For some reason, long breaks in the season have had bad effects on the Flyers. They were trounced by the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night 5-1, thus ending their three game winning streak following the All Star break. The Flyers were left scrambling to pick up the pieces with a tilt against the Montreal Canadiens. Defeating the Canadiens would be no easy task, as they were coming off a 5-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres.
Mark Streit stated before the game, “It was just a devastating performance, and we just were not ready. It is tough for me to explain because at this time of year everyone is battling for a playoff spot. You come out flat after a break where you should be energized is just unacceptable.”
Staring at the Flyers was a great goaltender in Carey Price. Price is obviously one of the best goaltenders in the game. However, the Flyers seemed to feed off off Streit’s words, fueling them to a 3-1 much needed victory. Michael Neuvirth made 23 saves to preserve the victory.
The Canadiens were able to strike first at 15:09 into the first period. Claude Giroux had trouble clearing the Flyers zone. Nikita Nesterov found the puck along the boards. He took a slap shot from the point, and the puck found its way past Neuvirth for the early 1-0 Canadiens lead.
After giving up the first goal, the Flyers seemed to find their legs. They started to dominate in puck possession time, but found themselves still trailing 1-0.
Torrey Mitchell was called for the first penalty of the night. On the ensuing power play, the Flyers mustered four shots on net. Carey Price made all four saves keeping the score 1-0.
The Flyers dominated the second half of the first period, but found themselves trailing 1-0. They out shot the Canadiens 10-5, and won the face off margin 53%-47%.
Chris Vandevelde took the Flyers first penalty of the night with 13:33 remaining in the second period. The penalty killers did a great job sealing off the passing lanes, thus keeping the score 1-0. The Canadiens did not register a shot on net during the power play.
With 3:14 remaining in the second period, Andrew Shaw was called for interference against Nick Cousins. On the ensuing power play, Claude Giroux took a snap shot from the top of the left circle. The puck appeared to deflect off Andrei Markov’s stick, and it found its way past Price tying the game at 1. It was Giroux’s 12th goal of the year.
The second period ended with the game tied at 1, with the Flyers out shooting the Canadiens 7-6 for the period.
Matt Read gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead with 16:48 remaining in the third period. Read took a slap shot high over Price’s right shoulder for his 7th goal of the year.
At 11:41 in the third period, Markov was called for his second penalty of the night. The Flyers registered three shots on net, but Price made all three saves keeping the score 2-1 Flyers.
The Canadiens pulled the goaltender with two minutes remaining in the third period. Sean Couturier was able to put the game away scoring his 9th goal of the year, an empty netter with 13.1 seconds left in the game. It put the Flyers up 3-1.
The Flyers wound up winning the game 3-1. They out shot the Canadiens 24-16 for the game, and also won the face off margin 54%-46%.
It was a feel good victory for the Flyers against a top playoff opponent. They showed their grit and determination, with a solid effort against the Canadiens. The Flyers look to continue their winning ways on Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings at 1 pm. Follow me on Twitter @JameyBaskow for all Flyers updates.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports