OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The Hamburglar stole another one for the Ottawa Senators.
Andrew Hammond stopped 27 shots to improve to 10-0-1 in his first 11 NHL career starts, and Bobby Ryan scored the shootout winner to lift the Senators past the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 on Sunday night.
“It couldn’t happen to a better guy within the room, a more humble guy,” Ryan said. “I hope he’s enjoying the ride as much as we are because it’s been a lot of fun. He’s giving us a chance every night.”
The 27-year-old rookie has “The Hamburglar” — the popular McDonald’s restaurant character — painted on the right side of his goalie mask. Some fans are even throwing hamburgers on the ice in his honor, and a victorious Hammond scooped one up and held it like a trophy after his latest victory.
Hammond is one game away from tying Frank Brimsek’s record set in 1938 of being the only goalie in NHL history to give up two goals or less in 12 straight games to start his career.
“It’s a pretty crazy run and something I’m proud of,” Hammond said, “but at the end of the day you can’t do it without the team playing well in front of you.”
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored the lone goal in regulation for the Senators, who have won their last three games as they make a playoff push.
Hammond, making his third straight start, has allowed just 16 goals in his first 11 games.
Jakub Voracek scored for the Flyers, and Ray Emery made 27 saves in his first appearance since Feb. 19.
With the game tied at 1, Ottawa nearly won it but Milan Michalek rang a shot off the post with just seconds remaining in regulation. Curtis Lazar and Kyle Turris also missed fantastic opportunities, but the Flyers were just as unlucky as Matt Read was stopped midway through the period and Vorachek missed on a great back-door opportunity.
“It was a good smart game,” Flyers coach Craig Berube said. “I thought we were in control all game. I thought (Emery) made some good saves when he had to and I thought we played pretty smart.”
Ottawa opened the scoring at the five-minute mark of the second as Pageau picked up the rebound of Mark Borowiecki’s shot in midair and beat Emery.
Pageau — along with linemates Erik Condra and Lazar — have been one of Ottawa’s best trios and coach Dave Cameron was happy to see the hard work rewarded.
“It’s a great line from a coaching point of view,” Cameron said. “They’re so solid away from the puck that it’s easy to get your matchups. You can put that line against any line. They’re invaluable.”
The Flyers then created some good pressure and were rewarded as Voracek beat Hammond to his glove side midway through the period.
Notes: Senators D Eric Gryba and C Colin Greening were healthy scratches. LW Clarke MacArthur and Robin Lehner remain sidelined with concussions. The Senators were also without D Chris Phillips (wear and tear), RW Chris Neil (fractured thumb) and Zack Smith (fractured wrist). … The Flyers were without C R. J. Umberger (abdominal, day-to-day) and D Michael Del Zotto (upper-body, day-to-day). D Brandon Manning and C Nick Cousins were healthy scratches.