OTTAWA - Strange but true: The Flyers lineup Saturday night included a defenseman, Erik Gustafsson, who was making his NHL debut; and a once-disgruntled winger, Nik Zherdev, who earlier in the week was placed on waivers and had his limo driver whisk him away from practice, his future with the franchise apparently over.
The odd-looking lineup, which was minus three key players, produced a stunning result: Ottawa, the Eastern Conference's worst team, overcame a slow start and defeated the conference-leading Flyers, 4-1, at sold-out Scotiabank Place.
After being outshot by 15-3 in the first period, Ottawa outworked and outplayed the Flyers the rest of the game.
"The way we played the last 40 minutes, it's tough to swallow," said winger Scott Hartnell, whose first-period goal gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead. "It was a very poor game for everyone, and we have a couple days off to think about it - and that makes it even worse."
Erik Condra, a recent minor-league call-up, scored the first two goals of his career to lead Ottawa, which was 2 for 3 on the power play. The Senators ran their home record to 4-0-2 against the Flyers since 2007.
Zherdev - robbed twice by goalie Craig Anderson - and Gustafsson played well, but the Flyers couldn't offset the loss of Chris Pronger, James van Riemsdyk, and Blair Betts.
The Senators, dismantled by recent trades, avenged a pair of one-sided losses to the Flyers. Ottawa, which has the next-to-last point total in the 30-team NHL, outshot the Flyers, 26-16, over the final two periods.
"It's been a rough couple games for a lot of our lines," Hartnell said. "We have to get back to cycling it and getting pucks to the net. For 20 minutes, we did that, but 20 minutes isn't enough."
"We didn't forecheck and didn't compete," winger Andreas Nodl said. "We deserved to lose this game."
In the final minute of the first period, Hartnell took a slick pass off the boards from Claude Giroux, skated around defenseman Erik Karlsson, and scored from deep inside the left circle, beating the recently acquired Anderson high and to the far side.
"Giroux had the puck in our own zone right in the middle, and he yelled at me to 'Skate, skate, skate,' then I realized he was going to chip the puck to me," Hartnell said.
In the first part of the game, the Senators "seemed like they weren't interested in playing," losing goalie Brian Boucher said. "We let them hang around."
A power-play goal by Nick Foligno, who maneuvered around Mike Richards and made a clever move to get in shooting position in front, tied it at 1 with 7 minutes, 52 seconds left in the second period.
About four minutes later, Condra scored his first NHL goal and gave the Senators a 2-1 lead after taking a great pass from Ryan Shannon, who cycled the puck behind the Flyers net. Defenseman Chris Phillips made it 3-1 with a long-range goal - his first tally of the season - with 8:45 left in the game. Condra added a power-play goal, on a deflection, with 1:25 remaining.
The Flyers were 0 for 4 on the power play, which missed Pronger's big shot from the point.
"Our power play has to be better," Hartnell said. "It seemed like we were in the neutral zone more than the offensive zone."
Pronger (hand) and Betts (finger) missed the game with injuries.