Flyers still alive for playoffs as Canadiens hit town
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The Philadelphia Flyers will attempt to keep their slim playoff hopes alive when they host the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.
The Flyers remarkably earned a 2-1 win Sunday on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins to stay within six points of the final playoff berth. Trailing 1-0, the Flyers pulled goaltender Carter Hart and James van Riemsdyk tied the game with 18.8 seconds remaining in regulation.
Sean Couturier then notched the game winner with 3.4 seconds left in overtime for the improbable victory.
Hart stopped 41 shots, tying a career-high, and the Flyers celebrated.
"If we don't win tonight, that's a huge hole," Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon told reporters. "We're definitely running out of time. It was a game that we definitely needed the two points and got a lot of big performances in the end."
While van Riemsdyk and Couturier scored the key goals, the victory wouldn't have been possible without the 20-year-old Hart.
The rookie goaltender missed a large chunk of game action between Feb. 21 and March 11 with an injury. But he appears to have regained his form.
"For us to come back like that in the third period, it feels like we've almost done it in every game against these guys," Hart told reporters.
The Flyers' 23rd-ranked power play continued to struggle as the unit went 0-for-3. But the Flyers did receive a major lift from captain Claude Giroux, who had been questionable with an illness.
In the end, the Flyers managed to pull out a clutch win to stay six points within the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"He was great," Couturier told reporters of Hart's performance. "That's what you want from your goalie. We had to step up for him."
The Canadiens are still very much in the mix for a playoff berth as they trail the Blue Jackets by three points.
But Montreal fell 2-0 at home to the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday for its fourth loss in the last five games.
Goaltender Carey Price made 22 saves yet the offense couldn't generate any goals despite outshooting the Blackhawks 48-24.
"Our backs are against the wall," Montreal captain Shea Weber told reporters. "We have to find a way to win. Everyone is frustrated. We want to win and we're not winning, so it's tough. We have to find a way to score goals."
Like the Flyers, the Canadiens continue to struggle on the power play, ranking dead last in the NHL. They went 0-for-4 against the Blackhawks, a large reason why they lost again.
"We were digging and we were getting in front," Montreal forward Jordan Weal told reporters. "It was one of those nights where we couldn't put one past the goal line. It's frustrating because every game right now is so huge. We were generating a lot. We were hitting posts. We were hitting crossbars. We were millimeters away.
"If we play like that here on out, we have a good chance to win."
Montreal is always a formidable opponent, especially with Price in goal. Though the Canadiens were blanked 2-0 by Chicago, Price recently was honored by the team for winning his 315th career game to move into first place in franchise history for victories by a goaltender. Jacques Plante previously held the record.
--Field Level Media
Updated March 18, 2019
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Published: 2015-05-28 13:51:00
Updated: 2016-07-13 10:41:59
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