Preview Game #76

Canadiens vs. Philadelphia

Wells Fargo Center – Mar.24/2012 – 7:05pm


Game Notes

…….In Philadelphia the Flyers have beaten the Canadiens three straight times and four of the last five.   The Canadiens last win at the Wells Fargo Center was a 1-0 decision April 2, 2010.

…….Montreal has lost its last three road games and is 15-18-4 as a visitor this season.

…….In March the Flyers have gained 19 of a possible 24 points, posting a 9-2-1 record.   They have not been able to gain ground on Pittsburgh who are 13-0-1 in their last 14 games and lead the Flyers by four points.

……With a win in this game the Flyers can clinch a playoff berth for  16th time in the last 17 seasons.  Over the same period, including this season,  the Canadiens have missed the playoffs seven times.

…….The Canadiens have earned at least a point in seven of their lasts eight games  (4-1-3)

…….Erik Cole had a natural hat trick in the first 5:41 of the Canadiens’ 5-1 win over Ottawa on Friday.  Cole set the record for the franchise’s fastest hat trick.  He has tied his personal high of thirty goals set while a member of the Carolina Hurricanes.

…….Peter Budaj will start in goal for the Canadiens.  Carey Price has had his problems against the Flyers.  In his last six starts against them he is  1-5-0 with a 3.38 GAA.

…….Ilya Bryzgalov is 9-1-1  in his last 11 starts with a 1.24 goals-against average and a .956 save percentage. The numbers were  bolstered by the NHL’s second-longest scoreless streak (249:43) since 1967-68.  As a result he is the winner of the NHL’s last two First Star of the Week awards .

…….Bryzgalov has never beaten the Canadiens.  He has a lifetime 0-3-1 record and 3.75 GAA versus Montreal.   Bryzgalov was a 5-1 loser Oct. 26, his only game against Montreal this season.  This will be his 18th start the last 19 Flyers games.

…..Claude Giroux missed Philadelphia’s 4-3 win over Montreal in the most recent meeting Dec. 15, but he has five goals in his last five games against the Canadiens.  His father and 60 fans from his hometown in Hearst, Ontario, traveled  17 hours on a bus for this game.

……The line of Giroux, Hartnell and Jagr has combined for 195 points in 74 games – or 2.67 points per game.  Giroux now has 27 goals and 58 assists in 70 games. His 85 points is the highest  total of any Flyer since Mark Recchi’s 91-point season in 1999-2000.   Hartnell leads the Flyers with 35 goals.  His previous career high was 30.

……On eight occasions this season, the Flyers have come from behind two  goals or more to earn at least a point. They are 6-20-2 when trailing by  two or more goals. Only Pittsburgh (9) and Nashville (7) have more wins in that situation.

……With seven regulars on their injury list (one third of their roster) , the Canadiens league leading man-games-lost total will reach 396 with this game.   

The Hard Cold Stats

Season RecordsCanadiens  75GP (29-33-13) 71pts. 15th in Eastern Conference.    Philadelphia  74GP (43-23-8) 94pts. 5th in Eastern Conference.

Last Ten Games –  Montreal 4-3-3; Philadelphia 7-2-1

Season Series:   Fourth and final meeting. The Flyers lead the season series 2-1-0.     Oct. 26/2011 @ Bell Centre -Canadiens-5 Philadelphia-1. Ends six game Canadiens losing streak.  Pacioretty-2 goals.  Weber, Cammalleri and Kostitsyn.   Jagr for the Flyers.  Canadiens outshot the Flyers 28-22.       @Philadelphia   Nov. 25  Philadelphia-3  Canadiens-1.  Claude Giroux with two goals. Voracek with the other.  Nokelainen for the Canadiens.  Bobrovsky in goal vs. Price.  Flyers outshot the Canadiens 36-24.   Dec. 15  @Bell Centre –  Philadelphia-4 Canadiens-3.   Andrej Meszaros breaks 3-3 tie at 8:08 of third period.  Maxime Talbot, Harry Zolnierczyk and Wayne Simmonds also scored.   Louis Leblanc scores his first NHL goal.  Also Desharnais and Cole.  Max Pacioretty with two assists.

Last Time Out – Canadiens defeated Ottawa 5-1 at the Bell Centre Friday Night.   Philadelphia is coming off Thursday’s shootout win over the visiting Washington Capitals.

Home/Road – Canadiens on the Road – (15-18-4)  Philadelphia at Home (20-13-4)

Special Teams – Power Play – Canadiens ranked 27th – 15.0% (41/273)  Philadelphia ranked 5th (58/298)   Penalty Killing – Canadiens ranked first – 89.4% (30/284)   Philadelphia ranked 17th – 81.9% (52/287)

Goaltending – Canadiens – Peter Budaj 12GP – (3-6-3) 2/81GAA  .907save%       Philadelphia – Ilya Bryzgalov – 55GP (31-14-7) 2.45GAA  .911save% – 6 shutouts.

Who’s Hot –   Canadiens  –  Erik Cole after no points in three straight games, scored three goals against Ottawa Friday.   P.K. Subban has eleven assists his last eleven games.   Philadelphia – Claude Giroux has a goal and two  assists in his last three games.

The Missing –  Canadiens –  RW-Brian Gionta (IR-biceps surgery), LW-Travis Moen (IR-upper body), LW-Mathieu  Darche (IR-concussion), D-Rapheal Diaz (IR-groin); C-Scott Gomez  (concussion); D-Tomas Kaberle (upper body); D-Yannick Weber (upper body).     Philadelphia – D-Chris Pronger (IR-post-concussion syndrome); C-Blair Betts (IR-bone bruise/fluid on knee);  RW-Ian Laperriere (IR-post concussion syndrome); LW-Tom Sestito (IR-groin surgery), LW-James van  Riemsdyk (IR-left foot surgery); Andrej Meszaros (IR-lower back surgery)