Canadiens-Flyers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 24, 2011
Although the Philadelphia Flyers were finally able to rally and win after facing another early deficit in their last game, their No. 1 goaltender had another shaky performance. It is unclear who will be in goal for the Flyers on Friday when they host a Montreal Canadiens team that handed them their most lopsided loss of the season last month. Trailing the last-place New York Islanders 3-1 after one period on Wednesday, the Flyers (12-6-3) came back and won 4-3 on Danny Briere's second goal of the game with 2:26 remaining in overtime. Andrej Meszaros and Scott Hartnell also scored for Philadelphia, which had lost its previous two games after falling behind early. In the last three games - facing the three worst teams in the Eastern Conference - the Flyers have been outscored 8-2 in the first period. They might have a bit better luck, however, slowing down Montreal, which only has one first-period goal in its last four games. "I'm really happy with the way we fought back," Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said. "The thing your most impressed with is the fight, the resiliency to keep coming." Laviolette replaced Bryzgalov, who turned away six of nine shots, with Sergei Bobrovsky before the start of the second period. Bobrovsky stopped all 23 shots he faced. "It's not easy coming in relief like that but he did a marvelous job," Briere said of Bobrovsky. While Bobrovsky was solid, it was the second straight subpar start for Bryzgalov. Philadelphia's regular goalie stopped 27 shots in Monday's 4-2 loss to Carolina after going 5-0-1 with a 1.66 goals-against average in his previous six outings. He also struggled in the Flyers' first game against the Canadiens on Oct. 26, finishing with 23 saves in a 5-1 loss, ending Philadelphia's three-game winning streak in the series. That was part of a personal five-game losing streak for Bryzgalov, in which he said he had zero confidence in himself. Bryzgalov is 0-3-1 with a 3.75 GAA in four career starts versus Montreal, the only team he has faced at least four times and not defeated. Bobrovsky has fared much better against the Canadiens. In three starts against them last season, he went 2-1-0 with a 2.68 GAA. Like Philadelphia, Montreal (10-9-3) is also coming off a come-from-behind victory. Trailing Carolina 2-0 after the first period on Wednesday, the Canadiens rallied for a 4-3 shootout win. Lars Eller scored a short-handed goal, Michael Cammalleri scored his fifth of the season and Travis Moen tied the score at 3 at 4:37 in the third period. "In the first period we weren't good,'' Montreal coach Jacques Martin said. "They won more battles and were on the puck. They were more determined. After that we came back strong in the second, created several good chances, capitalized and persisted as we should have.'' Moen's goal was his seventh in his 22nd game of the season. He had six goals in 79 games last season, and his single-season best is 11, set with Anaheim in 2006-07. Carey Price finished 30 saves with and stopped all three shootout attempts Wednesday, improving to 3-1-0 with a 0.99 GAA and two shutouts since Nov. 16. He turned aside 21 shots to earn his 100th career win against the Flyers last month, but has had no luck in Philadelphia lately, posting a 3.39 GAA in losing his last three starts there. Max Pacioretty, Montreal's leader with nine goals, scored twice and had an assist against the Flyers in October. Jaromir Jagr had the lone goal for Philadelphia in that game, but is unlikely to play in the rematch after leaving Wednesday with a lower body injury.
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