The Flyers and Senators provided a different form of fireworks.
Two weeks after a feisty matchup in Philly, both teams let things play out strictly on the scoreboard Saturday night at Canadian Tire Centre.
Once again, the Flyers got the best of Ottawa, this time picking up a 5-4 shootout win.
The Flyers have gone to the skills competition an NHL-most nine times and Sean Couturier was the lone player to score Saturday.
COOTS WITH THE SHOOTOUT WINNER! pic.twitter.com/CvyYDHp4r1— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 22, 2019
After an 0-3-0 road trip in which they scored only five goals, the Flyers (20-11-5) have responded with three straight wins and 4.67 goals per game.
They earned win No. 20 of the season on Dec. 21. In 2018-19, the Flyers notched their 20th victory on Jan. 28.
Before this defeat, the Senators (15-18-4) had won eight of their previous nine home games.
• Mark Borowiecki, who sparked the fireworks at the Wells Fargo Center, and Chris Stewart had an animated conversation during warmups.
It did not translate to any extracurricular activity. Stewart played only 3:50 but his presence was definitely felt.
Travis Konecny played with his usual edge and energy. The Flyers' leading scorer suffered a concussion in the previous matchup on a hard hit from Borowiecki. While Konecny went scoreless Saturday, he was strong and impactful in 21:20 minutes.
• Here comes James van Riemsdyk.
When he scores goals, he scores them in bunches. He has eight in the last 11 games after netting only four in the first 25 games.
Last season, from Jan. 10 to March 21, the Flyers went 21-8-2 as van Riemsdyk scored 20 goals in those 31 games.
The Flyers would love another one of van Riemsdyk's lengthy streaks.
JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK IS COMING THROUGH! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/PPBlbHXafJ— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 22, 2019
• Brian Elliott delivered a clutch first period and shootout performance (see highlights). In the opening frame, he faced numerous grade A chances and stopped all 17 of the Senators' shots.
The Flyers were not as structured during the opening 20 minutes and Elliott bailed them out. In the second period, the Flyers saw a 2-0 lead vanish in 25 seconds.
Then, on the power play, Anthony Duclair gave Ottawa a 3-2 advantage with his 11th goal in the last nine games but the Flyers got it right back less than a minute later.
Elliott gave the Flyers another solid effort and finished with 30 saves. He's been solid all season thus far.
At this point of last season, the Flyers had already played six goalies: Elliott, Carter Hart, Calvin Pickard, Anthony Stolarz, Michal Neuvirth and Alex Lyon.
Senators goalie Marcus Hogberg was magnificent in overtime with seven saves.
• van Riemsdyk, Kevin Hayes and Jakub Voracek all have an average annual value of $7 million or above.
Back on Nov. 18, head coach Alain Vigneault challenged those three players:
All those guys, I love the person. I love Kevin Hayes as a person, James and Jake I’m starting to know, they’re great people. I need more from the hockey player.
Obviously they feel pressure, but that’s why they’re paid the big bucks. You’ve got to deliver, you’ve got to produce, and we expect those guys to produce.
Now, Vigneault is getting the best out of them.
JVR has a team-high 12 goals after a stretch of 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in the last 12 games.
Hayes has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in the last 16 games. He scored a power play goal Saturday, giving him nine tallies in 36 games. When Hayes scored his career-high 25 goals in 2017-18, he had nine through 36 games.
GET OUT OF THIS MAN'S WAY! pic.twitter.com/jx2NrqwBP4— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 22, 2019
Voracek has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) and a plus-9 rating in the last 14 games.
Voracek gets the rebound!
We've got a tie game in Ottawa. pic.twitter.com/ibUYi2sua1— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 22, 2019
• Nicolas Aube-Kubel has been great over four games since his call-up. He had a nice assist on van Riemsdyk's second goal and has been killing penalties.
• The Flyers were without “Steady Eddie” Matt Niskanen (flu), who has been one of the team's most valuable players.
• The Flyers host the Rangers Monday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) before the NHL-mandated holiday break from Dec. 24-26.
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