Saturday, February 16, 2013

Flyers 'go through the motions' in loss to Habs

February 16, 2013

For every one step forward, the Flyers take two steps back.

That is what this season has felt like, especially after another frustrating loss following a win against the Jets then a loss to the Devils.

Credit has to be given to the Canadiens for playing a strong game, but the Flyers looked uninspired in the 4-1 loss.

Claude Giroux described his team best. "We're just going through the motions."

19 shots and a goal by Danny Briere in the second period were all the Flyers could muster.

The Flyers failed to reach double-digits in shots in any of the three periods. They didn't even come close in the first, managing to take only two.

Montreal gave the Flyers four power play opportunities in the second period, including back-to-back delay of game penalties by Brendan Gallagher at 15:16 and Max Pacioretty at 17:18.

However, the Flyers power play never got any goals to show for the man-advantages, and they had the extra bonus of facing the Canadiens backup goaltender.

Like Toronto's Ben Scrivens five nights ago, Montreal's Peter Budaj let only one puck find the net. When the Flyers did generate a rare scoring chance, Budaj somehow was able to make a save.

The best example of Budaj's luck was in the third period. Erik Gustafsson, who was recalled earlier today, took a shot from the point that started to slide through Budaj's pads and towards the goal-line. 

Tye McGinn was there to take a shot, but instead of easily putting the puck in, he whiffed on the shot and Budaj was able to get his glove on it.

The Canadiens were already up 3-1 with under four minutes left in the game at that point, and Rene Bourque (5) would go on to score an empty-netter with 1:04 left to secure Montreal's victory.

Brian Boucher got the start over Ilya Bryzgalov and allowed goals to Montreal's Brendan Gallagher (5, 8:53) in the first, David Desharnais (4, 1:15) in the second and Tomas Plekanec (7, 4:32) in the third.

With the loss the Flyers (6-9-1) fell to the bottom of the Atlantic Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference. They are now a mediocre 2-8-0 on the road this season.

Meanwhile, the Canadiens improve to 9-4-1 to lead the Northeast Division and sit in 2nd place in the conference behind the New Jersey Devils.

The Flyers will continue their road trip on Monday with an afternoon President's Day match-up against the New York Islanders (6-7-1).

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