With the Flyers clinging to a 1-0 lead early in the second period Saturday afternoon, Ottawa's Mike Hoffman went in on a breakaway and made two quick moves but was denied by goalie Steve Mason.

"That," winger Jake Voracek said, "was a game-changer right there."

So was the Flyers' revived power play, which scored three goals _ two by Wayne Simmonds _ in four chances to trigger a critical 3-2 win over the Senators at the Wells Fargo Center.

It marked the second time all season the Flyers' power play had scored three goals.

"Hopefully this awakens us, and we can keep on going," Simmonds said.

"They're getting that feel back," said coach Dave Hakstol, mindful his first power-play unit had not scored since Feb. 29 until it had a goal in Wednesday's win over Washington.

Mason, starting his eighth consecutive game, made 33 saves as the Flyers won their third straight and remained the Eastern Conference's final wild-card spot with five games remaining. They also moved to within two points of the Islanders, who hold the first wild-card spot.

Hoffman's power-play goal got Ottawa to within 3-2 with 7 minutes, 32 seconds to play. But the Flyers _ led by a shift on which the fourth line, centered by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, kept the Senators pinned in their own zone for about a minute _ tightened their defense the rest of the way.

Simmonds slammed home a rebound with 12:45 remaining in regulation to put the Flyers ahead, 3-1. It was his 28th goal and 13th on the power play, both team highs. He is seventh in the NHL in power-play goals.

"It's important for us to get it going," Simmonds said of the first power-play unit, "but our second unit has been doing a good job. When someone falters, we have teammates who can step up for us, and that is what this team is about."

With the Flyers on an earlier power play, Voracek (two assists) intercepted Jean-Gabriel Pageau's pass inside the offensive blue line and fired a shot toward the net that Simmonds redirected past Andrew Hammond, giving the home team a 1-0 lead with 18:30 left in the second period.

About 1 1/2 minutes after Simmonds' first goal, Mason made the key stop on Hoffman. It was Mason's 13th start in the last 14 games.

"In the second period, we got a sloppy a little bit, and Mase made some big saves and kept us in it," said center Sean Couturier, who also contributed a power-play goal.

Mason is thriving on the extra workload, necessitated because of an injury to Michal Neuvirth.

"It's fun. This is a situation I wanted to be in all year," said Mason, who has been taking IVs to replace the fluid he loses in games. "I think all goaltenders want to play as much as possible."

The Flyers are on a 13-3-2 run, enabling them to climb past Carolina, New Jersey, Ottawa and Detroit and move into the Eastern Conference's final wild-card spot.

Simmonds attributed the spurt to "our confidence level, our composure. We're just doing the little things really well  ...  and when you [do that] everything falls into place."

The Flyers won't have much time to rest. They play in Pittsburgh, which has won five straight, on Sunday at 5 p.m. On Wednesday, they have a key game in Detroit, a team they have beaten in both of their meetings this season.

"We just have to keep building on this," Mason said, calling Sunday a "real tough test. Pittsburgh is playing some of the best hockey of the year right now, so we have to be ready."