NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Montreal |
(Thursday, December 21st)
Final Score: Montreal 4, Philadelphia 2
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Mike Johnson scored a short-handed goal and
David Aebischer made 26 saves to lead Montreal past Philadelphia, 4-2, at the
Aebischer recorded his 100th career victory and Guillaume Latendresse, Craig
Rivet and Chris Higgins scored for the streaking Canadiens, who have won five
Mike Knuble and Jeff Carter tallied goals for the slumping Flyers, who
extended their franchise-record losing streak to eight games.
"The last couple of games, we have done some things really well," said Carter.
"If we keep working at it, things will work out because we are setting some
good ground work."
Antero Niittymaki allowed four goals on 37 shots for Philadelphia, which
played without captain Peter Forsberg, who missed his second straight game
with a concussion.
Mike York made his Flyers debut after being acquired from the New York
Islanders on Wednesday in exchange for forward Randy Robitaille and a
fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft and did not register a point.
The Flyers had a chance to take the lead with 5:34 left in the opening period
after R.J. Umberger was awarded a penalty shot. Umberger glided in on
Aebischer and from down low, shifted to his backhand, only to see the puck
roll off the end of his stick as he never got a shot off.
Shortly after Philadelphia's missed opportunity, Montreal capitalized off a
two-man advantage to go up 2-0 late in the first.
Sergei Samsonov controlled the puck at the left side of the crease and fired a
shot that Niittymaki stopped but couldn't control. From in front, an uncovered
Latendresse pounced on the rebound and fired it into the net with 3:20 left in
Still on the power play, Michael Ryder's wrister from the slot was knocked
down by Niittymaki and Rivet, who skated in from his point position tapped the
rebound into the net to make it 2-0 just 1:09 after Latendresse's tally.
A power-play goal by the Flyers 5:41 into the second stanza made it 2-1. Simon
Gagne's slapper from the top of the right circle was stopped in front and
Knuble controlled the rebound just outside the crease and slipped it past
Aebischer for his 14th goal of the season.
With 49 seconds left in the second period, Johnson scored a short-handed goal
for the Canadiens to up their lead to 3-1.
Just 19 seconds later, Carter answered and scored for the Flyers to make it
3-2 heading into the third period. Stefan Ruzicka made a nifty backhand pass
at the left side of the crease to Carter, who rammed the puck over the goal
The Habs put the game away with about six minutes left in the contest as
Higgins tallied his 11th goal of the season. Higgins skated into the
Philadelphia zone up the left wing and his wrist shot from the circle was
stopped. However, Niittymaki didn't control the rebound and Higgins followed
the play up and slammed the puck home.
"What we are looking for right now, is good even-strength hockey," said
Montreal's Saku Koivu, who assisted on Higgins' goal. "They were pushing
pretty hard until our fourth goal. A lot of times, you have the control, but
the puck bounces a certain way. But that goal was the big one for us."
Montreal has won five of the last seven encounters with Philadelphia...Andrei
Markov finished with two assists for the Canadiens...Montreal went 2-for-8 on
the power play while Philadelphia finished 2-for-5 with the man
advantage...Alexei Zhitnik picked up his first point as Flyer, notching an
assist on Knuble's goal. Philadelphia acquired Zhitnik in a trade with the
Islanders over the weekend.
12/21 22:47:33 ET