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5 Observations: Flyers Fall to Claude Giroux, Sens as PK Falters



Cam York, Philadelphia Flyers
Defenseman Cam York got the Flyers to within 3-2, but Ottawa scored with 5.1 seconds left in the second period on Saturday. Photo: AP.

Two days after the Philadelphia Flyers ruined Columbus’ home opener, they couldn’t do the same in Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.

Too little attack time. Too much space allowed on the penalty kill. Too few saves in key situations, though Carter Hart was screened on a couple goals and didn’t get much help from his defense.

The Senators, in their first home game, got two goals each from defenseman Jacob Chychrun and left winger Brady Tkachuk as they defeated the Flyers, 5-2, at the Canadian Tire Centre.

The Flyers were outshot, 31-21, including 25-9 over the first two periods.

“We’ve got to get more shots,” right winger Tyson Foerster told reporters after the loss.

Both teams are now 1-1.

The Flyers’ penalty kill, which went 4 for 4 in the win in Columbus, struggled mightily against Ottawa. The Senators were 3 for 5 with an extra attacker.

Here are five observations:

1. Claude Giroux set up a key goal for the Senators.

With 5.1 seconds left in the second period. Brady Tkachuk gave Ottawa a 4-2 lead with a goal from the left circle. Former Flyers captain Giroux made it possible. Giroux stripped the puck from Travis Sanheim  along the boards and fed Tkachuk.

“G kind of snuck in behind me. It’s something I have to bear down on,” Sanheim said. “… If I just clear the puck, we’re going into the next period down by only one.”

The goal was a back-breaker for the Flyers.

Just 1:32 into the third period, Tkachuk added a power play goal — Giroux again had the primary assist — to push Ottawa’s lead to 5-2.

Giroux, 35, finished with two assists and a game-high five shots. In four career games against the Philadelphia Flyers, Giroux has seven points (two goals, five assists).

2. The Flyers were thoroughly outplayed in the second period.

The Senators had an 11-4 shots domination over the sloppy Flyers in the second, when the hosts got a power-play goal from Jake Sanderson. Philly got to within 3-2 on a sweet even-strength goal from Cam York (team-high four shots) from the left circle with 3:32 to go in the second.

But then Tkachuk struck. Twice.

3. Tyson Foerster looked strong on the Flyers’ first power play.

The rookie right winger helped get the Flyers to within 2-1 as he had the primary assist on Travis Konecny’s 5-on-3 goal late in the first period. Foerster was patient with the puck, and his drive was turned aside by Anton Forsberg, but Konecny (two points) knocked home the rebound for his third goal in the first two games.

Foerster started on the top power-play unit, along with Konecny, Sean Couturier, Cam Atkinson and York. Later, Owen Tippett moved to the top power play, and Foerster was dropped to the second unit. All told, the Flyers went 1 for 6 and were stale on the power play.

4. Ticky-tack penalty contributes to Flyers’ poor start.

The Flyers were already facing a 1-0 deficit when Sean Couturier was given a penalty for boarding Jacob Chychrun with 11 minutes left in the opening period.

Couturier protested the call.

With good reason — it looked like a hard, clean check.

Chychrun, whose father, Jeff, played for the Flyers in the 1980s and 1990s, scored on Ottawa’s ensuing power play. It was  his second goal of the game, and it gave the Senators a 2-0 lead. Chychrun put a right-circle shot past Carter Hart, who appeared screened.

5. Defenseman Emil Andrae was busy in his NHL debut.

Andrae nearly assisted on a point drive that was deflected by Konecny 1:50 into the game and, less than a minute later, laid a nice hit on Vladimir Tarasenko. But on the same shift in which he banged Tarasenko into the boards, Andrae rimmed a puck that didn’t get out of the zone — Noah Cates lost a board, so the puck wasn’t cleared — and it contributed to Jakob Chychrun’s goal. So did Andrae getting knocked into the boards and thus unable to get the puck before Chychrun connected.

Former Flyer Zack MacEwen, playing in his first game for the Senators, set up the goal.

Andrae, 21, a Sweden native, was paired with Nick Seeler.


Tippett and Cates played in their 100th game as Flyers; for Cates, it was also his 100th NHL game. … Before the game,  Giroux was honored for his 1,000th career point, including 900 with the Flyers. “He’s been a huge inspiration for me,” Konecny said, adding that everything he has accomplished “is because of G.” … Sean Walker had an assist and four hits. … York drew a pair of first-period penalties. … Rasmus Ristolainen, who has an undisclosed injury, Bobby Brink and Egor Zamula were scratched for the Flyers. … The Flyers will face Vancouver in their home opener Tuesday at 6 p.m. Note the early starting time because Phillies are facing Arizona in the NLCS at Citizens Bank Park that night, and Germany is playing Mexico in a soccer showdown at the Linc.

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