NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Philadelphia
(Friday, February 27th)
Final Score: Montreal 4, Philadelphia 3 (OT)
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Mathieu Schneider scored on the power play 3:21 into overtime, as the Montreal Canadiens took a 4-3 decision from the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center.
Montreal got a power play due to an interference call on Scottie Upshall, and it took advantage. Antero Niittymaki initially made some great glove saves, but Schneider blasted a shot from the right circle past the goaltender's glove for the win.
"We were pounding the puck, we had a few shots that didn't quite get through," Schneider said. "The last one, I thought I could get a wrister through with a screen. It would be a good opportunity instead of trying to pound it through one more time. I think their defenseman kind of got a bit of a screen on their goalie, and I just wristed it in and put it over his shoulder."
Alex Kovalev finished with a goal and two assists for Montreal, which has won three straight on the heels of a three-game slide. Tomas Plekanec and Tom Kostopoulos also scored, while Jaroslav Halak made 35 saves to earn the victory.
"I think we adjusted to the speed of the game," Montreal head coach Guy Carbonneau said of the team responding to a 2-0 deficit. "I think we got caught a little bit early, I think we didn't adjust early. They caught us, they made us make turnovers and took advantage. After the two goals were scored, we settled down a little bit and made plays a little quicker. We were able to keep pucks in their zone and made them make mistakes, and we took advantage of our chances."
Joffrey Lupul, Simon Gagne and Mike Richards all scored for the Flyers, who had won five of six coming into the game. Niittymaki allowed four goals on 36 shots to take the loss.
Philadelphia was dreadful on the power play, going 0-for-8 in the contest. Montreal converted on 2-of-5 chances.
"When you get 5-on-3 (power plays), you want to at least build some momentum off of them," Richards said, "and it seemed like they got the momentum from (killing) it."
The Flyers wasted no time getting on the board. On the first shift of the game, Lupul gathered a loose rebound in front of the net and deposited the puck past a sprawled-out Halak just 28 seconds into the contest.
Glen Metropolit, who was claimed by the Canadiens off waivers from the Flyers on Friday, went in for a breakaway after a penalty about five minutes into the first period, but Niittymaki made an outstanding glove save to keep the Habs off the board.
Richards put the Flyers ahead by two at the 8:14 mark of the first, when he forced a turnover at the right circle and fired a quick wrist shot over Halak's shoulder.
Montreal tied the game with two goals in 13 seconds late in the opening frame. Plekanec made it 2-1 on a power play goal with 3:35 left, firing a shot from the slot, and a wraparound goal by Kostopoulos shortly thereafter tied the game.
Kovalev gave the Canadiens a 3-2 lead going to the first intermission, as his wrister from the right circle bounced off Niittymaki's right shoulder and into the net with 1:31 showing on the clock.
"Somebody decided we were going to play some 'river hockey,' and it didn't suit us very well," Flyers head coach John Stevens said. "We got out to a 2-0 lead, they are doing a lot of good things. I would need a long sheet of paper to list the things that we did poorly."
Gagne, like Metropolit, found himself on a breakaway right after serving a penalty late in the second period. Unlike his former teammate, Gagne tucked the puck under Halak's pads to tie the game with 6:17 left in the frame.
Niittymaki's 12 saves in the third period, along with Halak's eight saves, sent the game to overtime.
Kovalev's 28 lifetime goals against the Flyers are the most among active players...The Canadiens won the season series, 3-1...In addition to losing Metropolit, the Flyers also gave up defenseman Ossi Vaananan to waivers, and he was claimed by Vancouver...Flyers forward Scott Hartnell earned his 300th career point with an assist in the first period, and Jeff Carter extended his point streak to four with an assist in the opening frame for Philadelphia.
02/27 23:24:57 ET