Montreal Canadiens Ground Philadelphia Flyers 4-1
The Philadelphia Flyers came into the Bell Centre to battle the Montreal Canadiens having won only two of nine games on the road this season. This game pitted two backup goalies (Brian Boucher of the Flyers and Peter Budaj of the Habs) who have seen limited action this season.
Boucher was replacing the embattled Ilya Bryzgalov, who blew a 3-1 lead to the New Jersey Devils the previous evening and Budaj was standing in for Carey Price, who was a scratch due to a bout with stomach flu. Budaj shut the door on the Flyers with two back to back stick saves with a little over three and one half minutes left in the third period to preserve the 4-1 victory.
The Habs took a 2-0 lead early in the second period on goals from Brendan Gallagher and David Desharnais. Their linemate, Max Pacioretty, assisted on both goals. Gallagher, who was injured on a check against the boards in the third period and had to leave the game, scored a beauty on a wrist shot from the left side.
With a little over six minutes remaining in the second period, the Flyers Danny Briere cut the margin to 2-1 on an off-speed shot which trickled past Budaj. For the most part, the Flyers failed to keep consistent pressure on Budaj, managing only 19 shots for the entire game and just two in the first period.
Late in the second period, Philadelphia had an excellent opportunity to tie the game with back to back power plays on delay of game penalties to the Habs. The Flyers posed little threat with the extra man and Montreal managed to kill off both penalties.
The Canadiens Tomas Plekanec gave the Habs an insurance goals 4:32 into the third period when he lifted the puck past a sprawled Boucher. It was Plekanec’s team leading seventh goal this season.
Unlike several other games this season where Montreal blew third period leads, they kept taking the play to Philadelphia after grabbing a 3-1 lead on Plekanec’s goal. The Habs continued to outskate the Flyers and would not relinquish this lead.
Rene Bourque finished off the scoring for Montreal with an empty net goal late in the game. Both teams were 0-4 on the power play, with the Canadiens having the best opportunities to score, but failing to capitalize with the extra skater. In addition to Gallagher’s injury, the Habs Pacioretty and Alexei Emelin also sustained injuries which did not appear to be very serious.
The Canadiens next game is at home against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday evening.