NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, December 12th (All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (19-10-3) at Philadelphia Flyers (13-15-3), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers get a chance at a quick turnaround following a blowout setback on Wednesday night.
For the Montreal Canadiens, they have had a little more time to reflect on their shutout loss from two days ago and they look to rebound on Thursday night in Daniel Briere's return to Philadelphia.
The Habs carried a five-game winning streak into Tuesday's home contest against the Los Angeles Kings and were blasted by a 6-0 margin. Carey Price yielded four goals on 16 shots faced in almost 25 1/2 minutes of action before being replaced by Peter Budaj, who yielded two goals on 14 shots faced.
It was Montreal's first regulation setback since a 1-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Nov. 16, snapping a 10-game point streak (9-0-1).
"There's nothing we can do after a loss like that," mused Habs head coach Michel Therrien. "Their second goal was a case of poor coverage. You have to give that team a lot of credit, but we have to put it aside and start all over again. If we had scored early, it might have been different. We're all disappointed."
Tonight's game marks a return to the Wells Fargo Center for Briere, who signed with the Canadiens this past offseason after having his contract bought out by the Flyers.
Following a productive three-plus seasons in Buffalo, Briere hit the free agent market in the summer of 2007 and drew interest from a number of teams. The Quebec-born forward, though, drew the ire of Montreal natives when he decided to ink an eight-year, $52 million deal with the Flyers.
Briere netted 124 goals with 159 assists for 283 points in 364 games with Philadelphia, but had just six goals and 16 points in 34 games last season. He ran out of goodwill stemming from his 30-point playoff output during the Flyers' run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010 and had the final two years of his contract bought out this past summer. That gave the 35-year-old the opportunity to sign a two-year deal with the Canadiens.
"I'm expecting both the best and the worst from the fans. I've been treated in different ways by the crowd during my career, so I'm ready for pretty much anything," Briere told Montreal's website. "I'll have a chance to play in front of my kids and a few good friends, so it'll be easy to find the motivation to do well."
The forward faced the Flyers in Montreal back on Oct. 5 and did not register a point in a 4-1 win.
Price stopped 22 shots to improve to 8-8-0 with a 2.71 goals against average in his career versus the Flyers.
The victory was just Montreal's third in its past 11 meetings with the Flyers and it has lost five in a row in Philadelphia.
The Flyers would love to extend that home winning streak over the Canadiens following a 2-4-0 road trip. Philly dropped the final three games of the swing, capped with last night's 7-2 setback at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks scored five goals in the second period, while Jakub Voracek and Steve Downie had the tallies for the Flyers.
Ray Emery, part of Chicago's Stanley Cup-winning club last season, was shelled for six goals on 18 shots in just over two periods of work to take the loss. Steve Mason made four stops in the third.
"You can't make excuses," Emery said. "As a whole, we have to play better in the second."
Mason should get the start tonight and it would be the second of his career versus the Habs. He hasn't faced them since Nov. 7, 2008 with Columbus, stopping 34 shots in a victory.
Emery had made 30 saves in the loss to Montreal on Oct. 5.
12/12 10:45:56 ET