OTTAWA – Brady Tkachuk hasn’t had a chance to pick up a present for his mother Chantal’s upcoming birthday, but figures his performance Wednesday might be a start.
“Her birthday is (Thursday) so it’s a nice little pre-gift for her because as of right now I don’t have a gift for her yet,” said Tkachuk. “Maybe try to send flowers overnight, but it’s kind of my gift for her.”
Tkachuk, the fourth pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, was making his home debut at Canadian Tire Centre.
“You saw a terrific player making a difference for us,” said Senators coach Guy Boucher. “It’s more than welcome.”
Maxime Lajoie also scored twice and had an assist, while Chris Tierney chipped in with three assists. Craig Anderson stopped 37 shots in the loss.
Boucher said the youthful Senators (1-2-1) can ill afford to continue to play a run-and-gun style all the time.
Through four games, Ottawa has given up 20 goals and is allowing 37.8 shots per game.
“You definitely want to tighten that up, you have to or else you can’t win games,” said Boucher. “It’s exciting, but you’re not going to win many games. Everybody has to be better in that respect and everybody knows that.”
After dropping their home opener 8-2 to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday the Flyers were determined to bounce back with a better effort.
“It was a tough start at home for us, but we scored seven and I think we played a pretty good hockey game,” said Jakub Voracek, who had two goals and three assists. “We just have to take it to the home ice now.”
Scott Laughton also scored twice for the Flyers (2-2-0), while Sean Couturier, Robert Hagg and Claude Giroux added singles. Calvin Pickard made 31 saves for the win.
A five-goal outburst saw the Flyers jump out to a 4-3 lead after the second.
Tkachuk was thrilled to notch his first career goal as he redirected a Tierney shot off his skate on the power play to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead.
With the marker, he also earned the bragging rights as the fastest Tkachuk to score in the NHL. It took his father Keith Tkachuk five games and his brother Matthew Tkachuk, who plays for the Calgary Flames, four games.
The Flyers tied the game on a power-play goal of their own as Voracek, at the side of the net, redirected Shayne Gostisbehere’s one-timer.
Tkachuk’s second goal was flashier than his first as he carried the puck in and beat Pickard shortside.
The 19-year-old wants to contribute as much as he can and while he’ll enjoy the moment he said it’s just part of the process.
“It’s nice, but I feel like I can do even more,” said Tkachuk.
“I learned a lot again and I’m just going to keep applying it.”
Two minutes after Tkachuk’s go-ahead goal Couturier grabbed a rebound and backhanded it past Anderson to tie the game 2-2.
The Flyers took the lead on Voracek’s second of the night as he showed great patience before beating Anderson five-hole. This time it was the Senators who managed to tie things back up as Lajoie jumped up into the play and fired a rebound past Pickard to make it 3-3.
Philadelphia finished the period with the lead as Thomas Chabot missed an opportunity to clear the puck down low and Laughton beat Anderson off a backhand.
The game took a nasty edge in the second and continued in the third.
Tkachuk endeared himself to fans with his scoring touch, but also showed his propensity to mix things up when he took a double minor for roughing early in the final frame.
The Flyers didn’t score on the ensuing power play, but did shortly after as Hagg picked up his second of the season.
Giroux scored his first goal of the season to make it 6-3 late in the period with a power-play goal.
“It’s four games in, there’s no need to panic or anything, but we need to learn quick,” said Ottawa’s Matt Duchene. “We have to learn from those errors and the things we did wrong and get ready for Saturday.”
© 2018 The Canadian Press