Senator's defencemen come through

CHRIS STEVENSON

, Last Updated: 5:09 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- With their offensive leader out with a bum knee, the Senators are going to need more from their backend.

They got it yesterday.

With leading scorer Jason Spezza expected to be out for about a month, the Senators got an offensive boost from the blue line as defencemen Joe Corvo and Chris Phillips both scored goals in yesterday's 6-3 win over the Flyers, ending what had been a long offensive dry spell for the defensive guys.

Phillips, who scored his third of the season to tie the game 2-2 in the second, had gone 10 games without a point.

"I'd love to score every game," said Phillips afterward. "But it would be pretty silly for me to think I could replace the playmaking and goal scoring (Spezza) does. The opportunity opened up. When you're missing guys like that, everyone's got to contribute, everyone's got to play a little bit better."

Anton Volchenkov had a helper on Phillips' goal, snapping a stretch of 14 games without a point.

Corvo, who had just one point in his previous eight games, opened the scoring on the power play for the Senators as his shot went in off the stick of Philly defenceman Derian Hatcher.

The goals by Phillips and Corvo marked just the second time this season the Senators had gotten two goals in a game from their blue line. The first and only other time that happened was when Corvo and Tom Preissing both scored back on Oct. 21 in that 8-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.

Going into yesterday's game, the Senators defenders had scored just 15 goals combined this season.

HEAR AND THERE: Volchenkov fell down in the neutral zone in the first period and then had to trip Philly's Simon Gagne, who was going to jump by him with the puck. I guess if there's anybody you should trip on the Flyers, it's Gagne ... In talking about the nine-game suspension to Nashville's Scott Nichol before the game, Senators coach Bryan Murray remembered when Nichol took a swipe at him with his stick during a scrum in front of the bench when Murray was coaching the Mighty Ducks and Nichol was playing for Calgary. Murray called Nichol a "pipsqueak," and it got great play in the papers at the time, Murray recalled yesterday.

REVELATIONS: Gagne fired a shot that beat Senators G Martin Gerber to the stick side and hit the post. Hey, as Tom Barrasso said, you want him to stop the ones going wide, too? ... The Flyers are having Eric Desjardins Night when the Montreal "Canadians" visit Jan. 11. The "Flyars" should fix that announcement on their videoboard ... Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson picked up his 700th career point when he scored his second goal of the game into an empty net to salt away the win. "It's nice," he said. "Those stats are good for when your sons hit 20 and you have something to brag about."

SPECULATIONS: I can't understand why the Flyers are one of the worst teams at home in the league (okay, other than they have one of the worst teams in the league). How a team can't be fired up after listening to Lauren Hart sing the anthems, I can't understand. What a voice ... The Senators got a good shift out of the fourth line in the second period as Denis Hamel, Dean McAmmond and Brian McGrattan hemmed the Flyers in their zone. A week ago in Buffalo, they never got on the ice ... Hey, and now Hamel just scored to make it 3-2 ... The Flyers had the fewest wins on home ice going into yesterday's game so, like the Senators, it's probably not a bad idea they are hitting the road. They play their next eight games on the road. Then again, they don't really win anywhere too often, which brings to mind Harry Neale's comment when he coached the Canucks. "We can't win at home. We can't win on the road. My failure as a coach is I can't think of anywhere else for us to play."

THE BUZZ: Corvo took one of the first shots in the warmup yesterday and ripped it high off Gerber's left shoulder. The goalie didn't look too happy, but the way things have been going he should have been happy a shot hit him ... The Senators weren't the toughest team staying at their hotel Friday night. The New York Knicks, coming off that big brawl with the Denver Nuggets, checked in that night and coach Isiah Thomas ducked his head into the hotel bar for a minute.

JUST WONDERING: In the first period at the Wachovia Center yesterday, the PA guy came on and said, "Now it's time for some free stuff!" Turns out the fans in one section all got Jerry Lee Lewis' new CD. Jerry Lee Lewis? What's next? Dean Martin's new disc? ... NHL VP Colin Campbell said he might want to see the nets made bigger so we can see players score like Guy Lafleur used to, with big slap shots off the wing. After watching yesterday's game, the answer isn't bigger nets, but more goalies like Philly's Antero Niittymaki.

PARTING SHOT: Okay, they finally did give away another CD, the one put out by the Flyers' organist. C'mon.


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