Game 9 Recap: Habs Break The Slump With 5-1 Win Over Flyers
So maybe Perry Pearn was the problem after all! Yeah that was it. I'd be more convinced that it was Carey Price's pink pads that were the problem. Or maybe it was the play of the indestructible Max Pacioretty that did the trick.
Whatever it was, the Montreal Canadiens finally won at the Bell Centre with a 5-1 thumping of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Despite the score, it was not a perfect opening for the Canadiens, who played a sloppy and stagnant opening 20 minutes. Fortunately for them the visitors chocked up just one tally at 10:43. A breakdown in the Habs defensive zone led to Jaromir Jagr 's third goal of the season, when he one-timed a cross ice feed by Matt Carle after a shift of total dominance by the Flyers.
The Flyers dominated the rest of the period, and the Canadiens had a brutal time clearing their zone. The Bell Centre fans made their thoughts known with hails of boos throughout. At one point I was sure I saw Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov have to put down his Kindle to finally make a save.
The Habs faithful had their patience rewarded, on a late power play, when Yannick Weber blasted a point shot in with three seconds remaining.
After that, things got a lot better.
We certainly know that Pearn was not in the dressing groom to rally the defense or the power play, so it was just momentum or words of encouragement from Jacques Martin...
The Canadiens came out strong in the second period, and the line of David Desharnais, Erik Cole and Mike Cammalleri started getting their opportunities on Bryzgalov. Fortunately for the Flyers, their netminder kept the opposition in check.
Finally, at 10:46, the pressure got to the Flyers. One thing that Andrei Kostitsyn is always critiqued for is not going to the net. The Belorussian did just that. While his shot attempt was a whiff, his momentum bounced the puck off his right leg and through Bryzgalov.
Just over two minutes later, Pacioretty, who has ligament damage in his wrist, found an opening and a redirected puck for his third goal of the season.
The third period was almost a reverse of the first 20 minutes. The Flyers defense clearly showed the loss of Chris Pronger, and simply could not keep it together.
Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec both crashed the net, on a complete Flyers coverage lapse, leading to Pacioretty's second goal of the night at 3:16 of the third.
The Desharnais line finally got on the scoreboard when the Canadiens center fed Cammalleri, from behind the net, for his third of the season, with the second assist going to Erik Cole at 15:36 to close out the scoring.
So what does a team that's scoring do for their goalie? It builds his confidence 10-fold.
Despite a defensive breakdown by the Flyers, their offense still had several good opportunities. Price answered the call with a 21 save night, finally picking up the elusive 100th career win.
Quick question: How much more of Hal Gill can we take?
The Canadiens move to 2-5-2 and now face the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins (who are just 3-5-0) in a pair of games Thursday and Saturday. I'm expecting a lot of trash talk from some of the followers at Stanley Cup of Chowder. He's already started on their Twitter account.
Three Stars: 1. Max Pacioretty 2. Carey Price 3. Erik Cole.
The losing, yes losing, side of things at Broad Street Hockey
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