Zac Rinaldo’s first goal of the season would turn out to be the game winner, as the Flyers held on to beat the Montreal Canadians 3-1, Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Sean Couturier got the scoring started for the Flyers, as he slammed home a rebound for his eight goal of the season. Michael Raffl added his third of the season in the second period. Andrej Meszaros assisted on all three Flyer goals. Goaltender Steve Mason was tested early, but not often, as he saved 19 of 20 Montreal shots. The Flyers have now won six of their last seven games, including the last three.
Tomas Plekanec scored Montreal’s lone goal, a shorthanded tally assisted by Brian Gionta. Canadian’s netminder Peter Budaj was strong in net for Montreal, stopping 24 of 27. The Habs have now lost two of their last three and face Chicago at home on Saturday.
The Flyers entered the game winning their last nine at home, and were intent on making it ten. On their first shift, Raffl secured his first scoring chance of the game, but a great save by Habs goaltender Budaj denied the Flyers.
The Flyers would continue to play with energy as Couturier potted his eighth of the season 6:27 into the first, on a rebound from a Meszaros blast from the point. Vincent Lecavalier was credited with the secondary assist, giving him 498 in his career.
Rinaldo’s first of the season came at the 14:39 mark. Rinaldo took a shot from the left circle on a feed from Meszaros. The puck would bounce off the back boards back to Rinaldo, who attempted to feed Adam Hall, but instead was redirected in by the Canadiens. Luke Schenn also got credit for an assist.
The second period was more of the same for the Flyers, as they killed off more power plays and continued to play inspired hockey. Michael Raffl scored 8:24 into the second period, giving the Flyers a 3-0 lead and Meszaros his third assist of the game. Brayden Schenn was credited with the primary assist.
The highlight of the period was a full on tilt between Montreal tough guy Brandon Prust and Rinaldo, who threw haymakers until the refs broke it up.
Momentum would slide to Montreal, as they turned on an extra gear to end the period, with Plekanec netting his 14th of the season, a shorthanded goal on a discombobulated Flyers power play.
The third period featured strong defensive hockey from the Flyers and timely saves from goalie Steve Mason. Philadelphia would limit Montreal chances and would go on to win the game 3-1.
Game Notes: The Flyers have won 10 straight games at home…The Flyers have allowed seven shorthanded goals this year…The Flyers have killed 18 consecutive power plays…Meszaros recorded his fourth three-point game…Steve Downie had been credited with his 100th career assist, but was later taken back.