The Philadelphia Flyers headed to the Bell Center on Saturday to face the Montreal Canadiens. The Flyers were coming off a disappointing 5-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Friday where they blew a two goal lead. Back-up goaltender Brian Boucher would get the start for the Broad Street Bullies on Saturday after Ilya Bryzgalov gave up 4 goals the night before. Boucher would make his first start since last April and was looking to prove he could still play at the NHL level. The Flyers recalled Boucher from their farm team the Adirondack Phantoms in February when Michael Leighton went down with injury. There was some question on whether or not defenseman Kimmo Timonen would play after he suffered an injury during the second period of the game against the Devils. He would be good to go for the Flyers on Saturday as the team took on the Habs on Hockey Night in Canada.
It was a typical start for the Philadelphia Flyers against the Montreal Canadiens. It took around 9 minutes for Brendan Gallagher to put the Habs on the scoreboard. After Max Pacioretty made a couple nice moves to get into the zone, he would get the puck to the Montreal rookie who would bury a wrist shot by Boucher. It was Gallagher’s 5th goal of the year and Flyers fan should note that the youngster has two more goals than Flyers captain Claude Giroux .The visitors were outplayed badly in the first period and they were outshot 12-2 by the Habs. Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek were the only Flyers players to put the puck on Peter Budaj. The men in orange also took three minor penalties but Montreal failed to capitalize.
The second period did not start the way the Flyers needed it to. The Canadiens would strike just a minute and fifteen seconds into the middle frame. After Max Pacioretty made a nice play to drive to the net, youngster Brendan Gallagher would get the puck to the slot where an incoming David Desharnais would tuck the puck by Boucher. The Flyers would get an opportunity to even the score when P.K Subban took a penalty that sent the Flyers power-play to work. Unfortunately, the Flyers couldn’t get one by Budaj. It wasn’t a strong period by the visitors but they would tally before the second frame came to a close. Jakub Voracek would center to Daniel Briere who was backdoor to bury the puck by Budaj. It was his third goal of the year and a much needed one at that as the Flyers were having a hard time getting anything going. The Canadians took 4 penalties in the second period but the Flyers couldn’t make them pay. The Broad Street Bullies may have scored in the second period but they were still being outshot 18-9 heading in to the final frame.
About 5 minutes into the final frame, the Habs would extend their lead to two. Tomas Plekanec buried a rebound to give the Canadiens a two goal lead in the game. Braydon Coburn blocked the original attempt but Plekanec jumped right on the rebound and put it by Boucher who was down and out from the original shot. It was Plekanec’s 7th goal of the year as he seems to be having himself a nice rebound year. The Flyers wouldn’t be able to muster anything before time expired while Rene Bourque would score an empty net goal for the home team to ensure a 4-1 victory.
It was a pretty brutal effort by the Flyers and if fans weren’t worrying before, they probably are now. Philly now falls to 6-9-1 on the year and is currently sitting in 12th place in the Eastern Conference. Daniel Briere scored the lone Flyer goal on Saturday.