Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Joel Farabee
Scott Laughton – Kevin Hayes – Travis Konecny
Jakub Voracek – Derek Grant – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
James van Riemsdyk – Nate Thompson – Tyler Pitlick
Ivan Provorov – Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim – Philippe Myers
Shayne Gostisbehere – Justin Braun
Carter Hart – Brian Elliott
Andy Welinski, Andy Andreoff, Morgan Frost, Robert Hagg, Egor Zamula, Mark Friedman, Connor Bunnaman, Alex Lyon, Kirill Ustimenko
Michael Raffl (lower body), Oskar Lindblom
As much as Flyers fans would have liked the postseason to be a bit of the walk in the park the round robin and exhibition games seemed to be for the orange and black, those hopes came crashing to the ground on Friday afternoon. After allowing the Canadiens to gain some confidence in the series’ first game, and particular with Montreal’s emotional motivation of Head Coach Claude Julien being hospitalized and undergoing heart surgery on Thursday, the Flyers simply looked dominated and outplayed in every aspect of game two.
Montreal completely controlled the opening 15 minutes of play, largely outshooting the Flyers – who couldn’t even muster their first shot on goal until the period was two-thirds of the way over – and managed to get the game’s first goal just over a minute after puck drop. Tomas Tatar, who has been relatively invisible thus far, came sailing down the middle and easily put the puck into Carter Hart‘s net.
While there were no lineup changes for Alain Vigneault‘s team, acting head coach Kirk Muller went with his “gut feeling” just before the game, inserting Jake Evans into the lineup and moving Max Domi up in the roster. The shakeup seemed to have an effect on Philly’s opponent.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi doubled the Montreal score when Hart found himself with a stick and no defenders covering the young Finnish forward. The Flyers showed a little bit of life when they finally had some four-on-four and five-on-four power play time toward the end of the period, but nothing looked particularly dangerous.
Montreal scored again, this time on the power play, not long into the second period when Tatar buried his second goal of the night through a Justin Braun screen. Despite a very lengthy five-on-three opportunity for the Flyers, they still couldn’t get much going and seemed to give up opportunity after opportunity to change the momentum of the game.
Things started to all go wrong as the game wore on. The ice tilted severely in Montreal’s direction when Joel Armia made it 4-0 after deflecting the puck off of Shayne Gostisbehere‘s skate and into the net. That goal chased Hart out of the crease and brough Brian Elliott into the game.
No sooner did Elliott get settled into the crease when Domi went careening into the netminder, drawing plenty of ire and a penalty. But once again the Flyers couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities. Turnovers were rampant, sloppy passing, difficulty penetrating the zone. Before you could blink, it was the third period and Kotkaniemi scored again, this time on the power play.
The Flyers were obviously frustrated. Nate Thompson and Xavier Ouellet came to blows and each left the game after receiving a 10-minute misconduct. And in anxious news for Philadelphia, Travis Konecny left the game, unable to put weight on his left foot, after blocking a massive shot. Game three is set for Sunday night and it’s guaranteed to be intense.
Plus / Minus
▲ Carter Hart
▼ Justin Braun, Nate Thompson, Derek Grant, Kevin Hayes