NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 8th (All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (25-14-5) at Philadelphia Flyers (22-17-4), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers hope to carry over some momentum from a successful six-game road trip back to the Wells Fargo Center, as they get set to host the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
Philadelphia gained 10 of a possible 12 points during the swing, going 5-1-0 on the trek to give the club six wins in seven games overall. The Flyers, who are second in the Metropolitan Division with 48 points, also boast a 9-2-1 record over their last 12 outings.
The Flyers are now home for two straight and the club will aim for a 10th consecutive victory as the host in tonight's contest. The nine-game winning streak in South Philadelphia is the club's longest since Oct. 7-Nov. 12, 2005. Philly last won 10 straight at the Wells Fargo Center during an 11-game home tear from Oct. 27-Dec. 5, 2003.
After spending most of the trip out West, the Flyers closed the swing with an overtime win Tuesday at New Jersey.
Philadelphia trailed 1-0 heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation, but scored twice in the first half of the third period to grab a lead. The Devils scored short handed with 30 seconds left to send the game to OT, but Brayden Schenn notched a goal at 1:50 of the extra session to lift the Flyers to the win.
Earlier in the game, Schenn suffered a long gash on his midsection when Devils forward Dainius Zubrus was upended and his skate slashed Schenn vertically. However, the Flyers forward returned to the game after receiving some repairs on the bench and eventually provided the OT heroics.
On the shift prior to Schenn's game-winner, a Zubrus chance fooled Ray Emery but clanged off the right post. That luck was extended to the following offensive rush, which saw Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossman fake a shot from the left point and then thread the needle to a wide-open Schenn on the right wing, and he buried the winner.
Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell tallied in the third period for the Flyers, while Emery was solid in net, stopping 31 shots to post the win.
"We hung in there against a team that is very tough to play against," said Flyers head coach Craig Berube.
The Flyers, who will host Tampa Bay on Saturday, are 11-7-0 at home this season and haven't been defeated at the Wells Fargo Center since losing a 3-0 decision to New Jersey on Nov. 7.
The Canadiens, meanwhile, are 4-1-2 over their last seven games and have won two of their last three tilts. Montreal is coming off Monday's close regulation win over the visiting Florida Panthers, as Brian Gionta scored the game-winner with 4:14 left in the second period and the Habs held off the Panthers for the 2-1 decision at Bell Centre.
David Desharnais netted Montreal's other goal, while Carey Price turned aside 26 shots for the Canadiens, who extended their point streak to four games (2-0-2).
With the game tied 1-1 late in the second period, Thomas Plekanec picked off a pass behind the Florida net and quickly dished to the left circle, setting up Gionta's wrister that sailed past Tim Thomas' glove for a 2-1 lead at 15:46.
"When you're not scoring goals and you're not getting chances, that's when you have to be taking advantage of those turnovers to score the goal," Gionta said. "Plekanec did a great job of breaking their break."
Price made the lead stand from there, posting 16 saves over the final 20 minutes to keep the Canadiens in front.
Peter Budaj will get the start in net for the Canadiens tonight. The Habs backup is 1-2-0 with a 3.30 goals against average in his career against the Flyers. Steve Mason will man the crease for the Flyers and he is 2-0 with a 1.92 GAA in two career games versus the Canadiens.
Montreal has a solid 12-7-2 record as the guest this season, but the club has not fared well in Philadelphia in recent years, losing the last six meetings in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Canadiens dropped a 2-1 regulation decision in Philly on Dec. 12 in a game that marked Montreal forward Danny Briere's first trip to the Wells Fargo Center since he was bought out by the Flyers over the summer.
Philadelphia has won three of four, six of eight and nine of the past 12 overall meetings in this series.
01/08 10:49:38 ET