The Flyers showed why they earned the first seed in game four. After an early goal by Michael Raffl, the Flyers controlled the tempo throughout the entire game. This, of course, leading to the 2-0 lead, giving them a 3-1 edge in the series. Goaltender Carter Hart has been an absolute brick wall in back-to-back games, showing his idol Carey Price that the mentee will soon become the mentor. With his consecutive shutouts, Hart has made history, being the second youngest goalie to do so in NHL history.
In game five, the Flyers will look to end this series and have their first playoff series victory since 2011-2012. Momentum from the dominant game four victory will need to carry over to game five for Philadelphia. The Flyers will be the “home team” in the second leg of a back-to-back tonight up in Toronto.
Coverage will begin at 7:30 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia, with puck drop slated for 8 PM. The Flyers are currently -150 favorites with the over/under set at 5.5 goals.
Get the Offense Going
The Flyers have run into one of the best goalies to ever do it in Carey Price. Price has actually held the Flyers to less goals than the Habs in the series. By being outscored 6-5 in the series, they are the first team in NHL history to lead a seven-series after four games while scoring only five goals, per the league.
With this, not a single one of the top five team goal scorers has scored yet in the playoffs. This is unprecedented in itself, and needs to change. Montreal is going to come out hot in this one, as it’s win or go home for them. As the big names in Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier have done a fantastic job shutting down the Habs’ top line, it would be a great chance for them to get on the score sheet as well. With the next series just an arm’s distance away, the Flyers need their top guys to inject some worry into their next opponent.
Flyers to watch
It’s easy to sit here and point out how we need to watch the top line. Like mentioned above, the Flyers need their goal scorers to get going if they want any chance at making a deep playoff run. However, there’s an even more important storyline to watch today…
Hart has gone 14-3-0 with under a 1.80 goals-against average in his last 17 starts going back to the regular season. His phenomenal play is no secret, and has been one of, if not them top reason the Flyers are where they are today. However, it’s not easy for goaltenders to play in back-to-back days. In fact, Hart has never started in consecutive days in his entire career thus far. Fully expect Hart to get the start, though, as the Flyers go for the series win.
On the flip side, the veteran Carey Price has only done it a handful of times himself, with little-to-no success. He has played on no days rest four times, going 0-2-2 with a 3.76 goals-against average and .864 save percentage. This is a great chance, as mentioned earlier, for the Flyers to really get their offense going. Getting hot now will only bring more success in the near future.
Like I mentioned in every preview so far, the Flyers finally deserve this recognition they’re getting from the city. They have battled hard this season and have overcome a lot of adversity. In almost every game, they’re showing that they have fight and passion, and give themself a chance to win every night.
The Flyers have proven to hockey fans and experts everywhere that they should be heavily favored in this series. Montreal has shown that they do match up well due to their stellar defensive core and forecheck, but the Flyers are simply the better team. It’s time that they get to Price and get this series done and over with, and give themselves some time to rest up before their next series.
Flyers win this one, 3-1.
Photo credit: Alex Mcintyre