Power play capitalizes on Montreal penalties, emotion as Flyers win, 5-2

PHILADELPHIA PA - JANUARY 25: Goalie Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens looks over as Jeff Carter #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers scores a goal past him in the first period of an NHL hockey game at the Wells Fargo Center on January 25 2011 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

You know what's fun? When the Flyers get emotional, and then they use that emotion to get their opponent completely off their game, and then while said opponent is down, they bash their faces in with three goals in two minutes, 41 seconds. 

You know what's awesome? When they do that to the Montreal Canadiens.

The fuse was lit just six seconds into the game when P.K. Subban started yapping at Mike Richards. Dan Carcillo came over, and somehow (especially since Carbomb was involved), cooler heads prevailed. A little more than three minutes later, though, Carcillo was cross-checked in the back by Scott Gomez.

He went down pretty easily, but while he was down, Gomez turned around and flipped the puck in his direction. I don't think the Versus cameras caught that, and the officials didn't either. Danny certainly did, though, and he took the opportunity to let Gomez know how he felt. Blair Betts, Chris Pronger and Brian Gionta got involved as well, but Carbomb picked up a roughing call to off-set the original cross-checking minor to Gomez.

Late in the period, Montreal proceeded to get really dumb. Three penalties in 91 seconds, and the last one, a Subban slashing penalty, was the icing on the cake. Everybody laughed as he skated to the box, and nine seconds later, they turned to cheers as Jeff Carter's redirection gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead. With a two-man advantage still going about a minute later, Kimmo Timonen's blast from the point made it 2-0. 

Then, after the first intermission and after the penalties, Carcillo of all people threw a backhander on net from the slot and it beat Carey Price. 3-0. Keep laughing.

The Flyers rolled all over the Habs for the better part of the rest of the second period, including an unbelievable shift from Jeff Carter, Nikolai Zherdev and Claude Giroux, but the Habs clawed their way back with a small flurry and a goal on Sergei Bobrovsky midway through the period. After that, though, they never really turned it on again.

Giroux added a goal on a beautiful pass from Scott Hartnell late in the second, and the Flyers did let off the gas in the third period, but the good sign is that the emotion and the physicality was still there throughout. You can't really help it when power play goals are scored after clean hits are whistled for boarding, ya know?

They made up for it with an empty netter, anyway, and in the end, the Flyers held on for the win. Really, the score was a lot closer than the dominance on the ice showed.

After the jump, some bullets, questions with answers and the comment of the night. 

- You can tell Nik Zherdev doesn't want to lose his job to Dan Carcillo. He was flying all over the place -- backchecking, hitting, playing defense. etc. Coaches noticed, too. After a pretty awesome shift in the first period, both Craig Berube and Peter Laviolette came over to pat him on the back. 

- It probably helped that Zherdev's line was the "it" line tonight. That trio was on from start to finish, and we already mentioned their insane shift in the second. We might have more on that magical minute here tomorrow.

- For all the energy Carcillo brought tonight, the 10 minute misconduct and the retaliation penalty in the first are probably what will be remembered. 

- To be fair, the Flyers really tried to let the Canadiens back in things in the third period. A few penalties of their own led to sustained pressure in the Philadelphia end. But Bobrovsky was fantastic as usual and the defense did a pretty sound job in limiting the Habs chances, despite their time of posession.

- Outside of that third period, it really seemed like the Flyers broke the spell of not sitting back after jumping out to a big lead. That's a positive step, for sure. 

Questions with Answers

  1. The Flyers have a week off after tonight. Is tonight a let-down, much like the Florida game before the holiday break? Not a let down at all.
  2. It's the last time the Flyers and Habs face each other this season. Can the Flyers steal the season series? Yep, 3-1
  3. Montreal's crappy on the road. Can the Flyers dictate the pace and make sure that continues? The Flyers dictated things for most of the game, save the third period.
  4. The Gill-Subban pairing is the Habs' shutdown pair (I guess). Who do they use that one against? Mostly against the Briere line, but Subban in particular saw a lot of time against Richards.
  5. What kind of game do we see from Dan Carcillo, who's still fighting with this spot and has a rare second opportunity to make Peter Laviolette notice him? I'm sure he did with a goal, a minor and a 10-minute misconduct. Not sure if that was a good or a bad notice, though.

Comment of the Night

2 PPG MAKE IT RAIN BOYS

KIMMO THERAPY WORKS FOR OUR PP?

>> Skramz

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