Senators 2, Flyers 1 (shootout)
The Hamburglar run has reached double digits.
His legend has reached new heights.
Andrew Hammond, now 10-0-1 in his first 11 NHL starts, leading the Senators from oblivion to a playoff hunt, had a burger tossed onto the ice following his shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
“I didn’t eat it, it was kind of cold,” Hammond said.
Turns out there’s plenty more burgers where that came from. The father of Hammond’s college coach from Bowling Green, Chris Bergeron, owns a batch of McDonald’s burger outlets in Ottawa. Now, Hammond has been told he has a special card coming that will allow him to eat free McDonald’s food for life.
“I’m waiting to see it, but that’s what I’ve heard,” Hammond said. “I guess, at the end of the day, at least I know I’ll never end up starving.”
It was the Flyers who were starved for shootout goals, thanks to the Hamburglar. Hammond stopped Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds in the shootout, and had Jakub Voracek hit the post to close the door as only he can. Bobby Ryan scored the only shootout goal the Senators would need.
“Surreal is a good word,” Ryan said of Hammond. “You’re at a loss for words to describe what he’s doing.”
Hammond was pleased to make up for a shootout loss in Minnesota earlier in his brief NHL career.
“I just felt like I needed to make one more save,” Hammond said. “In Minnesota, I was having a bit of trouble with my skate; that took away from my focus a little bit. (Sunday) there was no reason not to feel anything but confident going into (the shootout).”
With the win, the Senators jumped to 77 points and breezed past the Florida Panthers in the standings. Now, first in line, the Senators are a mere five points out of a playoff spot, trailing the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card berth.
Fans were treated to a wildly entertaining overtime and third period, including a running advertisement for four-on-four play after a pair of offsetting penalties. Both teams missed open nets, Cody Ceci unable to corral a bouncing puck at one end and the Flyers missing the net on a power-play shot at the other.
In the dying seconds of regulation, veteran Ottawa winger Milan Michalek sent a groan through the Canadian Tire Centre when he fired a wrist shot off the post, ensuring overtime.
The Senators finally got to Flyers goaltender — and a familiar Senators figure — Ray Emery in the second period. Emery was making his first start since Feb. 19 against the Buffalo Sabres, and the rust showed in his rebound control.
It was on a rebound of a Mark Borowiecki shot that centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau opened the scoring, tapping a puck out of the air past Emery at 5:19 of the second period. Pageau had terrific jump in this game, twice driving the net past Flyers defenders, creating a scoring chance with one and drawing a holding penalty on the other.
Emery matched Hammond with 27 saves in regulation.
While they had chances to pad their lead, the Senators stood and watched the Flyers tie the game. After a lengthy session in the Ottawa zone, the Flyers’ top point-producer, Voracek, put a fluttering shot past Hammond at 12:12 of the second. Hammond got a piece of the shot with his trapper but the puck trickled past him.
Hammond was at his burglarizing best in the first period. The most important of his seven stops came on Giroux, in alone after stepping past defenceman Erik Karlsson. Hammond flicked his left pad as much to say howdy-do, and the Flyers understood how previous Hammond victims felt.
Said head coach Dave Cameron of Hammond: “He’s here and he wants to make a statement.”
WHY THEY WON: Hammond magic and one shootout winner from Ryan.
CHEERS: To the young iron man, Kyle Turris. Sunday was Turris’ 247th consecutive game, putting him third in franchise history. Turris has not missed a game since joining the Sens from Phoenix in December 2011.
JEERS: To games that are half this good.
TWO’S BETTER: Here’s Borowiecki on the joy of having the Washington Capitals come within view in the wild-card chase: “It’s definitely better having two teams to chase instead of one,” Borowiecki said prior to the game. “It gives you a little more chance to be opportunistic, if one team slides.”
Early in the third, Borowiecki crashed heavily into the boards after tangling with Vincent Lecavalier. Borowiecki had to be helped to the room but did return to action later in the period.
Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond stops the Philadelphia Flyers’ Claude Giroux in the shootout. The Ottawa Senators’ Bobby Ryan beats the Flyers’ Ray Emery for the winning goal in the shootout. The Ottawa Senators’ David Legwand is surrounded by Flyers as he fights for the puck beside Ray Emery’s crease. The Senators’ Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Curtis Lazar celebrate Pageau’s second-period goal against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Ottawa Senators’ Erik Condra crashes into the net with the Philadelphia Flyers’ Brayden Schenn as goaltender Ray Emery braces himself. Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond looks up ice as his teammate Cody Ceci gets slammed into the boards by the Philadelphia Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds during the first period. The Senators’ Curtis Lazar battles for position against Mark Streit.