After a three game winning streak that saw the Flyers come back against the Hurricanes, Red Wings, and Islanders, Philadelphia couldn’t claw their way back in a 5-4 loss to the Canadiens on Saturday night. Playing just a day after losing 10-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal came out with energy and ultimately prevailed in an exciting match.
Andrei Markov scored the first goal less than two minutes in. His slap shot bounced past Michal Neuvirth. The Flyers challenged the goal on the grounds that David Desharnais made contact with Neuvirth’s glove and prevented him from making a save. The goal stood, however.
Despite the fast start from the home team, the Flyers recovered quickly. Chris VandeVelde scored a goal off the faceoff three minutes later, his second of the season, both coming just after he became a father earlier this week. At the eleven minute mark, Shayne Gostisbehere beat Carey Price right in front of the net to give the Flyers the lead. Michael Del Zotto, playing in his first game of the season, was credited with an assist on the goal.
That was a good play from Ghost. Unfortunately, less than a minute later he made a bad play. A failed clearing attempt resulted in a goal from Montreal’s Greg Pateryn, his first of the year. The game was tied entering the first intermission. While the Canadiens came out motivated to look better than they had the night before, they failed to fully capitalize on the energy.
In the second, the Flyers looked like the team with energy. The out-shot Montreal 15-3 in the second period. Despite the pressure, the only skater to find the back of the net in the 2nd was Alex Galchenyuk. He received a cross ice pass from Alex Radulov and buried it into an open net.
Galchenyuk’s late goal appeared to be a momentum shifter. Over four minutes into the final period, Phillip Danault scored on a pass from Torrey Mitchell, who successfully blocked the puck as Michal Neuvirth tried to clear it up the wall from behind his net. 4-2 Canadiens.
But if nothing else, the Flyer are resilient. After Andrew Shaw caught Gostisbehere with a high stick, Claude Giroux scored on the resulting double minor. But less than two minutes later on the same penalty, the Flyers surrendered a shorthanded goal. Jake Voracek was unable to keep a clearing attempt at the Canadien’s blue line. Tomas Plekanec was the first to reach the rolling puck and he slapped it through Neuvirth’s five hole to re-establish a two goal lead.
Travis Konecny re-directed a shot from Ivan Provorov to pull the Flyers within one with under four minutes to play, but that was as close as Philadelphia would get.
All in all, a frustrating result against Montreal, one of the best teams in hockey, playing with added motivation. The Flyers out shot the Canadiens 38-17 but their mistakes were often costly. The difference, much like their 2-1 loss in Montreal last Monday, was Carey Price. Although he allowed four goals, he was the steadiest player on Montreal all night. Neuvirth, starting his fourth straight game, was solid at times and shaky at other points. His turnover to Mitchell in the third period was especially troubling.
While they were unable to get the win, the Flyers have still competed very well in their two games with Montreal this season and they once again showed resilience in nearly coming back. They return home on Tuesday to face the Detroit Red Wings at 7.