Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - On Feb. 9, the Ottawa Senators sat with a 20-22-9 record, 14 points behind the battle-tested Boston Bruins for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
With its 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday afternoon, Ottawa completed an improbable comeback to clinch a spot in the postseason.
"I'm proud of everybody," said Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson. "Everybody has done a great job in stepping up in different times."
Mark Stone scored a pair of goals to tie Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau for the rookie scoring lead, and the Senators finished the regular season with a 43-26-13 record.
Ottawa will be on the road against the Atlantic Division-champion Montreal Canadiens when the playoffs begin.
Andrew Hammond was impressive again, making 34 saves to finish the regular season with a 20-1-2 record. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored Ottawa's other goal.
The Flyers finished 33-31-18, leaving them on the outside looking in at the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Matt Read scored Philadelphia's lone goal and Steve Mason allowed all three Ottawa goals on 22 shots.
"Overall, a tough year," said Flyers defenseman Mark Streit. "There were some positives this year, and we're going to be better next year."
Ottawa jumped on the board first on the power play. Mason tried clearing the puck from the crease but turned it over to Kyle Turris. Clarke MacArthur slid the puck to Stone in the slot, and he tapped the puck into the vacated net for his 25th of the season.
The Flyers had chances to score a power-play goal of their own late in the first, but Hammond made four saves to preserve the Senators' 1-0 lead through one.
Early in the second period, the Flyers tied the game not long after killing a penalty. Brayden Schenn's wraparound shot bounced off Read's skate, and he quickly shoveled the loose puck into the net before Hammond could slide across and make the save.
Late in the middle frame, Mason fumbled another puck to set up Ottawa's second goal. Marc Methot's weak backhand shot sat in the crease, and before Mason could handle it, Pageau crashed the net and poked the puck by the netminder to put the Senators up 2-1.
The Flyers nearly answered just over a minute later. Michael Raffl's shot handcuffed Hammond, and the goalie fell over on his back to cover the puck before Jake Voracek could find the loose puck in the crease.
Past the midpoint of the third, Stone scored his second of the game. He stole the puck from Voracek exiting the Flyers zone and wristed the puck through Mason's pads to put Ottawa up two.
Dave Cameron, who replaced Paul MacLean as Ottawa's head coach in December, owns a 32-15-8 record ... Philadelphia missed the playoffs just once from 1994 to 2012 ... Karlsson led Ottawa in scoring with 66 points, and Voracek's career-high of 81 led the Flyers ... Pageau finished the season on a three-game goal streak ... Stone finished the season on a nine-game point streak.