Tonight we get a reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, as the Montreal Canadiens host the Philadelphia Flyers with no fans in attendance. Looks like someone may have thrown out those seat covers they used in the post-season two years ao, though....
- Those pings off the posts are even louder with no Montrealers to muffle the sound.
- Now for a Caufield-Hoffman power play. The Habs were perhaps a bit too intent on setting them up rather than playing what was available, but it was nearly two minutes spent in the offensive zone.
- The lower-skill players step onto the ice after the man advantage expired, and they return to basics. A pass along the blue line from Alexander Romanov, a shot toward the net from Brett Kulak, a screen/tip from Artturi Lehkonen, and it’s 1-0 for the home side.
- Chiarot’s turn to join the iron choir. That’s now six posts in the last four periods.
- Seven minutes left, Canadiens with 13 shots on net (and two off of it).
- Another power play, and now Caufield is getting room to get his shot off. He missed two, but he does need some practice again.
- Lots of shots blocker side on Carter Hart. The accuracy isn’t there just yet, but the total reads 19 on target in the opening frame.
- We pick up in the second where we left off in the first, with pressure from Montreal right away.
- The Flyers get their first zone time of the night in Montreal’s end, and it’s a goal for some guy named Max Willman.
- Another shot for Caufield. This one ends up in Hart’s glove as he shoots it back in the direction the pass came. He’s going to miss the goaltender but hit the mesh at some point.
- Caufield is still feeling it, and Lehkonen is having fun setting him up for shots. It’s a surprisingly effective duo.
- Maybe Caufield is waiting to open the floodgates on Saturday (if the games are still being played then). Despite the lack of production, his confidence isn’t waning.
- Nick Suzuki isn’t happy with how he’s being handled in the offensive zone. Still pestered on his way out, he does a little mid-air spin to get clear of a hook. Multi-talented that guy.
- Another defensive breakdown leaves Keith Yandle with an open look on a power play, but Cayden Primeau comes six feet out of his crease to face him and calmly glove the chance.
- Another great save from him on a dangerous look, after the latest chances from Caufield and Lehkonen. I think we have the three stars of the game right there.
- And now a last-minute goal of course to put the Flyers on top from some guy named Jackson Cates. Jeff Petry’s attempt to cut a transition play instead leads to a two-on-one against.
- Two errors, two goals against. That’s how the season goes.
- Flyers have a lot more control in this period than the previous two, but there’s nothing particularly dangerous in the opening minutes.
- No need to make things difficult on yourself, Cayden. He makes a nice toe save following his giveaway right into the slot, however.
- More looks for Caufield and Lehkonen, then Drouin and Suzuki right in the slot, but there’s no second goal.
- Decent try from Ylönen from 20 feet as well. The puck just doesn’t seem to want to go in.
- A little AHL effort in front of the net earns Laurent Dauphin his first NHL goal in five years, tying the game.
- Montreal is desperately hanging on for a point in the final two minutes.
- A point!
- Ping. (That’s seven now this week.)
- Coruturier gets a shot off. Primeau stops it. Couturier goes fishing for it. Ben Chiarot shoves Couturier into the net. It’s a Montreal penalty kill.
- The penalty kill survives, and Chiarot gets a chance out of the box. Hart stops it, but it nearly punched a hole in him.
- So Primeau is no Carey Price handling the puck. But once again he saves his own bacon. (It was a hand pass, though).
- The teams couldn’t decide this one, so now it’s up to individual players.
- So Caufield has to take one of these. The coaches are deliberating.
- Drouin first. Skates slow, shoots fast. A 1-0 lead for the Habs.
- Primeau doesn’t get fooled by any dekes from Couturier.
- Here’s Caufield. Missed. So four goals on Saturday for him it is.
- Giroux tries to outwait Primeau. He stands like a statue and makes the save.
- Hoffman to win it. Stopped by Hart’s pad.
- Atkinson tries to deke Primeau. He stays right with it and gets his toe on it to seal the win.
- And in typical 2021-22 fashion, Primeau is hurt, holding his left hip as he exits the ice.
EOTP 3 Stars
3) Too bad. They missed a pretty good one
1) Someone sign Mrs. Plec up with an account