Flyers look to extend point streak at Ottawa

NHL
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The Philadelphia Flyers hope to extend their points streak to eight games when they travel north to face the host Ottawa Senators on Friday.

The Flyers had their four-game winning streak snapped Wednesday but still managed one point in a tough 2-1 shootout loss at home to the Washington Capitals. Philadelphia has been extended to a shootout five times in the last seven games, with another of those seven ending in overtime.

“I don’t think I’ve been on (a team) that went through this many in a row,” Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “Pretty tight hockey games. I don’t know what’s the cause of it, but I know we’ve played four pretty dang good teams in a row here, and we’ve been real competitive in all of them.

“We had stretches where we’ve done really well, and we’ve had stretches where we’ve hung on. So maybe that’s part of it, that we’ve played four really good teams in a row, and we’ve done really well.”

Carter Hart’s stellar play has kept the Flyers close to forcing extra sessions in four of his last five starts. The 21-year-old Hart had won four in a row and then made 35 saves in the slim loss to the Capitals.

“I think it’s that we’ve played a lot of top teams the last few games, and obviously every game is really hard,” said forward Jakub Voracek, who had an assist against Washington. “But we’ve been pretty good in shootouts and overtimes so far this year. Obviously it’s better to win it in regulation, but if that’s what it’s going to take, we have to take it.”

The struggling Senators picked up a rare road victory at New Jersey on Thursday due in large part to c Pageau’s hat trick in a 4-2 win.

Pageau, who turned 27 on Monday, recorded the first regular-season hat trick in his career, though he has done so twice in the postseason. Pageau has scored 11 goals in his last 15 games and eight goals in his last six. His career-best for a season is 19, which was registered in 2015-16.

“I think my linemates have been awesome,” said Pageau, in his eighth season with the Senators. “They work so hard every day, make it easy for me. I think we have a good chemistry on the ice because we spent a lot of time off the ice together. We do a lot of video, and that’s how we find each other on the ice.

“All of us are hard-working players that keep (the) play simple, and that’s what’s working so well right now.”

Senators goaltender Craig Anderson made 21 saves, though the Ottawa power play continued to struggle, as the team is 4-for-62 on the season. But Pageau stayed red hot, which is a big reason to remain optimistic as the Flyers visit next.

“He does it right, day in and day out,” Anderson said of Pageau. “He’s the hardest-working guy in practice, and he’s a waterbug out there, and he makes sure he plays the right way, and he gets rewarded for it. His underrated skill — you guys don’t know how much skill he has — but he’s got a great shot and some great hands, and he’s always in the right spot at the right time.”

–Field Level Media

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