Picture Courtesy of NHL.com
Tonight, marked the third and final meeting between the Philadelphia Flyers (34-19-10) and the Montreal Canadiens (23-29-10). The Flyers having won the previous two matchups, looks to sweep the Canadiens playing for the first time in Montreal this season. The Flyers come into this game 9-0-2 in their last 11 games and 1 point out of 1st place in the Metropolitan Division. Philadelphia is looking to make it 6 straight wins while they continue their climb in the standings. The Flyers had Petr Mrazek starting his 3rd game in a row in between the pipes, looking to continue his win streak since being traded to Philadelphia. The Canadiens had Charlie Lindgren start in goal.
The Flyers looked to start this game on the offensive and though there wasn’t any goals scored the Flyers poured the shots on early. Not only that, the game started with some fireworks. 31 seconds into the game Max Pacioretty tripped Travis Konecny and Shayne Gostisbehere went to the offensive. Gostisbehere went after Pacioretty but, it resulted in a 2-minute roughing minor for the both players. It gave the Flyers and early powerplay. However, they were unsuccessful in the early attempt. The period ended with a shot total of 10-3 in favor of the Flyers and a 0-0 score.
The 2nd period, which is supposed to be the Flyers’ period, was a little sloppy and the Canadiens showed some life throughout the period. A goalless tie always makes you hold your breath no matter what happens. At 6:33 into the period, Jacob De La Rose had an interference penalty against Claude Giroux, which gave the Flyers their second powerplay of the night. Again, they came up short on the powerplay. As the period went on both teams had great chances but, for every chance had, Mrazek and Lindgren were there to steal the opportunity. Then at 14:35, Ivan Provorov tripped Noah Juulsen to give the Canadiens their only powerplay of the game. At this point, it’s a 0-0 game and now the Flyers must kill a powerplay. Every opportunity that the Canadiens had, and on the powerplay they had their chances, Mrazek was there to answer the call. They held the Canadiens and kept the game a scoreless game. The period ended with a shot total of 15-8 in favor of the Canadiens.
As the 3rd period started both teams were trying to figure out the other teams’ goalie because they were shutting everything down. Just like the first two periods it was opportunity after opportunity, chance after chance and no one could find the back of the net. Then at 13:35, the Flyers had another chance on the powerplay as Jonathan Drouin tripped Jakub Voracek to give them another man advantage. As they continued to throw the puck at the net, again they could not score. The 3rd period ended scoreless and a shot total of 10-4 in favor of the Flyers.
After not being able to end it in regulation the game would then move to overtime. But, bringing the game to overtime gave the Flyers at least 1 point and that 1 point put the Flyers in a tie with the Capitals for the 1st place position in the Metropolitan Division. So, that extra point out there for grabs was that much more important to the Flyers. Going into the overtime period the Flyers are 8-5, the Canadiens are 3-5. So, the advantage was on the Flyers side. The beginning of the period saw the Canadiens have control of the puck in the Flyers’ zone. They had possession for a good chunk of the period and didn’t let the Flyers get a line change. A combination of tired players and good possession by the Canadiens it looked like a loss for the Flyers. However, Mrazek once again came to the aide of the Flyers and stopped whatever the Canadiens threw at him. Until the Flyers were able to clear the puck and get the change they so desperately needed. Towards the end of the period Konecny almost ended the game with a beautiful combination of moves, shot the puck and it hit the post. After a few more shots from both teams the period ended. The shot total was 6-5 in favor of the Canadiens for a game total of 33-28 in favor of the Flyers. Scoreless in the overtime period the two teams would then head to the shootout to decide the game. The results of the shootout were as followed:
Round 1: Round 4:
MTL Alex Galchenyuk- MISS MTL Artturi Lehkonen- SAVE
PHI Claude Giroux- SAVE PHI Jordan Weal- SAVE
Round 2: Round 5:
MTL Paul Byron- GOAL MTL Charles Hudon- SAVE
PHI Nolan Patrick- MISS PHI Travis Konecny- SAVE
Round 3: Round 6:
MTL Jonathan Drouin- MISS MTL David Schlemko- SAVE
PHI Jakub Voracek- GOAL PHI Sean Couturier- GOAL
The Flyers won the game 1-0 in the shootout. For the second game in a row vs Montreal it was Jakub Voracek who started the scoring by walking in on goal and just simply shooting the puck past Lindgren. Followed up my Sean Couturier doing almost the exact same thing but, threading the needle to put the puck past him. Although the shootouts are exciting but, for Flyers’ fans aggravating and nerve racking the goalies stole the show. Now, when I say, “stole the show,” that being a complete under exaggeration of the game tonight both, Petr Mrazek and Charlie Lindgren played on top of their heads. It was one of the best goalie performances I’ve seen all year. There was a reason it was a scoreless game and these two deserve high praise for the game tonight.
The Flyers have now won 6 straight and are 10-0-1 in their last 11 games. Petr Mrazek, since being traded from Detroit, is 3-0 as a Flyer with tonight being his 1st shutout in the orange and black. With the Columbus Blue Jackets (32-26-5) defeating the Washington Capitals (35-21-7) 5-1, the Flyers now have sole possession of 1st place in the Metropolitan Division. With 19 games left, the Flyers look to continue this impressive winning streak and build a space between them and everyone else. The Flyers next game is on Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes (27-25-10). Will the winning streak continue? Can the Flyers keep the 1st place spot heading into the playoffs? Tune in on Thursday and find out!
Lead NHL and Philadelphia Flyers Content Contributor