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Associated Press
11/22/2006 11:07:48 PM


PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Ottawa Senators are returning to form, and ex-Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock is headed back to the NHL. It seems only the Flyers are stuck.

Wade Redden scored with 20.6 seconds left in overtime, and Mike Fisher and Daniel Alfredsson had second-period goals to help Ottawa overcome an early two-goal deficit and rally past the Flyers 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Fisher sent a cross-ice pass to Redden, who beat goalie Antero Niittymaki to give the rejuvenated Senators their third straight victory.

Peter Schaefer had three assists for the Senators, who entered with the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference after piling up 119 points last season. They won for the fourth time in five games.

''It felt great, especially to battle back from two,'' Redden said. ''Once we got down two, I thought we really turned it on and started playing better.''

Petr Nedved got his first goal of the season and Mike Knuble also scored for the Flyers, who lost their sixth straight home game and third in a row overall just hours after Hitchcock was hired by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Last month, Hitchcock was fired and general manager Bob Clarke stepped down after the Flyers got off to a 1-6-1 start.

Next up for the Flyers is a game against Hitchcock and the Blue Jackets on Friday afternoon in Philadelphia.

''It's a game we have to win,'' Flyers centre Mike Richards said. ''We need the points right now.

''It doesn't matter who we're playing, we've got to go out and try to win the game. It doesn't matter who's on the bench. I don't think he's got an advantage.''

The first-period troubles that have plagued the Flyers weren't evident against the Senators. But Philadelphia was whistled for the only three penalties in the game, and the Flyers weren't able to protect their early advantage.

Thus, they had to settle for one point.

''They got a goal on a power play. .. Where's our power play?'' Flyers coach John Stevens said. ''It hurts to lose but it's a much better hockey game and a much better effort from our group of guys.''

The Flyers built a 2-0 lead early in the second period, but the Senators fought back.

Fisher cut the deficit to one, scoring a power-play goal just more than four minutes later. Fisher beat Niittymaki with a well-placed wrist shot into the top right corner for his third of the season.

Alfredsson made it 2-all in the last minute of the second, sending a low wrist shot past Niittymaki with 33.6 seconds left in the period.

In a wide-open third period, the Flyers had several scoring chances. Randy Robitaille just missed twice from close range, and Simon Gagne also had two chances, but both were directed just wide.

Ottawa, which failed to convert on two power-play chances, had its best scoring chance with just seconds remaining, but a hard shot by Joseph Corvo was tipped over the net.

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Good on the Sens for coming back in that 1. If they had lost to the Flyers their confidence would highly decrease. Too bad the game wasn't televised cause I had to watch the Sabres Leafs game which was pretty good.
 
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