The Philadelphia Flyers scored three goals in the final 5:06 of the game to beat the Canadiens 5-3 Wednesday night. With the Canadiens leading 3-2 Wayne Simmonds had a Bruno Gervais shot deflect off his skate past Carey Price to tie the game. Ninety seconds later Matt Read was credited with a goal that went off Francis Bouillon’s skate. Jakub Voracek finished it off with an empty net goal. Also scoring for Philadelphia were Sean Couturier and Simon Gagne. Alexei Emelin, Brandon Prust and David Desharnais scored for the Canadiens who were outshot 34-17 in the game and 25-6 in the final two periods.
Adding It Up –
On Their Heels – If there is someone out there who can expolain why entire teams sit back on leads with no effort to pad a lead I haven’t found him. It’s one thing to jump into full defense mode in the final minute or two of a game, but early in the second period against as desperate as the Flyers are? Through the final two periods the Flyers outshot the Canadiens 25-6.
Broad Street Hockey – The Canadiens started the second period with a 1-0 lead. In the first five minutes they lost two fights were outshot 5-0 and gave up the lead. First Wayne Simmonds and Travis Moen had a go. Three seconds after that was settled it was Brandon Prust against Zac Rinaldo. Two minutes later, with Sean Couturier’s goal, the game was tied at one. Simon Gagne then gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead in the 17th minute.
Tic, Tac & Toe – Forty-six seconds after Gagne tied the game, Alex Galchenyuk, who was having a good night, broke down the left wing and centred it for Jeff Halpern who in turned it over to Prust for the goal. Tie game.
Bryzgalov – There’s always something with the Flyers goaltender. Twenty seconds after Prust tied it, David Desharnais let it go from 50 feet. For some reason Bryzgalov ducked and the shot wound up in the net.
Out to Dry – That’s where his teammates hung Carey Price. He was absolutely alone in the third period as the Flyers piled up shot after shot. Price was brilliant but in the weight of numbers the inevitable tying goal came in the fifteenth minute. A minute and a half later, the game winner. The Canadiens managed one shot on Bryzgalov at that point.
No Luck At All – They say you make your own and spending 75% of the game in your own end can is hardly being pro-active. Still, the hockey gods weren’t on the Canadiens side on two of the goals, including the winner. Carey Price made the initial save on Ruslan Fedotenko and P.K. Subban kicked the puck back into his own net to tie the game at 1-1. Then with it tied at 3, Matt Read cleared the puck off Francis Bouillon’s skate past Price for the game winner.
Not Again!!! – Forty-eight hours after the Canadiens lost Colby Armstrong for an extended period, Tomas Plekanec went down. He was involved in an innocent looking collision early in the second period and didn’t return. All we know is it’s “lower body” of nature but has all the earmarks of a knee sprain. (Update – the injury is now being called a minor groin pull).
Doing the Shuffle – With Plekanec gone, Michel Therrien had to break up three lines to cover for his absence which didn’t help the Canadiens ultimate fate. Eller moved up between Ryder and Gionta while Halpern did double duty, centering Prust and Galchenyuk as well as his own linemates Moen and Blunden.
The New Guy –For somebody who spent much of his time in the Los Angeles press box, newcomer Davis Drewiske played a surprisingly solid game and earned the trust of Therrien very quickly. He put in 15:31 and even was out on the penalty kill briefly. He may have had a communication problem on the winning goal, but you can’t avoid the fact that it went off Bouillon’s skate.
Where They Stand – It was a blown opportunity. The Penguins lost big against the Rangers. The Bruins remain a point behind but now they have a game in hand. The Canadiens play Winnipeg Wednesday night at the Bell Centre. Before the Bruins arrive in Montreal for the meeting with the Canadiens they’ll host New Jersey Thursday.