PHILADELPHIA -- As is typical with an over-hyped hockey game between two fierce rivals (and there's no mistaking it: the Flyers and Habs are fierce as rivals come these days), it usually doesn't live up to the billing. Tonight's game here didn't have the fisticuffs or the big hits or the hilarious mocking of P.K. Subban that we all hoped for, but it did feature a pretty awesome comeback from your Philadelphia Flyers.
After a coming from behind, blowing a late lead and squeaking out a 5-4 shootout win against Washington on Saturday night, Brian Boucher and the Flyers were able to do the same thing tonight against Montreal -- minus, of course, the blowing the late lead and the shootout parts.
It didn't look so good early. Boucher gave up likely one of the softest goals he's ever given up in his 10 years of professional hockey to Maxim Lapierre of all people to kick things off in the first period, and believe it or not, he was the only Flyer who really played a solid first 20 minutes. Another weak Lapierre goal followed as the team looked listless and meek heading to the dressing room. They were lucky to be down by only two.
Boy, did things change in the second. The Flyers started winning puck battles. They started hitting. They started controlling the play. They started playing like the team deserving of taking first place in the NHL. It didn't come that easily, however. Carey Price continued to make all of the saves while the Flyers got absolutely none of the bounces. If life was fair the Flyers would've had the lead by the midway point of the second period, but in reality, it just kind of seemed like it wasn't their night.
But the book on Price is that once you get one by him, he becomes pretty usual, and that book held true tonight. The guy looked like Jesus Price for more than half the game, but at the 14:53 mark of the second period, one Ville Leino one-timer changed it all. The switch had flipped, and the Flyers ran with it.
Less than two minutes into the third, some hard work by Darroll Powe in front of the net led to a pretty little touch pass to Claude Giroux, who tied the game at 2-2 on an open net. Just a few minutes later, James van Riemsdyk finally got on the board with perhaps the goal he needs to jump-start his season. It seemed like the bench, including Peter Laviolette, were happier with the goal than JVR himself was, which tells you how much the whole organization likes the guy.
Of course, it helps that it was the game-winner that sent the Canadiens packing, too. After the jump, some post-game video, questions with answers and the comment of the night.
Post-Game Video: Peter Laviolette
Post-Game Video: Claude Giroux
Post-Game Video: Brian Boucher
Questions with Answers
- Will Mike Richards and P.K. Subban drop the gloves, and if they do, how early in the game does it come? Didn't happen. Of course not.
- Overall, does the nastiness carry over or are we looking at a game that doesn't live up to the hype? The fans were pretty hard on poor little P.K., but there wasn't much nastiness save a few isolated incidents.
- Brian Boucher gets a second straight start. Does he look as good as he did against Washington? The weak goal (or two, depending on who you blame the second goal on) aside, Boosh looked great. He kept the Flyers in the game in the first period.
- There's pressure on both JVR and Zherdev now with Wellwood peering over their shoulders. Will they step up and prove they deserve to stay in the lineup? Zherdev looked okay, almost like he was trying too hard. JVR had a great game and he deserved his goal.
- Can the Flyers find a way to beat the Canadiens defense and Carey Price, who frustrated them for 60 minutes a week ago? It took awhile, but they certainly did.
Comment of the Night
You really need to put up a warning every time you post a video with Joe Beninati.
>> Justin F.