The Philadelphia Flyers took down the Montreal Canadiens to capture their 10th straight home victory. The Flyers now boast a 23-17-4 record after starting the season 1-7-0. This team has really turned it around. Here is a recap of tonight’s victory:
The first period was a good one for the Flyers, and an equally poor one for the Canadiens. Montreal had one quality shift in the Flyers zone at the start of the game, but the Flyers controlled the rest of the period. About six and a half minutes into the game, Sean Couturier’s line provided good fore-checking pressure that resulted in the young center scoring his eighth goal of the season. Then, with a little over five minutes to play in the first period, Zac Rinaldo sent a hard slap shot to the net. The rebound ended up back on Rinaldo’s stick. The Canadien’s defense horribly misplayed the puck and Rinaldo put it through the legs of Budaj. Even though the shots were even at nine at the end of the period, the Flyers controlled play. They went into the first intermission leading 2-0.
The Flyers played a solid second period. Near the halfway point in the period, Andrej Meszaros led a rush down the left wing and made a nifty move to get the puck on net. Raffl put the rebound past Budaj to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead. About five minutes later Zac Rinaldo fought Brandon Prust. The fight seemed to tilt the ice towards Steve Mason for the rest of the period. The Flyers allowed a shorthanded goal with 2:23 remaining in the second. As the period ended, a scrum involving Chris Vandevelde, Sean Couturier, and PK Subban ensued. Subban threw a jab at Couturier that resulted in a roughing minor. The Flyers headed into the third period on a power play. At the end of the period the Flyers were leading 3-1 and ahead in shots 21-15.
The third period was not terribly exciting, but the Flyers executed their game plan. They only allowed five shots on goal during the period and continued to fore-check the Canadien’s defensemen. There were a few good scoring chances, most notably Scott Hartnell hitting the post on a 2on1, but both goalies were equal to every test. The Flyers won the game, 3-1.
-Andrej Meszaros had three assists tonight and was the first star of the game. Can Slovakia name him to their Olympic team every week?
-Going with the trend of unexpected events, Zac Rinaldo scored a goal. He also led the Flyers in shots with 4, all of which came in the first period.
-PK Subban was benched for the first half of the third period for his dumb penalty. I hope that puts more strain on his relationship with his coach. I would love nothing more than to see him traded to Philadelphia, despite the constant boos our fans throw at him. I know, it’ll never happen. Back to reality now.
-Sean Couturier had a great game. He scored a goal and led the team in ice time (22:38). He spent 4:07 on the power play and 4:40 on the penalty kill, doing all of the little things right.
-Steve Mason stopped 19 of 20 shots. He was not spectacular, but he did not have to be. He did what he needed to do and the Flyers won. I like it.
-The Flyers penalty killing unit is red hot. They have killed off the last 19 power plays.
-Speaking of streaks, the Flyers have now won 10 straight home games. They are also 8-2-0 in their last 10 games, sitting in second place in the Metropolitan Division.