The Good, the bad and the ugly against the Canadiens

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The Philadelphia Flyers opened a critical five game home stand with a 3-1 win against the Atlantic Division leading Montreal Canadiens. Matt Read’s third period goal, his seventh of the season and first since November 3, gave the Flyers a lead they would never relinquish. The Flyers played one of their better defensive games which was vital since scoring would be at a premium playing against arguably the best goalie in hockey, Carey Price.
The Good:
Defense
They allowed 16 Habs shots including only five in the third period. They took away space and played a sound defensive game, enabling Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth a relatively easy night. The orange and black showed some resilience after an embarrassing showing on Tuesday against Carolina. They showed some heart coming back against a team that is very good defensively and has a world class goalie.
The Bad:
Slow starts
Even with only five first period shots, the Canadiens controlled the period and led 1-0 after one on former Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov’s goal. Starts have been a chronic problem for the Flyers and although they came back tonight, they cannot continue to play from behind. They simply do not have the offensive firepower to continue this trend.
The Ugly:
Dave Hakstol
Yes the Flyers won tonight, but at what cost? Hakstol decided to sit rookie Travis Konecney for the second time and
second year defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere for the third time. It appears these two are the whipping boys when the team plays badly and the coach wants to send a message. Were these two the problem against Carolina? Did Flyers captain Claude Giroux not make a brutal play on Carolina’s second goal? Did he sit tonight? It appears there are different rules for different players. And you go down a very slippery slope when you send that message.
It was a big win for the orange and black as they have now won four of their last five and hold onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. And they beat a world class goalie in the Canadiens Price. They improved their defensive effort, and received timely goals from Giroux and Read. This game needs to be a building block for the next four at home. They host the streaking Los Angeles Kings who have won four in a row on Saturday afternoon.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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