Sim converted a nice feed from Michal Handzus when the Senators penalty killers gave Handzus too much time down low.

Knuble got his second of the night just 74 seconds into the third, easing the Flyers' doubts that they would have another third-period collapse like they did in their last game, losing 8-6 to the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.

"That's something we talked about. The other night we were disgusted with ourselves and it was a long flight home," said Knuble. "We've faced that situation a lot this year. (Last) night we got the goal (early in the third).

"We wanted to do it right."

The Senators will have today off, then face the Sabres in Buffalo on Wednesday night.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com 


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