Senators' smiles all around

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- Dany Heatley was wearing his toothy grin in the Senators' dressing room again.

For the first time this season, the Senators are on a three-game winning streak after the sniper scored twice and Brian Elliott made 34 stops in a 5-2 victory over the fourth-place Flyers at the Wachovia Center last night.

Heatley scored his 23rd and 24th of the season, and Jason Spezza, Nick Foligno and Antoine Vermette also scored for the Senators, who hadn't won three straight since March 8-13, 2008.

That's why there were smiles all around the dressing room.

"We're feeling pretty good about ourselves," said Heatley. "We've beaten two pretty good teams in those three games (Buffalo twice and the Flyers). We've also been winning in different ways. It's a positive thing. Everything has been good the last three games.

"I just think the style of play is a little more suited to our team. We've got some guys here that can skate and move the puck and that can score goals. We're playing a little more of an attack game and we're creating turnovers and we're getting some chances off that."

Bryan Murray was hoping the club would turn it around when he brought in coach Cory Clouston last week, but the GM couldn't have predicted it would turn out this well.

The Senators were outplayed by the Flyers, but they were able to shut the door.

"Our goaltender was the best player on the ice for us. We bent, but we didn't break," said Clouston. "That's good for us to get the wins. It's good for our confidence."

The Senators have taken their game to another level under Clouston. They're starting to show signs of being the confident team of the past.

SHUTOUT BID FOILED

They haven't quite turned the corner, but they're showing signs of coming out of a season-long funk.

A goal by Philly's Darroll Powe with 12 minutes left in the third ruined Elliott's bid for his first NHL shutout.

Elliott couldn't do much when Mike Richards broke in alone to make it 4-2, moments after Heatley restored the Senators' three-goal lead.

Elliott was strong in his sixth straight start.

There were a lot of big stops, and not many were better than the one Elliott made on Jeff Carter with 3:46 left in the second. Elliott threw out his glove, frustrating the Flyers.

"You know the Flyers are going to be a tough team and you've got to be ready," said Elliott, who praised his teammates.

"The guys are just playing really well in front of me. They're doing a great job."

That second-period save allowed the Senators to maintain a 2-0 lead in a period in which they were outplayed and outshot, 13-8.

It also set up Foligno's ninth of the season with only 14 seconds left in the period.

The play started when Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki made a bad clear that landed on Ryan Shannon's stick along the boards. Going to the net, Foligno -- who has three goals in his last four games -- took a pass from Shannon and beat Niittymaki on the stick side.

That goal left the Flyers reeling and gave the Senators a much-needed cushion going into the final 20 minutes.

Earlier in the second, Spezza's 21st of the season came as a result of another fortunate bounce off his skate. The power-play goal was an exact replay of the goal he scored 24 hours earlier against the Sabres.

"It feels great to win three straight and it's huge for us," said captain Daniel Alfredsson. "It's been a tough year for us offensively and we've put a lot of pressure on our defence. If we can get four goals or more (per game) consistently, it can take some pressure off everybody."

The road trip continues tomorrow against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. Game time is 8 p.m.


Videos

Photos