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Giroux, Flyers hope to build momentum in Ottawa
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers are hoping that captain Claude Giroux is ready to get on a roll.
With his elusive first goal of the season finally out of the way, Giroux will try to lead his team to a second straight win on Tuesday night in a road meeting with the Ottawa Senators.
Giroux had notched just seven assists through Philadelphia's first 15 games this season, becoming the key example of the club's offensive struggles. The forward had notched 28 goals and 93 points in 2011-12 and finished last season's lockout-shortened schedule with 48 points in 48 games.
With a goal drought that had lasted 21 games dating back to April 15, Giroux was credited with the game-winning goal in Saturday's 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
"It's been a couple months now and it's been tough, but getting that one got a lot of weight off," Giroux said.
Scott Hartnell, Vincent Lecavalier and Jay Rosehill had the other goals for the Flyers, who scored more than twice in a game for only the second time this season and snapped a three-game slide at home.
Steve Mason made 24 saves for Philadelphia, which will play its next three on the road and could have forward Steve Downie back in the lineup tonight.
Downie began his second stint with the Flyers when he was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 31 for forward Maxime Talbot. However, he suffered a concussion the following night in his first game with Philadelphia this season, the fallout from a fight with Washington Capitals forward Aaron Volpatti.
The Flyers could use Downie's high-energy style in Ottawa against a Senators club that has put together three straight wins since a five-game slide. That surge has been keyed by backup netminder Robin Lehner, who has been in net for all three wins with No. 1 Craig Anderson sidelined with a head/neck ailment.
Anderson was able to serve as the backup on Saturday, when Lehner made 26 saves in a 3-2 win over Florida. He has posted a 1.33 goals against average and .958 save percentage over the three-game win streak.
"I thought the way we played today was a pretty solid effort," said Senators head coach Paul MacLean. "Robin gave us another good game in net, we kept the shots under 30 which certainly gives our goalies an opportunity to play well."
Kyle Turris and Mika Zibanejad scored 19 seconds apart in the first period and Clarke MacArthur had the game-winner with a second-period, power-play goal.
Turris stretched his point streak to a career-high seven straight games, while Bobby Ryan has a point in six consecutive contests. Both forwards have three goals and seven assists over their run.
Despite Lehner's recent success, Anderson is expected to get the nod tonight for his first action since Nov. 3. He is 4-4-2 in 11 starts this season with a 3.14 GAA and .912 save percentage.
The Senators lost two of three versus the Flyers last season, dropping a 2-1 decision in the lone encounter in Ottawa.
Mason made 43 saves for Philadelphia in that April 27 matchup, while Giroux picked up the 200th assist of his career.
Turris had the goal for the Senators and Anderson stopped 23 shots.
11/12 11:07:05 ET