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Ray Emery watches the puck enter the net in a 3-1 Senators setback. ((Tom Mihalek/Associated Press))

Bryan Murray witnessed first-hand what John Paddock had been dealing with, as the Ottawa Senators fell 3-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on Thursday night.

Murray, Ottawa's general manager, fired Paddock on Wednesday and replaced him behind the bench.

But the gamble failed to produce the desired effect as the Senators lost for the third straight game and 15th in the last 22.

"I see lots of things that have to be done," Murray said. "But it is kind of where the action is, and I didn't mind it.

"It is not something that I was really looking forward to doing. But in a couple of days, I will feel better about it.

"When you lose some games and the pressure mounts — and it is mainly pressure from within — it is hard to play, it is hard to relax and it is hard to coach."

Mike Knuble scored twice and Jim Dowd had the other goal for the Flyers (32-25-7), who were 1-8-2 in their previous 10 games.

Kimmo Timonen had two assists and Martin Biron made 32 saves.

"We had a bit of a nasty edge in our play," Biron said. "That is the way we have to play the rest of the year." 

Spezza scores, ejected

Jason Spezza opened the scoring for the Senators (36-23-6), but he began scuffling with Biron and was ejected for butt-ending Flyers defenceman Braydon Coburn during the fracas. 

"It certainly didn't have to be a game misconduct," Murray said.

Spezza staked Ottawa to a 1-0 lead at 6:33 of the second period, tipping a point shot from Andrej Meszaros past Biron for his 25th goal of the season.

As Spezza stood celebrating with arms raised, Biron shoved him from behind to spark a skirmish. 

"I even had time to think about it, that is how long it took," Biron said of Spezza's celebration.

"I decided to push him in the numbers. That means he was there for a little while, yeah."

Seven minutes later, Dowd tied it 1-1 with his fourth goal on a slapshot from a sharp angle.

Knuble put the Flyers ahead, deflecting Jason Smith's point shot into the net 41 seconds into the third period.

Knuble completed the scoring with his 23rd goal at the 6:30 mark.

"We weren't as co-ordinated as I would like to see," Murray said. "But I think, we will be.

"As far as attitude and that, the guys were good. It is just disappointing that we cannot score more than one goal."

Ray Emery faced 37 shots in the setback.

With files from the Canadian Press