PHILADELPHIA – Scott Laughton responded to a jarring hit to his teammate in a big way.
Laughton had a goal, an assist and a hard check in a chippy contest to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
“It was a physical game,” Laughton said. “I like playing in those, so it was nice.”
Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny and Shayne Gostisbhere also scored for Philadelphia, which has won six of seven.
Konecny didn’t return after a hard, open-ice hit by Mark Borowiecki late in the first period due to what Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault called an upper body injury.
Borowiecki entered third in the NHL with 115 hits, and he caught an unsuspecting Konecny with a hard check with 2:22 left in the first. No penalty was called on the hit.
The game got physical after that, with Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek fighting Nick Paul in a one-sided affair won by Paul. Less than 15 seconds into the second, Laughton sent Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the ice with a hard hit of his own. Pageau got up and then fought Flyers rookie Joel Farabee to a draw.
“I think the way our team responded was a big plus for us,” Gostisbehere said.
The checking remained hard, but the game settled down from that point – until the final seconds.
There were sticks and gloves all over the ice with 24.5 seconds remaining when Brady Tkachuk sent Laughton down with a cross-check and then jumped on him looking for a fight. Tkachuk was sent off with two penalties, for cross-checking and roughing.
Laughton recently returned from a broken finger that cost him 13 games and couldn’t respond the way he wanted. Asked if he wished he could’ve fought Tkachuk, Laughton said, “Yeah.”
Anthony Duclair netted a pair of goals and Tkachuk also scored for Ottawa, which has lost six of seven.
“I think we were engaged, physically at least, from the very beginning,” Senators defenceman Dylan DeMelo said. “We just made too many mistakes that end up being in our net, but you can’t fault our effort. I thought we played hard.”
After Duclair notched his second of the contest to tie it with five minutes left, Laughton answered just 11 seconds later by finishing on a rebound to put Philadelphia ahead.
“He’s one of the guys who responded best,” Vigneault said of Laughton.
Provorov gave Philadelphia a 3-2 lead 3:17 into the third when he fired a wrist shot past Anders Nilsson’s glove side.
Duclair tied the game at 2 with a short-handed tally with 6:42 left in the second. Flyers goalie Carter Hart and Gostisbehere had miscommunication as Hart tried to play the puck behind the net to his defenceman, and Duclair hustled between them and scored on a wraparound.
Philadelphia outscored Ottawa 2-1 in the first and had a goal disallowed after a coach’s challenge.
Konecny got Philadelphia on the board 1:45 into the contest. After Tkachuk tied it following a stellar pass from behind the net by Pageau almost three minutes later, Gostisbehere scored on a slap shot with the Flyers in a 6-on-5 situation due to a delayed penalty with 13:44 left in the first.
It appeared that Oskar Lindblom made it a two-goal advantage 43 seconds later, but the goal was disallowed after video replay showed Philadelphia was offside.
Senators goalie Craig Anderson suffered a lower body injury while trying to make the save on Lindblom’s chip from behind the net. He didn’t return and was replaced by Nilsson.
Notes: The teams will wrap up the three-game season series on Dec. 21 in Ottawa. The Senators won 2-1 at home on Nov. 15. … Paul returned after leaving with a neck injury 4:05 into the first period of Wednesday’s 5-2 win at Edmonton. … Ottawa D Cody Goloubef was back in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 20. … The Flyers improved to 10-2-4 at home.
Senators: Host Boston Monday.
Flyers: At Colorado Wednesday.