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Flyers top Senators, 4-2, to win their third straight game

OTTAWA - Tuesday night was the story of Evgeny Medvedev's season wrapped up into a few quick, successful hours in Canada's capital.

OTTAWA - Tuesday night was the story of Evgeny Medvedev's season wrapped up into a few quick, successful hours in Canada's capital.

There was the good: his first NHL goal on a perfectly placed wrist shot just over three minutes into the second period and some really good play on the power play and in some other areas throughout the night.

And there was also the bad: an ill-advised clearing attempt from his defensive zone that led to an easy Senators goal toward the end of the first period.

Medvedev, 33, whom the Flyers signed this offseason for $3 million from Russia's KHL, is playing a lot better since returning to the lineup Friday after being a healthy scratch for six straight games. Flyers coach Dave Hakstol was looking for improvement from Medvedev's play in the defensive zone and without the puck.

Hakstol will have to decide how much good he can leave on the bench, no matter the amount of bad that comes with it.

"He had the one play that ended up coming back at us," Hakstol said of Medvedev. "But overall, I thought he had a pretty good night."

For the second time in three games, the Flyers got multiple goals from their defensemen and beat the Senators, 4-2, at Canadian Tire Center, avenging a 4-0 loss in the same building on Nov. 21. The Flyers (10-10-5) have won three straight games for the first time all season and are back to .500 - at least in the W and L columns - for the first time since Oct. 30.

Medvedev's goal was on the power play, for all intents and purposes, going in just as an Ottawa penalty expired. The defenseman fired a slap shot wide of Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson. A few seconds later Sean Couturier fed the puck back to the lefthanded shot, and Medvedev's wrist shot found the back of the net for a 2-1 Flyers lead 3:14 into the second period.

He's the oldest player to score his first NHL goal since John Gruden of the Washington Capitals, who was 33 years, 128 days old when he scored his first in October 2003. Medvedev was 33 years, 92 days old on Tuesday.

"I'm very grateful to my partners for such a good pass," Medvedev said through a translator app on his iPhone.

"Everybody on the bench was pretty excited for him and it came at a good time," Hakstol said.

The Senators (12-7-5) tied the score just over a minute later on Mike Hoffman's 11th goal of the season and nearly took the lead late in the second period, but Ottawa's Bobby Ryan had a goal disallowed. The Cherry Hill native deflected a shot from the point past Flyers goalie Steve Mason with a high stick. The call on the ice of no goal was reviewed and upheld.

Sixty-two seconds later, Wayne Simmonds continued his stretch of solid play with a goal to put the Flyers ahead for good. Simmonds skated down the left wing and corralled his own rebound off Anderson's pad for his sixth goal of the year with 3:25 to play in the second period.

"When you're playing on the road, the home team is generally going to come out really, really strong," Simmonds said. "We kind of weathered the storm, went right back at them in the back half of the first period. Then in the second period we really turned it around, swung the momentum our way. We just stuck with it and stuck with it, kept getting pucks behind their 'D,' kept getting pucks to the net and we kept crashing."

The Flyers then finally protected a third-period lead with some help from Mason, who made 22 saves in the game. The Flyers outshot the Senators, 33-25, an advantage that was 25-13 after two periods.

Couturier added an empty-net goal with just over a minute and a half remaining to give the Flyers their first game of at least four goals since Oct. 21. They had gone 18 games scoring three or less.

Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere scored his fourth goal of the year in only his ninth game to open the scoring in the first period. Claude Giroux entered the zone with possession of the puck and patiently waited for the play to develop. Gostisbehere was left alone on the blue line and Giroux fed him the puck. Gostisbehere skated down the slot and beat Anderson high over his shoulder.

Gostisbehere, 22, has the same offensive-defenseman label that Medvedev has. Both have plenty of work to do in their own end. But for a team starving for offense, any bit helps, especially on this night.

Slap shots

Defenseman Nick Schultz (upper-body injury) took the morning skate but was ruled out of Tuesday's game. Coach Dave Hakstol said he was not yet ready to return after taking a big hit in Saturday's win in New York. Schultz's absence meant Brandon Manning returned to the lineup. He played with Shayne Gostisbehere and Evgeny Medvedev played with Luke Schenn . . . Defenseman Radko Gudas threw a high hit to Ottawa's Mika Zibanejad early in the third period, knocking the Senators forward out of the game. It's possible the hit is reviewed for supplemental discipline . . . The Flyers play their next three games against Metropolitan Division opponents, starting Friday in New Jersey.