Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton – Kevin Hayes – Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk – Derek Grant – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Michael Raffl – Nate Thompson – Tyler Pitlick
Ivan Provorov – Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim – Philippe Myers
Robert Hagg – Justin Braun
Carter Hart – Brian Elliott
Andy Welinski, Andy Andreoff, Morgan Frost, Egor Zamula, Mark Friedman, Connor Bunnaman, Alex Lyon, Kirill Ustimenko, Oskar Lindblom, Shayne Gostisbehere, Joel Farabee
After a game that head coach Alain Vigneault called “embarrassing” on Friday night, the Philadelphia Flyers looked a revitalized team on Sunday night. Could it partially have been an emotional lift from teammate Oskar Lindblom who joined the team for his first official practice in the bubble, and led the stretch? Perhaps. Or perhaps the guys in orange and black simply decided that one game of humiliation was enough.
No lineup changes went into effect for Kirk Muller‘s Montreal Canadiens, but there were two key changes for Philadelphia’s roster. Joel Farabee took a seat as a now-healthy Michael Raffl drew back into the lineup. He resumed his fourth line wing position, promoting James van Riemsdyk back to the third, and Jakub Voracek up to the top line. On the back end, Shayne Gostisbehere sat out on this night, as Robert Hagg resumed play.
Carter Hart made a key, confident stop early in the game as Brett Kulak joined the rush and got a quick shot off. The Flyers maintained much better puck control than they did on Friday night, and were a bit heavier with the forecheck.
Voracek drew first blood when he went to the net and managed to get an ugly bounce into the net to put Philadelphia up 1-0. Speaking of drawing blood, Jesperi Kotkaniemi clipped Nate Thompson with a high stick and, because it drew even the smallest amount of blood on Thompson’s nose, awarded the Flyers a four-minute power play.
Philly could only muster two shots on goal in the extended man advantage, but the power play did continue to look better as it wore on – and again when Jeff Petry went to the box for interference.
While the second period didn’t bring any scoring at either end of the ice, it did bring plenty of penalties, including a delay of game infraction by Hart as he attempted to clear the puck but missed the glass and sent it out of play. But the penalty kill for both teams stood strong, and the Flyers’ young goaltender was up to the task. Scott Laughton had a couple of defensive breakdowns late in the period, giving up two big turnovers that both ended in high-danger scoring chances for Montreal. Hart denied them both, bailing out his teammate.
For a good portion of the third period, it seemed as if the Flyers sat back a bit, not able to sustain much offensive pressure, allowing Montreal to control play and force turnovers, but the defenders kept the Canadiens away from Hart’s net. Philadelphia went 0-for-6 on the power play in this game, which is something Vigneault noted after the game needs to be looked at for adjustments.
The Flyers managed to hold on to their one-goal lead and earn Hart his first career shutout – now the youngest Philadelphia goaltender to ever do so. With a 2-1 series lead, the Flyers will have another tough task ahead of them on Tuesday afternoon when these teams meet for game four.
Plus / Minus
▲ Jakub Voracek, Kevin Hayes, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Carter Hart
▼ Derek Grant, Matt Niskanen