PHILADELPHIA -- A month ago, the Flyers traveled to Montreal for a game at Bell Centre against the Canadiens. After a red hot start and a pretty goal from the top line put the Flyers up 1-0, a fluky goal at the other end of the ice with just a few seconds left in the first period changed the complexion of the game.
On this Black Friday in Philadelphia, the tables were turned a bit. Montreal took control of the game in the first period, outplaying the Flyers and thwarting any scoring chances with a lot of help from goalie Carey Price. Not that the Flyers had many chances or anything, and they looked absolutely dead. Montreal took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
But after Peter Laviolette yelled at his team in the locker room between the first and second periods, things started to change for the better. It was the complete opposite of the 5-1 loss in Montreal a month ago, as the Flyers were the ones that stepped up and completely took over the hockey game en route to a win.
It started with Claude Giroux, and he deserves a lot of praise for how well the Flyers played today. He seemed to lead the charge in the second period and beyond, and he played a huge role in the one goal he didn't score today -- a beautiful (and somewhat lucky) play that involved at least six different Flyers, ultimately ending with the puck on the stick of Jakub Voracek.
Besides the play of Giroux, though, Sergei Bobrovsky deserves a ton of credit for several big saves throughout, and without his play in the first period, the Flyers probably don't win this game.
Other than that, the penalty kill was also huge. Before Giroux's goal that tied the score at 1-1, the Flyers had to kill off four penalties. They even seemed a bit more dangerous on the penalty kill at times than they did at even strength, at least in the earlier portions of the game. Of course, part of the problem is that they took those penalties, but nevertheless. It's nice that they're killing them off effectively when they do pop up.
More after the jump.
A few other notes: Andreas Lilja is out six weeks with an ankle thing he suffered in the second period, and the Flyers will call up a defenseman tonight or tomorrow to replace him. Paul Holmgren said he doesn't know who he'll call up just yet, but here's to hoping it's not Matt Walker. Kevin Marshall was a late scratch from the Phantoms lineup tonight so it's possible that's who they're going with.
James van Riemsdyk is also out for a few weeks with some sort of upper-body injury. With injuries to some other guys, though, we're not exactly sure how that'll all shake out. Wait and see. Maybe Schenn comes back.
Questions with Answers
- How's Bob look today? Bob was phenomenal.
- How's the still Pronger-less defense look? It didn't look too bad. The Habs got a lot of quality chances, especially as the game went on, but I thought Matt Carle had a really solid game and Marc-Andre Bourdon was a pleasant surprise once again.
- The Canadiens crushed the Flyers last time, and they boast the most goals per game in the NHL. How's that go? The Habs offense looked scary at times tonight, but some luck and some solid goaltending really helped the Flyers. It also helped that Montreal was inept on the power play, but again, the Flyers PK was also really good.
- The first period has been weak lately for the Flyers, especially in the last three games. Can they tighten up in that department? Haha, no.
Comment of the Night
Bob got this for Bryz today: [picture of a bench]