OTTAWA - The Flyers used a rare formula for them - scoring two key even-strength goals - to trigger a comeback victory over defense-first Ottawa at the Canadian Tire Center on Thursday night.
Forty seconds into overtime, Claude Giroux scored on a one-timer from the left circle as the Flyers won their third straight, 3-2, and equaled their longest winning streak of the season.
It was the second goal of the night for Giroux, who was set up nicely by Jake Voracek. Giroux now has eight career overtime goals.
Giroux got engaged Wednesday. He was asked if he was more nervous to propose or to try to help his team overcome a 2-0 deficit Thursday.
"I think it was pretty much even," he said with a smile.
Voracek had two assists, including a dazzling one in the three-on-three overtime.
"He's a good player one-on-one. I try to give him room and he's able to find me with a great pass," said Giroux, who moved to Ottawa when he was 14. "I mean, that goal was all him."
Before Thursday, the Flyers had been outscored in even-strength goals in 13 of their 24 games; they had had an even-strength goal-scoring advantage in just six games, and in five games they had the same amount of five-on-five goals.
But Giroux and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored even-strength goals a minute apart late in the second period, creating a 2-2 tie.
Giroux scored from the right circle with 3 minutes, 10 seconds left in the second, converting a Voracek feed to slice the deficit to 2-1. Michael Del Zotto then wristed a point drive that Bellemare tipped in, knotting the score.
Del Zotto was credited with the goal, but it is expected to be changed. Bellemare said he got a piece of it.
"We found ourselves down by two, but I don't think we necessarily deserved it," goalie Steve Mason said. "I thought we were the better team for the entire 60-plus minutes ... and I think we got what we deserved."
Giroux's goal was just his second at even strength in his last 37 games, including the playoffs. (The Flyers appeared to be offside just before the goal, but Ottawa had already used its timeout and couldn't challenge it.)
"Jake did a good job of slowing the puck down in the neutral zone and I was able to get a two-on-one" with Michael Raffl, Giroux said. "I was just trying to get it on net and hopefully get a rebound, but it was able to squeak in."
The Flyers finished with a 32-21 shots domination.
Earlier, Ryan Dzingel batted a bouncing puck out of midair and past Mason, ending a 10-game streak without a goal and giving the Senators a 2-0 lead with 18:03 left in the second period. Dzingel had pounced on a rebound of Dion Phaneuf's shot.
With 13:15 to go in the second and the Flyers on their second power play of the night, Brayden Schenn made a nice move to shake free, but his slot shot was stopped by Mike Condon, who somehow had the puck slip behind his back before he covered it.
It was the Flyers' only shot on that power play. They came into the game with the NHL's second-ranked power play, but are in a 2-for-19 funk in their last five games.
The Flyers have struggled mightily in five-on-five situations this season and usually need their power play clicking to win.
For the umpteenth time, the Flyers fell behind early and chased the game.
Fifteen seconds after Giroux went to the penalty box for hooking, speedy Mike Hoffman, coming off a hat trick in his previous game, took a pass from Mark Stone and scored on a one-timer from near the goal line. That gave the Senators a 1-0 lead with 11:37 left in the first period, and marked the fourth time in the last five games the Flyers had allowed the first goal.
For the season, they have scored first in just nine of 25 games. They are 6-1-2 when scoring first, 6-9-1 when they don't.
The Flyers next host Chicago in a Saturday matinee, then play in Nashville on Sunday evening. They are in a difficult stretch in which they have eight games in 13 nights.
That stretch will be made easier if they continue to get their five-on-five play clicking.