The Montreal Canadiens visited the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday and although they had Carey Price on his game, the remainder of the team was plagued with bad turnovers, penalties and slow play for half the game.
It was hard to make any predictions for this game. The games between these two clubs are few and far between and the matchups tend to go either way with the Canadiens having won the last two of three meetings.
If one thing was for certain, the Montreal Canadiens needed to go into this game with an improved powerplay as they have not been able to score on the man advantage in four straight games.
From the get-go, the Montreal Canadiens were the ones getting the early chances, with a great backhand chance by Nick Suzuki as an example and a one timer from Victor Mete to Joël Armia. Halfway through the period, it looked liked the Canadiens most notable issue was the lack of finishing plays.
The pacing took a dip in the latter half of the first period. At 6:09 remaining in the first, the Philadelphia Flyers took the 1-0 lead with a goal at the blue line by defenseman Philippe Meyers. Carey Price responded with a nice save on Sean Couturier afterwards. The Montreal Canadiens couldn’t keep the puck after this play, giving it up on multiple turnovers, in their own zone no less.
The Montreal Canadiens responded to their lackluster first period by giving up another goal scored by James Van Riemsdyk giving the Philadelphia Flyers a 2-0 lead. Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux assisted on the play. The Canadiens looked completely flat for the majority of the second period.
At around the 7:53 mark, it had been 10 minutes since Flyers goaltender Carter Hart faced a shot from the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs best scoring after this came from Artturi Lehkonen who hit the post but then Ben Chiarot cut the Flyers advantage by one goal with a nice setup by Philip Danault.
It looked as if the Montreal Canadiens came back to life after their first goal with some nice plays in the offensive zone, elevating the pace of an initially dull game.
The Montreal Canadiens had a full 20 minutes to take the lead and at the 15:55 mark, Shea Weber scored a powered wrist shot for his third goal, tying the game 2-2. The excitement was unfortunately short-lived when the Canadiens took a too many men penalty but luckily, they were able to hold back the Flyers.
After an icing call, the referees decided to take control of the game after the Canadiens took too long to decide who goes back on the ice after the icing. The anger in Claude Julien’s face was palpable.
This isn’t the type of call you want to see in a tied game during the 3rd period. Fortunately, the Montreal Canadiens killed off the phantom call, keeping the score tied.
It didn’t take long for the Flyers to win the game. Sean Couturier scored on a goal that had the puck bounce through Carey Price’s legs for a goal that the Habs goaltender responded to by breaking his stick in half when going down the tunnel
Staying disciplined has not been a strong suit of the Montreal Canadiens so far this year, and while the penalty has not been as disastrous as it has been in previous, it is still ranked 30th in the NHL which is cause for concern when it goes out on the ice.
The remainder of the team needs to play a full 60 minutes when Carey Price is having a solid game. Rough overtime goal aside, Carey Price was the only reason why the Flyers weren’t winning by a landslide
The Montreal Canadiens will face the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night at 7:00 PM.