Game Day Flyers / Canadiens
The Flyers are coming off a huge 3-2 win last night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, snapping the Pens 12 game win streak. With that with the Flyers took over first place in the league.
The Canadiens are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Toronto maple Leafs, and to make matters worse Hab fans got to see something they have never seen before , their team lose in 3-D.
The last time these two teams met was on Nov. 22 in Philly a game in which the Flyers won 3-2. The Habs Maxim Lapierre would score two first period goals while the Flyers Ville Leino added one in the second and Claude Giroux and JVR added goals in the third to complete the comeback win.
Despite the Flyers winning the last three out of five meetings, the Habs are 12-4 in the last 16 meetings between these two teams.With that win against the Pens the Flyers are first in the league in the standings while the Habs are in seventh place.
The Flyers have dropped to second place in goals for at 3.34 behind the Avalanche who has 3.53, meanwhile the Habs sit at the 18th spot with 2.60 goals per game.
The Habs who average 2.03 goal against trail only the Boston Bruins who are tops in the league with 1.89 while the Flyers fall in at the number five spot with 2.34.
With Vancouver leading the league in power play percentage wit a 25% success rate, the Habs fair better than the Flyers coming in at the 12th spot with a 17.6% success rate while the Flyers show up at the 17th spot with a 16.2% success rate.
In their last three games the Habs have only managed one power play goal,while the Flyers notched two power play goals in their last three games.On the penalty kill Montreal is at the top of the league with a kill rate of 89.3% while the Flyers come in at the 14th spot with an 82.8% kill rate.
In The Nets
With the Flyers putting Matt Walker on LTIR last night, the Flyers now are carrying three goaltenders on the active roster. Laviolette has been pretty secretive when it comes to announcing his starter from the very first game when he surprised everyone when he gave rookie Sergei Bobrovsky his first career start against the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins.
That being said he now has three to choose from.You can look at it as Bobrovsky tonight because of the back to back games and he has been rested.On the other hand Boucher could see another start as he is on a roll and the Flyers can use this run to showcase him for a future trade.
One thing that would be a shocker is if Leighton got the nod, but you never know. I think the Flyers goal-tending looks much better because of the new defense they put together this off-season. The big decision for management is who do you want to keep between Leighton and Boosh ?
Montreal will go with Carey Price who has a career record of 6-2 versus the Flyers with two shutouts both at home.When facing the Flyers at the Bell Centre in the regular season Price is 3-0 turning away 89 of 90 shots.
The last two games the Flyers have played at a high level mainly because of their opponents were Boston and Pittsburgh, two teams playing great right now. The Flyers always match the play of their competition whether team is good or bad.
Expect the Flyers to put up another good effort tonight against the Habs despite this being the second game of a back to back. Don't forget the bad blood between these two teams especially Subban and Richards. Much has happened since Richards spoke to the press about Subban.
Mike Richards has been playing solid hockey and is showing up at key moments of the game like the OT winner against Boston. Subban on the other hand has been a healthy scratch three consecutive games since the Richards verbal bashing. He has not been the same player when he came back from the benching.
The Flyers will have to approach this game like they did last night and take the body early. The Habs are speedy and they need to be slowed through the neutral zone.Unlike last night the Flyers need to capitalize on their scoring chances whether that be on the power play or at even strength.
Last night the Flyers scored on the power play once on six tries and missed two open net sure goals, one by Andreas Nodl and the other by "Look who Fell" Scotty Hartnell. That enabled the Pens to hang around long enough to get their own opportunities to take the game over.The Flyers managed to hold on but expelled much energy holding off the Pens offensive zone pressure.
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