Although both the Canadiens and Flyers each scored a pair of power play goals the Habs once again emerged on top of a game earning their fifth consecutive victory thanks to a short handed goal from Mike Johnson. Johnson scored with just 49 seconds remaining in the second period. Johnson’s goal was his first in seven games and was the Canadiens league leading tenth short handed goal.
The first period was a very sloppy one for the Flyers as they were whistled for six minor penalty’s. Guillaume Latendresse opened the scoring while the Canadiens were on a two man advantage, Sergei Samsonov and Andrei Markov set up the goal. Craig Rivet followed up just over a minute later as he worked the give and go with Michael Ryder. The period ended with the Habs out shooting the Flyers 18-8.
Both teams played a very boring passive second period which worked out well the Flyers. Philadelphia scored on two of their three power play opportunities during the second. Mike Knuble tucked in a rebound passed Aebischer breaking his shutout bid 5:41 into the second. Simon Gagne and Alexei Zhitnik picked up assists on Knubles 14th of the seasons. Garth Murray and Ben Eager dropped the mitts in the games 28th minute. No doubt Murray made this decision in fear of losing his roster spot in the very near future to Maxim Lapierre who was returned to Hamilton after scoring four points in his only four games with the Canadiens this season.
Chris Higgins scored his 11th goal of the year after collecting his own rebound and burring it in the cage left vacant by Antero Niittymaki who was otherwise spectacular throughout the game.
Game Notes: The Flyers remain looking for answers as the continue their franchise worst losing streak and now find them selves 12 points behind the 14th place Panthers and 17 points out of the playoffs. The Canadiens gained no ground on the conference leading Sabres who also won last night thumping the Nashville Predators 7-2. Boston also kept pace with the Canadiens shutting out the Vancouver Canucks despite being out shot 14-0 in the third period. The Habs will hook up with the Bruins Saturday night in Boston. Mathieu Dandenault missed his second game with a hand injury.
1. Andrei Markov- picked up 2 assists and was dominate in the defensive zone during five on five play.
2.Saku Koivu- assisted on Higgins goal and won 18 of his 23 face-offs.
3. Antero Niittymaki- made 33 saves while shutting down a plethora of odd man rushes.
1.Andrei Markov – is currently riding a three game assist streak , he has six assists during the three games.
2. Craig Rivet- was a +2 for the fourth time this season and is now just a -1 on the season.
3. The Philadelphia Flyers are now 0-8-3 without Forsberg in the line-up thankfully for them he expects to play later this weekend against the Senators.
4. For just the ninth time this season the Canadiens out shot their opponents. The Habs allow the second most shots per game in the NHL only Washington allows more.