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Flyers-Sens: 5 Takeaways as Philly’s Special Teams Cost Them in Loss

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Kevin Hayes, Philadelphia Flyers

For the second time in a week, the Philadelphia Flyers faced the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Same matchup. Different location. Different result.

Ottawa 4, Flyers 1.

The Flyers had scored a 2-1 win in Ottawa a week ago.

This time, the game was played at the Wells Fargo Center, where fans welcomed Claude Giroux as a visiting player for the first time in his 16-year career. Giroux had three assists, Alex DeBrincat had two goals, and Cam Talbot was stellar in the nets for the Senators (5-8-1).

For the Flyers (7-5-2), it was their second straight loss to a team that had a long losing streak. On Thursday, they fell to Columbus, 5-2, as the Blue Jackets snapped a five-game skid.

Ottawa had lost seven in a row.

The Flyers set a franchise record with 59 hits, including nine by Scott Laughton,

Here are five quick observations:

1. Philly lost the game because of its special teams.

The Flyers outhit (59-37) and outshot (38-27) the Senators — and also controlled the faceoff circle — but their special teams failed them. Ottawa was 2 for 3 on the power play, while the Flyers were 0 for 3.

Flyers coach John Tortorella pointed to penalties committed by Nick Deslauriers, Joel Farabee, and Laughton as the reason for the loss.

He called the penalties “unnecessary” and “dumb.”

“They’re just needless penalties. We had the puck on two of them, to be honest with you, three of them,” Tortorella said. “That changes the whole complexion of the game.”

2. The Flyers continued to show fight. Literally.

Entering the game, the Flyers were second in the NHL in fights with nine. And their Broad Street Bullies impersonation continued Saturday.

Travis Konecny knocked Jacob Bernard-Docker to the ice with a hard right with 8:54 left in the first. Less than three minutes later, Tony DeAngelo was in a scrap with Mark Kastelic. Kastelic, a fourth-line center, dominated at the start, but DeAngelo rallied dramatically and got lots of stick taps from his teammates.

The Flyers were the much more physical team throughout the game, but it didn’t matter.

3. Kevin Hayes is quietly off to a strong start.

With Sean Couturier sidelined, Kevin Hayes has taken over the No. 1 center spot, and he hasn’t disappointed. He has 13 points in 14 games, including a goal scored by his relentless digging in front of the net Saturday.

Hayes’ goal, his third of the season, gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead with 13:55 left in the first. He finished with eight shot attempts, including five on goal.

4. Yes, you’ve heard this a countless number of times: Claude Giroux set up a goal at the Wells Fargo Center.

Giroux sprung defenseman Thomas Chabot on a breakaway, and he beat Carter Hart to tie the game at 1-all with 5:32 to go in the first. He later had an assist on DeBrincat’s second goal of the game, a power-play tally that gave the Sens a 3-1 cushion with 13:08 left in regulation.

“At the end of the day, my job as a goaltender is to stop the puck, and I’m a big part of the penalty kill as well,” Hart said. “Have to find a way to make more saves.”

Ottawa later added an empty-net goal. Giroux was given an assist on that one, too.

5. Wade Allison, one of the Flyers’ most physical players, was twice forced out of the game with injuries.

The right winger was accidentally hit with a stick in the face in the first period and went to the locker room for repairs. With 4:40 remaining in the second, he was injured while delivering his seventh hit of the game, this one on Bernard-Docker.

He did not return, and the Flyers had no update after the game.

Allison, who has had an injury-plagued past, was writhing in pain and helped off the ice. He has been a key player as a second-line right winger, collecting three goals and in the middle of several scoring chances. He had three shots on goal Saturday.

Breakaways

For the second straight game, Hart was outplayed by the opposing goaltender. … Konecny has a five-game point streak. … Former Flyer Derick Brassard had the primary assist on DeBrincat’s second goal. … Brady Tkachuk had three assists for Ottawa. … The Flyers will host Dallas on Sunday at 1 p.m. Philly is 0-3 in the second end of back-to-back games. … Tortorella would not reveal his goalie for Sunday’s matinee against visiting Dallas.

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