Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Flyers almost flawless; Penguins next

OTTAWA _ It wasn’t perfect, but it was close.

Flyers almost flawless; Penguins next


OTTAWA _ It wasn’t perfect, but it was close.

The Flyers played their best all-around game of the season Tuesday night, putting tread marks on Ottawa at the Canadian Tire Center.

They routed the Senators, 5-0, as Jake Voracek had two goals, while Vinny Lecavalier, Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn each collected a pair of points, and Steve Mason (24 saves) notched his 20th career shutout.

“There are nights when goaltenders earn a shutout and they do a lot of the work, but tonight was a complete team effort,” Mason said. “The guys really worked hard for this win. It’s a good win going into (Wednesday) night against a tough team.”

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The Flyers, who play in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, showed discipline as they committed just one penalty. They were smart with the puck (five giveaways compared to the Sens’ 20) and they scored two power-play goals for the first time all season.

The only negative appeared to be an injury to defenseman Nick Grossmann, though coach Craig Berube said he was “fine” after the game. Grossmann went to the locker room early in the third period and did not return.

All in all, it was a dominating effort, one that had Senators fans booing their team loudly in the final period.

“I was really impressed with our system play and the skating,” Berube said.

The Flyers’ top line _ Giroux centering Scott Hartnell and Voracek _ was dominating. They combined for 13 shots (six by Hartnell), two goals and three assists.

Voracek said Giroux (two assists) “got the monkey off his back” in the previous game when he finally scored his first goal of the season, highlighting a 4-2 win over Edmonton. “It helped him a lot” and now he can play more relaxed, Voracek said.

The Flyers have won two straight.

“We’re playing as a team and playing the way we should be playing,” Giroux said. “And obviously when you have Steve Mason playing behind you, it’s easy to play with confidence.”

Mason was not tested too much and it wouldn’t be surprising if he got the call Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Breakaways. It was the Flyers’ first regular-season shutout over Ottawa since 1999, when John Vanbiesbrouck made 36 saves in a 5-0 win….Mason has not allowed more than three goals in any of the 20 games he has played since joining the Flyers…..Zac Rinaldo had six hits and Jay Rosehill had five…Hartnell ended a 38-game assist drought…The Flyers were 2 for 3 on the power play.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

Inquirer Staff Writer
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