Flyers drop first road game, lose 4-1 in Montreal

Image courtesy of Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images

There weren’t many positives for the Philadelphia Flyers to take away from their 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens tonight, as the offense and power play failed to show up for a second straight game. Carey Price denied 22 shots from Philly this evening for the Canadiens’ first win of the season, as Vincent Lecavalier was the only Flyer to find the back of the cage. Brendan Gallagher, Lars Eller, Brian Gionta, and Rene Bourque each had a goal and an assist, while Alex Galchenyuk recorded a pair of assists in Philadelphia’s second straight loss.

“At the end of two periods, it was pretty tight defensively,” Peter Laviolette said following the loss. “I just think if we play a cleaner game, we can roll the lines a little more, keep the flow and not wear out the penalty killers, and have certain guys sitting so long on the bench. Eventually, if you get enough opportunities on the power play, you will score.” Laviolette, who is considered to be the first coach who will be fired this season, saw his team drop to 0-2-0.

The only thing the Flyers or their faithful could point to as a cause for a loss that wasn’t due to the performance of their players would be a questionable call that happened in the opening frame. While the visitors trailed 1-0, it looked as though Matt Read had put home the game-tying tally. However, a quick whistle from the referees erased the goal and kept Montreal ahead. From that point on, it looked as though the Flyers had little fight.

In addition to the goal that was waived off, something that hurt the Flyers was their power play. The visitors went 1-for-5 with the man advantage, but the power-play goal didn’t come until it was 3-0 Montreal. With several chances to climb back into the game with the power play, Philly’s special team’s unit couldn’t help the team out. It also doesn’t help the Flyers can’t get anything going at even strength at the moment, as they have yet to score an even strength tally this season.

Unfortunately for Ray Emery, the stats look as though he played a poor game, which is not the case. Emery saved prevented several goals and had a lot of the game played in his end of the ice, as he denied 30 of 34 to at least give the Flyers a chance to win in what was a poor road showing.

The scoring opened halfway through the first period on a tally from Gionta. After Bourque worked his way behind Emery’s net from right to left, he threw a pass across the crease from just in front of the post to Emery’s left to Gionta, who was parked at the far post. The former New Jersey Devil couldn’t lift his first shot, but was able to grab the disc again and put enough on his second shot to get it over Emery’s sprawled out leg. Tomas Plekanec recorded the secondary assist on Gionta’s tally, as Montreal enjoyed a lead 8:10 into the tilt.

It remained 1-0 after 20 minutes, as the Canadiens produced a 9-7 shot advantage. Despite some heavy offensive pressure from Montreal in the middle frame, the score remained 1-0 and they entered the final period with an 18-15 shot advantage.

With a chance to steal the game entering the third down by just a goal after a poor 40 minutes, the Orange and Black were dealt a bad bounce to double their deficit.

A shot by Gallagher to Emery’s right went wide of the net and bounced off the boards towards the circle to Emery’s left. Eller managed to jump on the loose puck and find the back of the net before Philly’s goaltender was able to move over to his left to cover up the open cage. The unfortunate goal came just 12 ticks into the last period.

Montreal’s third goal came on a 5-on-3 advantage with exactly 15 minutes left in the competition. With Kimmo Timonen in the box for holding and Max Talbot in the sin bin for delaying the game for a violation at the dot, Nicklas Grossmann blocked a blast from P.K. Subban that resulted in the stay-at-home defenseman to lay on the ice for a few seconds. Galchenyuk grabbed the loose disc after the blocked shot and hit Gallagher right on the blade of his stick in the crease for the forward’s second of the season to make it 3-0 for the hosts.

A few minutes later, Lecavalier deposited his first goal as a member of the Flyers.

While on the man advantage, a Mark Streit shot from the point led to a rebound to Price’s left. Lecavalier was able to pounce on the puck about a foot above the goal line and put it home past a sprawling Price to make it a two-goal game with 10:47 left in regulation.

Any momentum that may have come from Lecavalier’s goal was killed by a Grossmann penalty just seven seconds later, as Bourque beat Emery from point blank uncontested with 57 seconds left in the game to finalize the score at 4-1.

“We gotta relax a little bit, every game is important,” Talbot said following the loss. “Tomorrow is a big game, but it is just three games into the season. Two games played already. Let’s just focus on [Carolina].” Philadelphia will take on the Hurricanes tomorrow at 5pm in Carolina.

Notes: In his first game against the Flyers since joining Montreal, Danny Briere had four PIMs in 13:56 TOI…Streit, the former Canadien, had an assist, three shots on net, a hit, and was minus-1 in 17:13 TOI…The Flyers are 2-for-12 on the power play after two games…Tonight was Zac Rinaldo’s 100th NHL game. He had six hits in 5:15 TOI. He has five goals and nine assists in his first 100 NHL games, as well as 317 PIMs…Emery saw his five-game regular season winning game snapped. His last loss came on March 29th, 2013…The trio of Kris Newbury, Hal Gill, and Erik Gustafsson were scratched for the Flyers tonight. Max Pacioretty and Nathan Beaulieu weren’t dressed for Montreal…A pane of glass in the Flyers’ penalty box was shattered in the first period causing a brief delay…Tonight was Plekanec’s 600th NHL game. He had an assist and was plus-1….Michael Bournival had a shot on goal, a hit, and blocked a shot in 6:09 TOI in his NHL debut…The Flyers are now 0-2-0 against the Atlantic Division and are 0-2-0 on the season…Philly was 0-2-0 after two games last year.