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Mason, Flyers trip up Habs for 10th straight home win
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Steve Mason stopped 19 shots and the Philadelphia offense struck three times in the first half of regulation, as the Flyers posted a 3-1 win over Montreal on Wednesday.
Sean Couturier, Zac Rinaldo and Michael Raffl tallied for the Flyers, who won their 10th straight game on home ice in their first home appearance since Dec. 23.
"We're winning a lot of different ways. Tonight I thought we had a real good first period. We got the lead and did what we had to do to win the game," noted Flyers head coach Craig Berube. "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 out."
Andrej Meszaros tied a career high with three assists to help the hosts take their seventh game in eight tries overall.
Tomas Plekanec posted the lone offense and Peter Budaj made 24 saves for the Canadiens, who have lost seven straight regular-season games in Philly.
"We got out to another slow start like we did the first time around here," said Canadiens captain Brian Gionta when asked if his club had some kind of mental block in Philly. "We've got to find a way to get into our comfort level earlier and we just didn't find that right away."
The hosts got on the board first. Meszaros fired from the left point and the chance was deflected in front by Vincent Lecavalier. Budaj kicked it out but Couturier was there to put it home from the left side of the crease with 6:27 played in the opening period.
Rinaldo doubled the edge with 5:21 left in the period, backhanding his own rebound through Budaj's legs with the help of an accidental deflection off the stick of Montreal's Lars Eller.
Raffl popped a shot over Budaj's shoulder from the slot for a 3-0 game at 8:24 of the second.
"Yeah I mean I had some really, really good scoring chances," Raffl said. "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."
Plekanec nailed a shot off the far post from the left wing at the end of a Philly power play and the Habs were on the board with 2:23 to play in the middle stanza.
Though the Flyers' offense couldn't give Mason more of a safety net with their six third-period shots, Mason only needed to make five saves to keep it a two- goal margin.
Budaj was not sent to the bench for an extra skater down the stretch, and Danny Briere's interference penalty with 14 seconds to play derailed any hopes of a comeback.
"In the third period we got (five) shots on net," said Habs head coach Michel Therrien. "When you have momentum and you're creating a lot of chances, there is a reason why you can take a goalie out, especially when you're down by two goals. But when you have that many shots on net and you're down by two goals, there is no reason."
The Flyers' current 10-game winning streak in South Philadelphia is the club's longest since it went on an 11-game home tear from Oct. 27-Dec. 5, 2003 ... Philadelphia has won four of five, seven of nine and 10 of the past 13 meetings with Montreal ... Mason became the first Philly netminder to win nine straight at home in one season since Bob Froese won 10 in a row from Oct. 19, 1985 to Jan. 14, 1986 ... Flyers have won seven in a row at home against the Canadiens, one off the team record of eight straight (11/24/93-2/6/1997) ... Rinaldo netted his first goal since Mar. 7 vs. Pittsburgh, a span of 54 games.
01/08 23:28:31 ET
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