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NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Montreal

(Saturday, November 25th)

Final Score: Philadelphia 4, Montreal 2

Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Simon Gagne scored twice, adding one assist, to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Center.

Sami Kapanen and Mike Knuble were credited with the other goals, and four others posted one assist each. Antero Niittymaki stopped 29-of-31 shots to pick up the win for the Flyers, who recorded their third road win of the season, and have won two straight games for only the second time all year.

Alex Kovalev picked up a goal and an assist, Saku Koivu also hit the net, and David Aebischer made 22 saves for the Canadiens, who saw their three-game win streak ended.

Gagne provided insurance for the Flyers, scoring a shorthanded goal with 2:08 left in regulation as his team clung to a one-goal lead. Working a 2-on-1 break with Knuble, his centering pass was muted by Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray. However, Souray's clearing pass up the middle was blocked by an alert Knuble, and Gagne recovered in time settle the puck and flick a wrister over a diving and helpless Aebischer.

"You don't want to be down 1-0 on the road in Montreal," Gagne said. "We changed our style and we played with more discipline, and when we play this way,it gives us a chance to win. That kind of showed us withour win against Columbus, and now our win in Montreal, which is one of the hottest teams in the league."

Kovalev opened the game with his seventh of the season, putting Montreal on the board at 8:04 of the first. Sergei Samsonov charged up the middle, and sent a lead pass two strides over the blue line to Kovalev, coming up the left wing. He waited until reaching the left faceoff dot, and unleashed a rising wrister that sailed over Niittymaki's shoulder on the near side.

Although Philly was granted three power plays in the opening period, including a five-on-three advantage, Niittymaki had to make three stops off Montreal shorthanded chances to keep the Flyers in the game. He made ten saves in all to keep Montreal's lead at 1-0 heading into the second.

His reward would come as his team responded with a three-goal middle period. With just 1:34 played, Joni Pitkanen carried the puck deep down the left side almost to the goal line, before sending a trailing feed into the slot. Kapanen beat his man to the pass, and slid the puck under Aebischer to tie the game at 1-1.

Knuble gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead with 4:17 left, when he stashed home a rebound from a stuffer attempt by defenseman Randy Jones.

The lead was boosted to 3-1 on the power play with just 11.9 seconds remaining. Set up at the point, defenseman Freddy Meyer fed Gagne, who was waiting alone at the right circle. He didn't get all of the puck on the one- timer, but the shot had enough force to knuckle up and over Aebischer's shoulder.

"We created a lot of offense in the first, got the puck in deep, but their goalie made some big saves," said Koivu. "For some reason, we couldn't do it in the second, especially late in the period."

Suddenly facing a two-goal deficit, the Canadiens then returned to their first period form, outshooting the Flyers 10-3 in the third, but only managed to put one on the board. It came on the man advantage at 3:22 of the third, when Kovalev threaded a pass through the slot to Koivu, who redirected the puck past a lunging Niittymaki.

Montreal was awarded a crucial power play with 3:15 remaining, but with Flyers forward Petr Nedved in the box for hooking, Gagne put to rest the Canadiens' hope for a game-tying goal.

Game Notes

Montreal has won four of six in the series...Niittymaki has made four straight starts, and has seen action in five consecutive games...Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher smartly traded blows with Canadiens counterpart Souray with 1:20 left and the Canadiens on the power-play, taking away Montreal's best shooter in the late going...The Canadiens have scored 29 third period goals, fourth best in the NHL...Philadelphia went 1-of-6 on the power play, Montreal 1-of-5.

11/26 00:10:52 ET

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