Despite Giroux's goal, Hart-led Flyers earn timely win over Senators

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Playing against Claude Giroux for the time ever, the Flyers handed their former longtime captain a loss Saturday night by beating the Senators, 2-1, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

Kevin Hayes and Zack MacEwen netted the Flyers' goals. Carter Hart was pivotal yet again, improving to 6-0-2.

The Flyers (6-3-2) halted a three-game losing streak (0-1-2). They saw a pair of skids spiral out of control last season.

Fewer than three minutes into facing his old team, Giroux found the back of the net for his 300th career goal.

Hart shut the door the rest of the way.

The Flyers didn't help themselves by giving Ottawa five power play opportunities but the club's improved penalty kill went a perfect 5 for 5.

A week from now, Giroux will play in Philadelphia for the first time as a visitor when the Senators (4-7-0) come to the Wells Fargo Center.

• Giroux made his NHL debut back in February 2008 against the Senators in Ottawa.

Over 14 and a half years later, he lined up against Flyers for the first time — in Ottawa, in a Senators jersey.

The 34-year-old played 20:48 minutes and won eight of his 11 faceoffs, while the goal was his sixth of the season.

Next Saturday will be a weird one for Giroux and Flyers fans. But deserving and emotional, as well.

"I feel like I've had a great relationship with the fans and the city," Giroux said in March after his 1,000th and final game with the Flyers. "I get them, they get me. ... I love them."

• Hart's only losses have been a 1-0 OT decision to the Rangers and a 4-3 OT decision to the Hurricanes.

Those clubs met in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season.

Hart stopped 33 of 34 shots against Ottawa. He has put up 30-plus saves in seven of his eight starts.

The 24-year-old has a 1.97 goals-against average and .946 save percentage.

With five and half minutes left in the first period Saturday night, Hart denied Shane Pinto on a breakaway. It was a huge save to keep the game tied at 1-1. Pinto found his way behind Egor Zamula for the chance all alone.

Senators netminder Cam Talbot stopped 26 of the Flyers' 28 shots.

• MacEwen had three goals in 75 games last season.

He has three goals through nine games this season after being waived and sent to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley to open the year.

His marker turned out to be the game-winner with 1:36 minutes left in the second period.

MacEwen's ice time has climbed and he's getting minutes on the power play. And all of it has absolutely been earned.

"It's a tough league to score in, you're not going to score goals every night, especially in the role that I'm playing," MacEwen said in September during training camp. "Just making good plays, getting chances, creating opportunities, playing in the O-zone, being good defensively — it's little things to build on that will turn your game around, chipping away at building something."

• Including the playoffs, the Flyers are 36-7-3 in games that Hayes scores a goal.

Under three minutes after Giroux scored, Hayes redirected a Tony DeAngelo shot for a game-tying power play marker.

DeAngelo has eight points through 11 games. Travis Konecny also assisted the goal. He owns a team-leading 12 points, one ahead of Hayes.

• Lukas Sedlak was banged up late in the third period and went up the tunnel. The bottom-six center has played well for the Flyers.

We'll see if he practices to start next week.

• As Rasmus Ristolainen was nearing a return from a lower-body injury, head coach John Tortorella said he didn't feel any of the team's defensemen deserved to sit.

"Do I rotate some guys?" he said 11 days ago. "Do I play seven?"

Right now, it looks like the Flyers could utilize a rotation with three to four of their blueliners. Competition for playing time is definitely there.

After sitting the second game of the Flyers' back-to-back set this week, Justin Braun was back in the lineup for Ristolainen.

Up front, Morgan Frost returned to the lineup and Kieffer Bellows sat. Frost did good work on the Flyers' fourth line.

• The Flyers will practice Monday in Voorhees, New Jersey before hosting the Blues on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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