The Montreal Canadiens extended their losing streak to seven games as they fell to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
The Flyers hit the ground running in the first period, taking a commanding 2-0 lead due to great efforts by James Van Riemsdyk and Ivan Provorov. The Flyers applied strong pressure to start the game, causing the Canadiens to commit a high quantity of turnovers and mental mistakes, which helped them maintain possession for most of the first frame.
The Montreal Canadiens were able to start what looked like the beginning of a comeback when Mike Hoffman buried a loose puck in front of the net at the end of the first period. Jake Evans would then deflect a Jeff Petry point shot five minutes into the second to tie the game for the Canadiens and bring both struggling teams to the same level, but that was as close as the game would get.
Oscar Lindblom quickly gave the lead back to the Flyers over a minute later with a lucky deflected shot that got by Carey Price. The Flyers would add a fourth goal before the end of the second period, giving them a commanding 4-2 lead heading into the final frame.
Things didn’t get better for the Canadiens in the third period, as Morgan Frost and James Van Riemsdyk would add two more goals for the Flyers to ensure it was Philadelphia that would break its six-game losing streak on Thursday night. However, Cole Caufield wanted to give the fans something to go home happy with and quickly potted his 19th goal of the season with just a few minutes left in the game.
Martin Jones was effective in his net tonight for the Philadelphia Flyers, pushing aside 31 of 34 shots en route to the 6-3 victory. The Flyers netminder was able to make the big saves when it counted for the Flyers and gave his club a chance to win, especially in the third period, where the Flyers have struggled all season. The veteran goaltender was able to power through a lot of traffic in front of his net and made good lateral movements.
Here’s your MHN Postgame Poutine:
GOLD STAR: James Van Riemsdyk: JVR was a force for the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, potting two goals and one assist while being physically involved in the play and setting the tone early for his club. The veteran winger was noticeably engaged from the moment he touched the ice and moved up the ice with great speed. He used his precise and deadly shot when he had the time and space, which helped him secure his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season and was an instrumental piece in the Flyers’ victory tonight.
Mike inscrit les Canadiens au tableau indicateur!
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 21, 2022
TABARNAK: Gallagher Hand Pass: There was a major controversy during the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers game on Thursday night. On the Canadiens’ first goal of the game, Brendan Gallagher made a hand pass toward Mike Hoffman. The scoring forward just had to tap into the net. To the confusion of many, the referees and the Philadelphia Flyers coaching staff deliberated for over a minute before the puck was dropped and the goal was officially announced. The referees told the Flyers they could not challenge the play, despite the rule having changed in 2019 due to the Erik Karlsson incident.
TURNING POINT: Lindblom Gives The Flyers The Lead For Good: The Montreal Canadiens had just tied the game off a nice deflection goal from Jake Evans, but the Flyers would answer back just over a minute later. Oscar Lindblom came down the left circle at full speed and took a shot that deflected in front of Price and founds it’s way in, giving the Flyers a lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the game.
Evans dans la zone payante pour une redirection!
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 22, 2022
HONORABLE MENTION: Jeff Petry: The Jeff Petry of seasons past showed up to play the Flyers, as the veteran defenceman was the most active and effective player on the ice all night for the Montreal Canadiens. He was skating hard all game, covering a lot of ice and playing with speed; setting up his teammates for over five seperate scoring chances. He was shooting much more during this game, which resulted in an important assist on the Jake Evans deflection goal that would help the Canadiens tie the game.
BY THE NUMBERS: Here’s how the Montreal Canadiens lined up Thursday night:
Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki–Josh Anderson
Mike Hoffman-Christian Dvorak-Brendan Gallagher
Rem Pitlick-Jake Evans-Rafaël HArvey-Pinard
Mathieu Perreault-Ryan Poehling-Tyler Pitlick
Alexander Romanov-David Savard
Joel Edmundson-Jeff Petry
Kale Clague-Chris Wideman
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Obviously I knew what I did. I knew we got away with one.” – Brendan Gallagher on his hand pass to Mike Hoffman