Simmonds nets pair as Flyers top Senators

Scoreboard watching hasn't been kind to the Flyers of late, which means making the playoffs is a matter than has to be taken into their hands. The Flyers certainly handled the matter on Saturday.

Wayne Simmonds scored twice and added an assist for a three-point game as the Flyers topped the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers fell behind in shots early as the Senators came out strong. A 5-1 deficit in shots turned into a 10-9 advantage at the end of the first period, but the Flyers struggled to find rhythm and protect the puck, sending several turnovers Ottawa's way.

The Flyers opened the second period with an early power play and cashed in. A clearing attempt by Jean-Gabriel Pageau went straight to Jake Voracek. He threw it on goal and a cutting Simmonds deflected it past Andrew Hammond to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead just 1:30 into the period.

Another power play would allow the Flyers to extend the lead to two. Off another turnover, Simmonds centered to Sean Couturier. His shot was stopped and a rebound for Brayden Schenn was stopped as well, but Couturier stayed with it and lifted a third rebound chance up and over Hammond.

Late in the second, the Senators just continued to apply pressure and were finally able to solve Steve Mason. A long lead pass by Cody Ceci was corralled by Mike Hoffman. Hoffman's centering pass to Mika Zibanejad was bouncing, but Zibanejad settled the puck and ripped a slap shot past Mason. 

Ottawa outshot the Flyers, 17-13, in the second, holding a 26-23 advantage through two periods.

In the third, the Flyers jumped out with the first six shots on goal before getting a power play. Looking for some breathing room, it was just the opportunity the Flyers were looking for. They didn't waste it.

Simmonds was on the doorstep for a rebound to bury his second goal of the game and 28th of the season, extending the lead to two at 7:15.

The Senators managed to get the goal back on a power play of their own. Hoffman snapped a shot from the left circle past Mason to cut the lead to one with 7:32 remaining. 

The Flyers tightened up defensively from there and did not allow Ottawa sufficient time for pressure. The Flyers held on to claim the win.

The Flyers outshot the Senators, 36-35, for the game. Mason made 33 saves in the win.

The win, coupled with a loss for the New York Islanders, pulled them to within two points of New York. The win also allows the Flyers to retain the final playoff spot, regardless of the result between Detroit and Toronto tonight.

The Flyers have a quick turnaround as they travel to Pittsburgh to play the Penguins on Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m.

Box Score

  1 2 3 T
Senators 0 1 1 2
Flyers 0 2 1 3

Scoring Summary

1st Period
  No Scoring    
2nd Period
PHI Wayne Simmonds (27) PP Jake Voracek 1:30
PHI Sean Couturier (11) PP Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds 11:14
OTT Mika Zibanejad (19) Mike Hoffman, Cody Ceci 17:48
3rd Period
PHI Wayne Simmonds (28) PP Brayden Schenn, Jake Voracek 7:15 
OTT Mike Hoffman (28) PP Erik Karlsson, Bobby Ryan 12:28

Penalty Summary

1st Period
OTT Bench Minor 2:00 Too Many Men 5:31
OTT Chris Wideman 2:00 Roughing 17:04
PHI Nick Cousins 2:00 Roughing 17:04
2nd Period
OTT Alex Chiasson 2:00 High-Sticking 0:51
OTT Chris Wideman 2:00 Slashing 10:05
OTT Chris Neil 10:00 Misconduct 17:35
3rd Period
OTT Cody Ceci 2:00 Tripping 6:57 
PHI Radko Gudas 2:00 Interference 11:34
PHI Radko Gudas 2:00 Slashing 11:34
OTT Chris Neil 2:00 Roughing 11:34

Game Statistics

  Senators Flyers
Shots 35 36
Power Plays 1/1 3/4
Hits 29 20
Faceoff % 52% 48%
Giveaways 7 9
Takeaways 8 10
Blocked Shots 18 13
Penalty Minutes 22 6

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.