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The Philadelphia Flyers were unable to secure a victory in Montreal on Thursday night and settled for a single points from a 3-2 (1-0) shootout loss at the Bell Centre. Jonathan Drouin scored the only goal of the three-round shootout.
Artturi Lehkonen (5th goal of the season) notched a deflection goal to give the Canadiens an early 1-0 lead. The Flyers were downright lucky that it was the only Montreal goal in a lopsided first period.
Max WIllman (2nd) tied the score at 1-1 early in the second period. In the final minute of the frame, Jackson Cates (1st career NHL goal) gave the Flyers the lead. In the third period, Laurent Dauphin (1st) knotted the score at 2-2 off a broken play with 5:39 remaining in regulation.
Carter Hart kept his team in the game and deserved a better fate. The two Canadiens goals in regulation came off a deflection and a blocked shot by the defense that took a Montreal-friendly bounce to goal-scoer Dauphin near the net. Hart stopped 38 of 40 shots in the first 65 minutes and then went 2-for-3 in the shootout.
Cayden Primeau, recalled earlier in the day, denied 37 of 39 Flyers shots in regulation and overtime. He was a perfect 3-for-3 in the shootout.
The Flyers went 0-for-2 on the power play, including a failed 4-on-3 in overtime. Philadelphia was 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
At 28 seconds of overtime, Jonathan Drouin fired a shot off the crossbar.At the other end of the ice, Sean Couturier was roughed by Ben Chiarot after beating the defenseman off the rush to the inside and following the puck to the net. The Flyers got a 4-on-3 power play. The Flyers were unable to generate any prime chances. As Chiarot exited the box, he got to the puck at center ice and blasted a shot on Hart.
Ultimately, the game went to a shootout. In the skills competition:
1st round: Drouin scored upstairs glove-side on Hart. Couturier was denied by Primeau’s blocker on a low shot.
2nd round: Cole Caufield did a lot of stickhandling but couldn’t find the same spot as Drouin.
3rd round: Hart made a right pad save on Mike Hoffman. Cam Atkinson made a move to the right post where he was unable to force the puck past Primeau’s skate. Primeau was shaken up on the play but eventually went off under his own power.
Montreal got the game’s first power play at 2:33 on an interference minor called against Zack MacEwen. The Flyers got through the kill but Montreal scored shortly thereafter.
Brett Kulak’s side angle shot from distance deflected off the stick of Montreal forward Lehkonen at 5:20. The secondary assist went to Alexander Romanov.
Through the opening 10:00, the Flyers were charged with 7 giveaways. Very shortly thereafter, Hart had to make back-to-back point blank saves on Lehkonen at the doorstep.
Atter an unnecessary icing by the Flyers, Philadelphia lost the ensuing draw. Hart denied Laurent Dauphin in the lower slot. The Flyers continued to have issues getting out of their own end of the ice. Scott Laughton took a hooking penalty in the defense zone at 13:31.The Flyers killed it off.
2) Hart (18 saves on 19 shots) in the first period was the only positive for the Flyers in an atrocious overall period for the team, The gaps were bad, the passing and puck management were worse. Montreal had their feet moving, the Flyers did not. The ugly underlying numbers: Montreal had an all-situation team Corsi of 74.2 percent, a scoring chance deficit of 19-6 (13-1 high-danger), 4-for-13 on faceoffs, 12 giveaways (4 by Braun) to 2 for Montreal, 2 takeaways credited to Montreal to 0 for the Fyers.
3) The second period started inauspiciously.It started with Sean Couturier losing the faceoff and Flyers getting hemmed in their own end for 40+ seconds. The next shift was also in the Philadelphia end.
At 2:20, Willman claimed a puck off the skate of Montreal’s Mike Hoffman and sniped a shot upstairs from the right slot to tie the score at 1-1. The assists went to James van Riemsdyk and Kevin Hayes. Willman’s goal capped off a high-energy forechecking shift for the player.
Tweet from @NHLFlyers: Where there’s a Willman, there’s a way. #PHIvsMTL | #BringItToBroad pic.twitter.com/VqTjhGBM5r
Hart made a stop on Jake Evans taking the puck to the net off the rush to keep the game tied. On the next shift, Hart fought off Cole Caufield’s fifth shot on goal of the game.
At 8;34, Hart denied Kale Clague from the first hash marks. Shortly before that, he fought off a point shot through traffic.
The Flyers finally got their first power play of the game at 12:25 of the second period. was called for tripping.There was a nervous moment as Keith Yandle coughed up a puck to Nick Suzuki but the Flyers averted disaster. Primeau stopped shots by Giroux, Atkinson and Hayes.
A good energy shift by Willman, MacEwen and Patrick Brown forced an icing with 4:50 left in the second period. Unfortunately, Couturier lost the ensuing offensive zone draw, Montreal cleared and got a needed line change.
The Flyers regrouped and soon resumed attacking. Travis Sanheim created some offensive pressure, carrying the puck up the ice and getting support up high from Couturier.
With exactly one minute remaining in the second period, Sanheim pushed the puck up ice to Brown, who forwarded it to Cates. From the left side, Cates beat Primeau over the pads and under the blocker to the short side to put the Flyers ahead, 2-1.
Tweet from @NHLFlyers: Congrats on your first career @NHL goal, @JacksonCates5! #PHIvsMTL | #BringItToBroad pic.twitter.com/uxMUUXl9t6
4) The Flyers’ attention to detail still left something to be desired in the second period but they got their skating legs going a bit better. Defensemen joining the attack, especially Sanheim, gave Philly’s attack a boost.
The Willman goal seemed to infuse the team with some needed energy and emotion. There were still some hiccups with the puck that were erased by Hart saves but it was a better played period compared to the first. Cates’ goal — the second one of the period by a young Flyers role player — put the team in command heading into the third period despite being outplayed overall.
Second period shots were 14-11 in the Flyers’ favor. The only thing that truly mattered was the Flyers winning the period on the scoreboard, 2-0, but the underlying numbers were still in the Canadiens’ favor. The Habs had 55.6 percent all-situation Corsi and 12-9 scoring chance edge (8-4 high danger). Faceoffs turned dramatically in the Flyers’ favor in the second period (14-5) and the cut back on turnovers.
5) The Flyers fourth line, with a couple of good keeps at the point by Sanheim and Ristolainen, generated a strong forechecking shift that set up the Couturier line well for the next shift.
With 14:52 left on the clock, Ivan Provorov went down in a heap as he blocked a shot and the puck ramped up on his stick and hit him at the base of his throat. Thankfully, it was a glancing blow and the player, dressed in his 399th consecutive game to start his NHL career, did not miss a shift.
A turnover pressured by Willman on the forecheck led to a point blank chance for him after van Riemsdyk claimed the puck and fed Willman at the right post. Primeau made the save as Willman couldn’t elevate the shot.
The Giroux line established a good forecheck to keep the Canadiens hemmed in as time ticked below nine minutes left in the third period. Shots were 7-4 Flyers at that point. With 5:47 remaining, the whistle blew as a blocked shot went out of play in the Flyers zone to end a mini-push by Montreal. Shots were now 7-6 Flyers.
Montreal’s Ylönen won an ensuing faceoff. Sanheim blocked a Chiarot shot attempt but the puck was then pounced into the net by Dauphin at 14:21.David Savard got the secondary assist.
The Flyers generated good possession late in regulation. Primeau made a bang-bang skate save on Laughton off a low shot from the slot with time ticking down. Third period shots were 11-8 in the Flyers’ favor.