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Senators Bonk Flyers 5-4

Ottawa goaltender Damian Rhodes seemingly has taken it upon himself to snap a couple of nasty Senator losing streaks recently.

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  • Rhodes, who had never beaten Philadelphia in eight previous career starts, won his second consecutive victory over the injury-plagued Flyers, 5-4, Sunday night as the Senators extended their winning streak to three games.

    Ottawa had beaten Philadelphia 3-1 at home on Thursday for its first victory over the Flyers in 13 games dating back to 1995.

    "It was a big lift for us when we beat them the other night," said Rhodes after making 25 saves against the Flyers, which outshot Ottawa 29-20 for the game and 25-12 over the last two periods.

    "And then when we came in here and got a couple of early goals it seemed to give us more and more confidence because we knew how difficult it is to win here."

    Ottawa also snapped a six-game losing streak in Philadelphia.

    After twice losing two-goal leads, the Senators broke a 3-3 tie when Steve Martins and Radek Bonk scored goals within 1:43 late in the third period.

    Rhodes said he wasn't worried when the Flyers came storming back.

    "We all sensed that we could pull this thing out," he said. "The guys were playing really hard in front of me the whole night. You know how powerful Philadelphia can be and they showed it in the third period. We squeaked one out."

    Philadelphia's Mike Maneluk looks for a deflection from Ottawa goalie Damian Rhodes in the first period. (AP)

    Jason York, Shawn McEachern, and Chris Murray also scored for the Senators and former Flyer Vaclav Prospal chipped in with three assists.

    "Rhodes played really well," said Ottawa coach Jacques Martin. "He held off a couple of big rushes by the Flyers that seemed to get him over the hump."

    John LeClair scored twice for Philadelphia. The Flyers also got goals from Eric Lindros, who is tied for the NHL lead with eight, and Shjon Podein.

    The Flyers lost their third in a row for the first time this season and LeClair said the team lacked the intensity apparent when the Flyers went unbeaten the first four games (3-0-1) of the season.

    "We just did not play a full game," he said. "I don't think that we played with the same intensity that we had in the first few games. We have shown it in spurts but we haven't shown up for the full 60 minutes."

    Martins scored the first goal of his NHL career at 11:59 of the third period after taking a pass from the corner from Philip Crowe to give Ottawa a 4-3 lead. Bonk put in his own rebound at 13:42 to make it 5-3.

    LeClair, who had tied the score from the slot 3-3 at 5:05 of the third period, added his second goal with a tip-in at 19:45.

    "It was a very frustrating night," said Philadelphia goaltender Ron Hextall, who again missed notching the one victory needed to tie Bernie Parent for first place on the Flyers' all-time win list with 232. "We just put ourselves in a desperate situation. I'm always willing to take my share of the blame, but we just have to pick things up as a team."

    York put the Senators ahead 1-0 at 17:45 of the first period when he beat Hextall to the stick side with a slap shot from the left circle. McEachern, who led Ottawa with 10 special-team goals last season, made it 2-0 with a power-play tip-in at 13:32 of the second period.

    Podein tipped in a shot from the blue line by Dmitris Tertyshny at 17:02 to bring Philadelphia within 2-1, but Murray got that one back for the Senators when he beat Hextall from the right circle to complete a two-on-one with four-tenths of a second left in the period. Lindros made it 3-2 with a backhander from the slot 48 seconds into the third period.

    Philadelphia played without five regulars who were injured in the last three games: forwards Alexandre Daigle, who had a concussion, and Jody Hull (groin strain), and defensemen Dave Babych (strained back), Eric Desjardins (groin pull), and Peter Svoboda (strained hip).

    © 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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