Cechmanek thwarts Senators as Flyers even series


OTTAWA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Flyers are tied with the Ottawa Senators in their second-round playoff series because of Roman Cechmanek and a newspaper clip.

Cechmanek stopped 33 shots for his second career playoff shutout
and the Flyers beat the Senators 2-0 Sunday night to even the

He made up for his dismal performance in Friday's series opener
by posting his first shutout in these playoffs. Simon Gagne and
Mark Recchi scored for the Flyers, who tied the best-of-seven
series 1-1.

"We were ready for tonight's game,'' Cechmanek said. "Maybe I
was too emotional the first game. I have to play like in the
regular season.''

Philadelphia was also inspired by an article in a local paper
that said the Flyers were done if they lost Game 2. Flyers center
Jeremy Roenick cut the story out and showed it around at Sunday's
morning skate.

"It fired all of us up,'' he said. "Ottawa can thank the media
for being a bunch of idiots. It was a smack in the face, and our
guys didn't like that too much.''

Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock was critical of Cechmanek after the
goalie stopped just 13 of 17 shots in Philadelphia's 4-2 loss in
Game 1. He still wasn't pleased after this victory.

"I didn't think we played very well,'' Hitchcock said. "I
thought we played better in the first game. I don't think we played
well until we got mad.''

Game 3 is Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

Gagne scored early in the first period and Recchi added another
late in the game against Patrick Lalime, who made with 21 saves.

"I thought we worked hard and didn't give them many chances,''
Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "Of course, we would have
loved to win this, but now we have to be ready for Game 3.''

Ottawa fell to 0-3 in second-round Game 2s. The Senators, who
had an NHL-best 113 points this season, have never won the second
game after opening a series with a victory.

The Senators went 0-for-6 on the power play; the Flyers were

"We did have our chances,'' Senators defenseman Wade Redden
said. "It would be a different game if we put one in earlier on.''

It was the third sellout in five home games for the Senators
this postseason. Before this year, Ottawa failed to sell out only
one of 20 home playoff games.

Gagne dampened the enthusiasm of the white-towel-waving crowd
when he scored his fourth goal of the playoffs at 6:57 of the

One of the criticisms of Cechmanek after Game 1 was that he
struggled when he was forced to move side-to-side across his
crease. However, it was Lalime who was beaten when Gagne sneaked
out from behind the net and fired a low shot off the far post on
the Flyers' second shot.

Lalime allowed goals on Philadelphia's first two shots in Game

Cechmanek stacked his pads to deny Redden during a Senators
power play in the first. He also blocked Mike Fisher's point-blank
drive from the slot in the second.

"We had chances in the second period and just didn't get the
bounces,'' Alfredsson said. "If we score on the power play it
would have made all the difference.''

The Senators continued to press in the third, and Alfredsson was
stopped from close range on the power play.

"He is a good goalie,'' Senators forward Marian Hossa said of
Cechmanek. "He stood on his head, and I thought they played well

Cechmanek also shook off a shove from Ottawa's Magnus Arvedson
that caused him to drop theatrically behind the Flyers net.

"You can see when he's on and when he's calm,'' Roenick said of
Cechmanek. "I sensed it in the warmup. He was terrific for our
hockey club.''

The Flyers took advantage of a fanned shot by Karel Rachunek to
break the other way. Redden missed John LeClair with a check to
create a two-on-one chance. Recchi took a cross-ice pass and
slipped the puck under Lalime with 6:58 to play to make it 2-0.

"That's the goal we needed in the first game,'' Gagne said.
"We got it tonight.''

The Flyers were 30-0-3-1 during the regular season when leading
after two periods. Philadelphia also tied the Senators with a
league-best 24 road victories this season.

Game notes
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in attendance. Bettman is confident the sale of the Senators will be completed soon. Bettman said he had no official announcement concerning ownership of the Senators. The team is still under bankruptcy protection. ... Ottawa
LW Peter Schaefer missed his second straight game because of a
groin injury. ... Senators rookie C Jason Spezza is expected to
rejoin the team Monday following a conditioning stint with
Binghamton of the AHL. ... Flyers RW Joe Sacco was scratched from
after playing in Game 1. He was replaced by C Marty Murray, who was
moved over to left wing alongside C Keith Primeau and RW Justin Williams.