Last night the Philadelphia Flyers had a huge upset, as they put down the Montreal Canadiens 7-3. The Canadiens have already clinched a playoff spot but are developing a losing streak late in the season as they also lost to Tronoto on Saturday 5-1. The Canadiens are a very good team this season but are currently playing awful and the Flyers were able to use that to their advantage. Scott Hartnell blazed onto the scene last night scoring 3 goals; a veteran hockey player who has been struggling lately and lost his spot on the top line, he played great last night. For a team who hasn’t played much of a full hockey game all season, they brought the heat keeping a 2 point lead for much of the game.
The Flyers started their push right at puck drop in the first period and came into this game ready to score. Simmonds got his team on the board in the first three minutes of play as he took a shot on goal, stayed at the net for the rebound and shot it right in past goaltender Carey Price. Price has had his struggles lately and the Flyers pushed hard against him last night in a rapid succession of shots against goal. Erik Gustafsson took hold of a 2 point lead for the Flyers five minutes in as he succeeded with another shot against Price. It did not take long for the Flyers to get going last night and the Canadiens looked as if they were half asleep on the ice, not skating nearly as fast as previously. The Canadiens finally got a power play in the last five minutes of the first period and were able to score in the 5 hole on Ilya Bryzgalov as they tried to bridge the gap, 2-1. The Flyers played amazing in the first period, out shooting the Canadiens 17-8.
The Canadiens came into the second period last night looking for some redemption, tying the score at 2-2. The Flyers answered that with a score by Voracek, claiming the lead once again 3-2, the Flyers were playing a hockey game last night!! Then Claude Giroux assisted in Hartnell’s one timer that reclaimed the 2 point lead on the Canadiens 4-2 and the Flyers seemed unstoppable. As the Canadiens struggled to push from behind they scored again but made the mistake of leaving Giroux alone with the puck and he ripped one scoring 5-3. Hartnell, the MVP of this game scored again, commanding a lead of 6-3 for the Flyers. At the end of the 2nd period, Hartnell had already helped to determine this game for the Flyers.
Going into the 3rd period the Canadiens still were not playing a tight game, they had switched out goaltenders and with a lot of ice to cover the Canadiens would never catch up. Hats off to Hartnell, literally, as he banked a hat trick advancing the Flyers lead 7-3. Good night Montreal -- as the Flyers won the series over the Canadiens for this season.
Last night the Flyers out shot the Canadiens 33-28, held a lead for the majority of the game never giving the Canadiens a chance to lead and they ended their game victoriously. The Canadiens played a really soft game last night and the Flyers chased Price right out of the net. Hartnell had a great game last night and Voracek has had a great season. Where has this team been all season? Though Danny Briere was not astonishing last night in his second game as he returns from injury, he did have contributions to the team efforts and there still is hope that the old Briere will return soon. This game was not without casualties. A new addition to the injured list, Kent Huskins suffered a concussion at the shoulder of Ryan White who now has a hearing with the NHL in light of the incident. Kurtis Foster came to the aid of fallen teammate Huskins, jumping White and was kicked out of the game early in the 2nd period. Oliver Lauridsen has racked up two more minor penalties in this game making his total, 7 minor penalties in 9 games. Last night these two teams were increasingly physical as the game developed – putting the Flyers in the box often. If the Flyers can finish the season at this same rate of intensity it would be a feat, this is the time for the players to shine. While they might not have a chance at a playoff spot, if they want a spot on the team next season they have to keep playing hard. As the game progressed and the Flyers lead grew, it was hard to absorb what was happening; the Flyers blew the Canadiens out of the water last night. The Flyers are currently in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, 4 places and 7 points behind the New York Rangers who they face tonight on home ice.