Flyers Pounded In Montreal, 5-1
The Philadelphia Flyers went into Wednesday night’s game with a chance to add to the Montreal Canadiens troubles.
Montreal fired assistant coach Perry Pearn before the contest, and with a winless home record they looked ripe for the picking.
Philadelphia started with the look of another opponent that would send Montreal’s diehard fans into frenzy. With Jaromir Jagr’s third goal in two games, the Flyers took a 1-0 lead with 9:17 remaining in the first.
The period showed the potential of the young Flyers.
With an aggressive forecheck, they forced Montreal’s defense into committing turnovers. With a 1-0 lead and clear control of play, Philadelphia looked to be on the brink of a runaway.
Instead, a late interference penalty by Andreas Lilja sent the Habs to the power play.
Montreal would take advantage of the opportunity.
After a failed clearing attempt by Kimmo Timonen, Yannick Weber rifled a shot past Ilya Bryzgalov. Defenseman Andrej Meszaros provided an unintentional screen on the shot.
The goal came with two seconds remaining in the period and would prove to be the momentum shift the Flyers hoped to avoid.
Montreal controlled play in the second period, and the Flyers carelessness with the puck helped pave the way for their first home win.
With 9:34 remaining in the second, Andrei Kostitsyn scored out of a scramble in front of the net to make the score 2-1.
Less than three minutes later, Max Pacioretty found a deflection and easily moved the score to 3-1.
With the Bell Centre crowd roaring, the Flyers took the ice in the third looking to climb back in it.
But, Pacioretty had other plans.
After losing a faceoff in the defensive zone, the Flyers defense was no where to be found. Pacioretty moved to the net untouched and rammed home a rebound to put the game out of reach.
Mike Cammelleri would tack on another goal for a 5-1 final.
Philadelphia’s defense looked lost throughout the game’s final 40 minutes. Without Chris Pronger, they lacked the calming presence they’ve grown accustomed to having.
Coach Peter Laviolette opted to roll four defensemen while mixing Lilja and Matt Walker into the pairings. Both were remarkably ineffective in their ice time. Walker was especially woeful, logging just 7:04 and finishing with a -1 rating.
For all the problems the defense had in Montreal, the offense certainly put them in less than ideal circumstances.
Too many times the Flyers needlessly turned the puck over in their own zone. Lazy passes and poor decision-making fueled many of the team’s weakest plays.
Coming into Wednesday’s game the Canadiens were discombobulated. The Flyers looked like they may be on their way to consistency. After the game, the skates were on the other feet.
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