Senators vs. Flyers final: Philadelphia closes homestand with 2-1 victory

Drew Hallowell

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers managed to overcome a sluggish start to close-out a five-game homestand with a victory against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, 2-1.

Philadelphia forward Jakub Voracek opened the scoring with his ninth goal of the season at the 7:24 minute mark of the second period, while Wayne Simmonds supplemented the team's lead with his ninth of the season four minutes later. While Ottawa managed to pull within one on a Marc Methot point shot three minutes later, Philadelphia's two-goal total proved to be enough to record the win.

Despite the condensed flurry of offense, the game was rather uneventful. Both teams struggled to move the puck and failed to connect on passes (this was especially true for Ottawa who appeared to turn the puck over all afternoon).

Both goaltenders played well, as Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 33 of 34 shots faced and Ben Bishop stopped 39 of 41.

Besides the continued production from Simmonds and Voracek, the most noteworthy dynamic of the game was an illegal hit by Flyers forward Harry Zolnierczyk.

At the mid-way mark of the first period, Zolnierczyk attempted to land a big hit on Ottawa defenseman Mike Lundin. In the process of doing so, Zolnierczyk launched himself into Lundin and appeared to leave his feet before connecting on the hit.

Lundin remained on the ice after the play and was forced to leave the game. He would not return. Zolnierczyk was given a five-minute major for charging, as well as a game misconduct. In terms of a suspension, it doesn't appear whether it's a question of if but for how long.

The NHL Department of Player Safety has made it clear that they don't want players launching themselves upwards into opponents. Then of course there is the fact that Zolnierczyk left his feet. This incident marks the second time in as many games that Zolnierczyk has attempted a hit that forced him to leave a game.

Against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night, he connected on a punishing blow on Mathieu Perreault and received a five-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct. While the penalty was ultimately rescinded, it came with 31 seconds remaining in a game that was already decided.

One week earlier against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Zolnierczyk took a blatant boarding penalty immediately after a Flyers timeout. The play resulted in a Pittsburgh power play goal to establish a 2-0 lead in the Penguins favor.

It appears as though Zolnierczyk is attempting to display that he deserves a spot in the Flyers lineup by generating energy. Of course, if he continues to generate the negative kind of energy, he probably won't be in the lineup for much longer.

Philadelphia will return to action on Tuesday night when they travel to New York to face the Rangers. Ottawa will face the New York Islanders on Sunday afternoon.

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