Sens Downie and out

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- They call January the "dog days" of hockey and last night the Ottawa Senators played with their tails between their legs.

Their game against the Flyers was supposed to be about retribution against winger Steve Downie, but it was the Senators who were beaten and beaten up in a 6-1 loss at the Wachovia Center.

Nobody made Downie pay for his elbow to the head of centre Dean McAmmond in the pre-season because the Senators weren't in any sort of fighting mood.

Instead, playing their second game without captain Daniel Alfredsson, the Senators let the Flyers walk all over them in what was one of the ugliest losses in recent history.

"As far as I'm concerned he was pretty quiet out there and he didn't do a whole lot," said Senators winger Chris Neil when asked why nobody addressed Downie. "He was showing a little more respect. He's not the kind of guy who is going to fight you anyway."

KELLY SCORES

Only Chris Kelly was able to score for the Senators, who have now lost four of their last five games.

After giving up four goals on 14 shots, Martin Gerber was pulled in favour of Ray Emery to start the third period, but the damage had already been done.

Not only was the loss embarrassing, it was alarming because nobody challenged Downie -- who was suspended 20 games for a vicious elbow to the head to McAmmond on Sept. 25 -- especially when it became obvious Ottawa had no chance of winning.

"That would be frowned upon by the league," said Senators coach John Paddock. "I don't think there was anything that the suspension didn't address. The case was closed on that a long time ago."

Paddock told the players before last night's game that without Alfredsson and Dany Heatley in the lineup, they had to be prepared to try to win the game 2-1, but the message didn't get through.

The Senators had better hope Alfredsson, who plans to return tomorrow against the Panthers in Fort Lauderdale, is ready to come back because they are lost without him.

Paddock tried everything he could last night to get the offence going. He tried switching all the lines, but the Senators had too many players who weren't willing to fight for the loose pucks or battle against a tough Flyers team.

"Definitely (it's embarrassing). We didn't give ourselves much of a chance and we gave up too many the other way. That's not a game we want to remember," said Senators centre Jason Spezza. "We don't feel good losing like that to a team that's one of the best in the East."

After being shut out at home Saturday 2-0 by the Lightning, the Senators finally got a goal against Philly when Kelly broke in on goalie Antero Niittymaki at 7:27 of the second period and fired a shot high on the stick side to cut the Flyers' lead to 4-1.

MCGRATTAN KNOCKED OUT

Braydon Coburn, Scott Hartnell, Scottie Upshall and R.J. Umberger had given the Flyers a 4-0 lead.

Nothing went right for the Senators.

After coming out on the losing end of a fight with Philly's Riley Cote only 2:54 into the first period, Senators tough guy Brian McGrattan left the game with a right shoulder injury and didn't return.


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