Timonen: Maybe Shanahan is the answer

   After the Flyers' 4-1 loss in Ottawa tonight, defenseman Kimmo Timonen said free-agent winger Brendan Shanahan may be be the solution for what ails the 4-5-3 club.

     “I don’t think we are where we wanted to be,” he said. “You start looking around the room and see if we can improve some way. Maybe he’s the key to do something for us _ leadership or whatever….(General manager Paul) Holmgren is trying to find something to help us.”

      The smooth-passing Senators, who had an early goal disallowed (kicked in), scored two goals about five minutes apart and built a 2-0 lead in a dominating first period in which they outshot the Flyers, 13-3.



    Anton Volchenkov scored on a drive from the top of the right circle to put the Senators ahead with 11:11 left in the period.



    Thirty-two seconds after Braydon Coburn’s five-minute penalty, Jason Spezza fired a perfect pass in the goal mouth to Dany Heatley, who had position on Lasse Kukkonen and backhanded a shot past Antero Niittymaki.



    The Flyers, after getting their first sustained offensive surge of the night, got to within 2-1 on Arron Asham’s first goal as a Flyer _ and first in 34 games. Asham picked up a loose puck and scored from the left circle with 12:42 left in the second period.



    The momentum lasted all of 56 seconds. That’s how long it took Jesse Winchester to take a pass out front and squirt a shot through Niittymaki’s pads for the first goal of his NHL career, giving the Senators a 3-1 lead. They added a late empty-net goal.



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   The official scoresheet had Riley Cote playing one shift and 56 seconds. Cote, however, said he never played. The winger suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury in warmups.

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   The Flyers have allowed the first goal in all five of their regulation losses. 

   "We have to start setting the tone," defenseman Steve Eminger said.

   If they don't, it could be a rocky road.

    Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com.