• September 29, 2022

Special Teams Shine in 5-2 Win Against Canadiens

As the last game before the All Star Break, the Flyers were at risk tonight of finding themselves looking ahead to their vacation plans rather than the task at hand.

“We remember what happened against Florida,” Danny Briere said. “It’s a lot easier also to get motivated when you play the Montreal Canadiens.”

Unfortunately for le Bleu Blanc Rouge, not only did the team show up ready to play, but the powerplay finally showed up for the Orange and Black.

The Flyers started the game trying to be too safe with the puck, regrouping in their own zone more often than they were controlling in the offensive zone. It seemed like neither team could really get into a rhythm as the puck was bouncing at both ends of the ice.

Then the Canadiens started playing lazy and loose. Andrei Kostitsyn, Jaroslav Spacek, and Mike Richards’ favorite rookie P.K. Subban were called for minor penalties within a short period. Subban’s slashing penalty on Danny Briere’s face was particularly vicious.

With two consecutive 5-on-3 powerplays, Jeff Carter and Kimmo Timonen put the Flyers on the board. Carter redirected a shot in net by Richards while Timonen took a shot through traffic from just above the blue line.

Chris Pronger spoke about the powerplay’s success, saying it had to do with, “Just moving our feet, moving the puck quicker. Not standing there with it and thinking… Getting some traffic in front. Kimmo’s goal is a prime example of that. Even the first goal- Cartsy tips it, then he gets his own rebound and taps it in. Really, just getting pucks to the net and having bodies there.”

The Flyers continued dominating in the second period. Dan Carcillo scored his third of the season 23 seconds into the period. Briere, Scott Hartnell, and Claude Giroux took advantage of a “too many men” penalty with a beautiful tic-tac-toe play.

Despite a penalty-ridden third period, the Flyers held onto the win for a final score of 5-2 (Briere tagged the empty netter).

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky once again lost his chance at the first shutout of the season, when David Desharnais fired the puck past him through traffic. The Canadiens swarmed for the next minute or two, hitting the crossbar twice. Still, he was better than rival goaltender Carey Price (who was, in all fairness, not given much help by his teammates), stopping 29 of 31 shots.

The penalty kill was also on its game tonight, killing nine penalties (including a few questionable ones, including the Nikolay Zherdev “slashing” call in the first and Hartnell’s “boarding” late in the third).

“As strong as the powerplay was the penalty kill, and the job that they did, especially early in the third period when it could have become a tighter game,” said coach Peter Laviolette. “I thought our guys did an excellent job on the penalty kill. Blair Betts blocked a tremendous amount of shots tonight.”

Actually, Betts was only credited with two blocked shots, compared to Braydon Coburn and Pronger, who led the team with six each.

With tonight’s win, the Flyers have finished out their series with the Canadiens 3-1-0. They also sit first in the NHL with 71 points and will carry that lead through the All Star Break.

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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January 26, 2011 1:01 am

Sir, you’ve got to wait until the game ends so you can post a 5-2 win…LOL!