THE OTTAWA Senators were so focused on beating former teammate Ray Emery that they forgot about a player who hasn't figured into any of the Flyers' last four wins.

In fact, Danny Briere hadn't played at all in the last 16 days with a lower quad injury in his right leg.

Last night, Briere picked up where he left off with linemates Jeff Carter and James van Riemsdyk. He scored two third-period goals to take the pressure off Emery and help carry the Flyers to a 5-1 victory over Ottawa in a circus-type, overly hyped game at the Wachovia Center.

It was the Flyers' fifth consecutive win.

Emery, facing the Senators for the first time since he was run out of town and exiled to play in Russia in 2008, was the hot topic all across Canada. The only thing that could be sensationalized last night was the fact that Emery allowed just one goal on 23 shots.

"It was special," Briere said. "There was a lot [of attention] the last couple days, a lot of talk. We're happy for him. He's been playing well and he's been a great teammate for us so far this year, so it's good to give it back to him."

In the locker room after the game, the lights were on Emery and not Briere. The Canadian media wanted to see for themselves the full circle change Emery has gone through in the last 18 months.

"Those are the fun ones to play," Emery said.

Emery's defensemen in front blocked 11 extra shots to make his night a little easier.

"It's easier to stay focused because you're that much more into the game," Emery said. "I think you could see out there that we played an amazing defensive game. The boys, I thought, we're really mindful of that and sacrificed a bit."

Sitting at 2-1 through the first two frames, it looked as if the game was shaping up to be a goal-tenders duel. But Briere's two tallies, sandwiched by a Darroll Powe wrister, turned a grind-it-out into a blowout.

Both teams played a tight checking game and didn't allow many opportunities in the first two periods. Normally that wouldn't favor Briere, one of the Flyers' smallest forwards at 5-10, who was coming off an injury.

"They just don't give you much," Briere said.

"To be honest, it was one of the tougher games for him to come back in," coach John Stevens said. "The way Ottawa plays, they're a really strong forechecking team. For him to have a game like that against a team like Ottawa that checks so well, I thought that was very encouraging."

Instead, Briere swatted a Carter rebound out of midair to give the Flyers a 3-1 lead and blasted a slapper past Pascal Leclaire just 7 minutes later on an end-to-end rush that he created himself.

In the second period, the power play was the difference for both teams.

Blair Betts opened the scoring early in the second period, netting his first goal in a Flyers uniform after banking in a shot off of Leclaire's back. Betts beat the Ottawa defenders in a dump-and-chase race at the tail end of the man advantage.

"You play a half-dozen games or so and you are kind of wondering when that first one is going to get in and you can start feeling good," Betts said.

Fewer than 5 minutes after Betts gave the Flyers the lead, Betts wasn't feeling so good. His cross-checking penalty helped get Ottawa back in the game. Ottawa's Mike Fisher responded with a backhand shot that beat Emery on the far post just 12 seconds after Betts entered the penalty box.

The Flyers' power play responded almost as quickly.

It only took 20 seconds for Carter to find van Riemsdyk with a no-look forehand pass after Jarkko Ruutu left for a hooking penalty. Even with a broken and stitched left pinkie finger, it would have been hard to miss the empty net with Leclaire sadly out of position.

It was Emery, though, who was in the right position all night. He has been all season.

"I thought Ray was being Ray," Stevens said. "His demeanor looked the same, he looked quietly confident."

Slap shots

The Flyers have outscored opponents, 23-7, during this five-game win streak . . . The last time they owned a five-game streak was Dec. 6-16, 2008 . . . With two assists, Jeff Carter leads the team with 17 points . . . With an assist on Darroll Powe's goal, Chris Pronger is riding a point streak as long as the Flyers' win streak . . . Oskars Bartulis was the fourth Flyer to make his NHL debut this year . . . James van Riemsdyk is now tied with the Rangers' Michael Del Zotto for the league lead in points (15) among rookies.

For more news and analysis, read Frank Seravalli's blog, Frequent Flyers, at http://go.philly.com/frequentflyers.