The Flyers win their fifth straight in what was, for the most part a defensive struggle. Despite the scoreboard being tilted in the Flyers’ favor after sixty minutes, the shot totals for the game were relatively low.
It took Blair Betts getting his first goal as a Flyer nearly halfway through the game before the floodgates opened. Ottawa’s Mike Fisher tied the game, but the orange and black never looked back after opening up the scoring.
Briere made a triumphant return to the lineup as the smallest Flyer seems to have a knack for finding the net this season despite more injury issues. His 6th of the season came from a bat-in out of mid-air, and his 7th came when he was on the rush alone against four Senator defenseman as well as a goalie to beat. His slap shot defied all logic and found a way past Pascal Leclaire of the Senators.
vanRiemsdyk added another goal along with Powe who had a beautiful snipe from the slot.
Pronger also jumped Mike Richards in the points race with a pair of assists today putting him in 2nd place behind Carter, who also had a pair of assists tonight.
Things heat up for the Flyers quickly now after having a very bizarre opening schedule filled with various long breaks. Their next 25 games come in the next 50 days and finish up with the Winter Classic on January 1st at Fenway Park in Boston. Many of the games are on the road, and there are plenty of back-to-back games during weekend match-ups.
The Flyers will clearly miss Gagne as the depth of the team will be called on more and more, but things are looking good right now. Injuries to other players are starting to heal right in time for the rush of games to end the 2009 calendar year.
In a final note, the Flyers once again have the top offense in the NHL. Washington though will certainly be aiming for that once again in the near future.