Center Sean Couturier, right winger Zac Rinaldo and left winger
Michael Raffl scored goals and the surging Flyers beat the Montreal
Defenseman Andrej Meszaros had three assists and goaltender Steve
Mason made 19 saves for the Flyers (23-17-4), who just returned from
a 5-1 road trip. The Flyers have come a long way from a 1-7 start
that saw coach Peter Laviolette fired after going 0-3 and replaced
by Craig Berube.
"We're winning a lot of different ways," Berube said. "I think
they're confident guys right now and believe they can win. They're
not always going to play their best hockey but we're squeezing wins
The Flyers won 10 straight home games and moved up to fourth place
in the Eastern Conference.
"I think the big thing is the work ethic and that's the difference
between the start of the season and now," Meszaros said.
"Everybody's working hard and that's the main thing."
Center Tomas Plekanec scored a short-handed goal for Montreal
(25-15-5). The Canadiens lost in regulation for the first time in
five games, going 2-0-2 in the previous four.
"We generated some offense especially in the first period. We got
seven quality scoring chances and they got two, and we're down by
two goals," Canadiens coach Michael Therrien said. "But I believe
our power play really hurt us tonight. It's a combination that we
didn't execute well and they did a good job. They took away our
momentum and the Flyers gained a lot of momentum with their penalty
Couturier gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the first. A rebound
trickled to the side of the net and Couturier fired it into open net
past sliding goaltender Peter Budaj.
[to top of second column]
Rinaldo made it 2-0 later in the first when he snapped a
54-game goal drought. Rinaldo's backhander in front hit off
Canadiens center Zars Ellers' stick and went between Budaj's
Rinaldo, a fourth-line player known more for his fists than
scoring skills, had one point in his first 43 games. Rinaldo
dropped the gloves and squared off against Canadiens left winger
Brandon Purst later in the game. Both players threw a flurry of
punches, but not many landed.
Raffl scored midway through the second period for a 3-0 lead. He
put in a rebound for his third goal of the season and second
"I had some really, really good scoring chances and then you get
something like that like the rebound and you just whack it and
it bounces in and it's like life, sometimes it goes in,
sometimes it doesn't," Raffl said.
The Canadiens cut it to 3-1 when Plekanec scored on a breakaway
after the Flyers missed a chance at the opposite end. Right
winger Brian Gionta set it up by giving Plekanec a perfect
"You take what you can from it, you try to learn," Gionta said
of the loss. "But at the same time, you've got to have a short
memory. You're coming up to play again in a couple of days.
We've got a day off and then a practice. We've got to get
prepared for Saturday."
NOTES: Montreal played its first game without 19-year-old C Alex
Galchenyuk, who broke his hand Monday night in a 2-1 win against
Florida. ... The Flyers are one of six teams to have six players
with 10 or more goals this season. No team has seven players
with 10 or more goals. ... Flyers RW Matt Read has concussion
symptoms and will miss games at least through the weekend. ...
Flyers D Erik Gustafsson, out with a knee injury since Dec. 21,
could return Saturday. ... Canadiens RW George Parros returned
from a concussion. ... The Flyers allowed their seventh
short-handed goal of the season, second-most in the NHL.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.