Habs Host Skidding Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers (17-21-3) at Montreal Canadiens (26-10-5)
Belle Centre -- Montreal, QC, Canada
7:30 pm -- Comcast Sportsnet and 93.3 FM WMMR
Setting the Stage
Montreal is looking to lock up the second seed in the playoffs despite having Boston on their backs with only a point separating the teams. The Flyers, on the other-hand, are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs after having a miserable season.
This is the final of three meetings between the two teams. They split the first two games, winning in their respective home arenas. Montreal won 4-1 back on February 16 and the Flyers took the other game, 5-3, earlier this month on April 3.
The Flyers are currently on a four-game losing streak, having scored just three goals during the skid and are being out-scored 12-3 in those games. They were shut-out on Saturday.
What to Expect
Montreal's point leader shockingly comes from the blue line. P.K. Subban has a team-high23 assists. Combined with 11 goals he's leading the Habs with 34 points, which leads NHL defensemen. His 11 goals is also a league-high among his position.
The Flyers PK has been red-hot, allowing just one goals in the last 15 chances it surrendered. They're 6th in the league with a 84.6% success rate. They're also third in power play (22.2%), making them the only team in the NHL to be in the top six of both categories. Montreal boasts the fourth best power play (21.9%), making this an interesting special teams match-up.
The Masked Men
The Flyers could go with either goalie tonight. With Steve Mason playing a great game on Saturday, he and Ilya Bryzgalov will likely share duties with the Flyers having a game tonight and tomorrow night. With playoffs likely out of reach, expect to see more of Mason in the final seven games.
Montreal will likely roll with Carey Price. He's been steady for them all season and they're still playing meaningful games. Price is 19-9-4 with a 2.36 GAA and .912 save percentage. His 19 wins are fifth most in the NHL.
Keys to the Game
1. Score First. Montreal has scored first in 28 of the 41 games they've played this season. They Flyers have done so in 20. They need to set the tone against this Habs team because they are tenacious and won't give up all game.
2. 60 Minutes. It's been nearly two weeks since the Flyers last played for 60 minutes. The main reason they are on this skid is because of that.
3. Just play. Scott Hartnell said it yesterday. They can't keep worrying about other teams. They just need to go out there, play their game and prove to themselves that the players they do have can get the job done.
“There's still a learning curve, obviously. But there's things that I still want to improve upon. But the start so far, with the exception of not getting the wins, I've been comfortable with. I'm really enjoying it here. The guys are great. I'm just really looking forward to being here into next season.” -- Goaltender Steve Mason.