The Habs came out strong on Monday night but were unable to seal the deal,
blowing a 2 goal lead to fall 3-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers. Maxim
Lapierre gave Montreal an early 2-0 lead with a pair of 1st period tallies and
nearly hat a natural hat trick hitting the post shortly before the period ended.
However, things went downhill from there as the Flyers peppered Carey Price with
36 shots after the 1st.
Ville Leino got Philadelphia on the board in the latter stages of the 2nd,
while Claude Giroux tied it early in the 3rd. James van Riemsdyk’s first
goal of the season proved to be the winner, as a last gasp effort by the Habs
fell short. Brian Boucher got the win for the Flyers stopping 29 of 31
shots while Price was the hard luck loser, turning aside 42 of 45 shots.
HW 3 Stars of the Night:
1st Star: Carey Price (42 saves on 45 shots, 59:04 TOI, 3.05
GAA, .933 SV%)
This game easily would have been a lot worse if not for him. When the Habs
were sleepwalking (which accounted for about 2/3 of the game), he kept them in
it. There are games when a goalie costs you a loss, this clearly wasn’t
one of them.
2nd Star: Maxim Lapierre (2 goals, even rating, 6 shots, 2
hits, 11:55 TOI)
They may not have been the prettiest of goals but it didn’t matter for him or
the Habs. He was aggressive all night and generated lots of chances beyond
his goals. Playing on a checking line seemed to do him wonders, even more
of a reason why checkers shouldn’t play on scoring lines.
3rd Star: Jeff Halpern (2 assists, even rating, 6/11 faceoffs,
Halpern’s offensive surge (well, maybe not a surge, perhaps that’s stretching
it) continued tonight as he (and Benoit Pouliot) set up both of Lapierre’s
goals. I gave him the edge over Pouliot as he was the only Hab tonight to
win over 50% of his faceoffs – the team collectively was below 40%.
Honourable Mention: P.K. Subban (0 points, even rating, 4 hits,
2 blocks, 19:10 TOI)
He had a bull’s-eye on tonight and to his credit, it didn’t affect his game one
bit. He was his usual aggressive (and chirpy) self and just happened to
lead the team in hits as well. That’s one way to stand up for yourself.
Stats of the Night: Speaking of hits, the Habs actually out hit
the Flyers 22-21. Considering the Habs’ usual home statistician bias
wasn’t in effect tonight, that’s really saying something. Only 2 Montreal
d-men played over 20 minutes tonight, Roman Hamrlik (23:16) and Jaroslav Spacek
(20:03), this bodes well for keeping the blueline fresh when there’s still 3
games remaining over the next 5 days.