Philadelphia – The Flyers are gearing up for the playoffs. Teams that come into town that don’t play a complete game can’t expect to beat this team right now as they are firing on all cylinders. Enter the Montreal Canadiens who are in last place in the East. They had the best PK in the league yet they put the Flyers on the power play 5 times. They didn’t have any discipline and after getting a very pretty breakaway goal by Tomas Plekanec they never scored again. They lost the game 4-1 and were officially eliminated from the playoffs.
“Well, I mean, the way we play, obviously, it wasn’t good enough. And it caused a lot of injuries, too. It’s not an excuse, but it’s what happened, so you know, we just weren’t good enough,” said a dejected Plekanec.
The Flyers got three power play goals on the evening and Danny Briere’s short side goal at 17:38 of the second period, his second of the game, seemed to take the heart out of the Canadiens. The Habs had 11 shots on goal in the third period and when the game was over, and the Flyers were giving the jerseys off their backs to their fans, Montreal players couldn’t get out of their gear quick enough. This loss was going to sting for a long time.
“Tough season. Obviously we didn't get accomplished what we wanted to,” said Canadiens forward Ryan White. “It's a year we're going to look back on and hopefully learn from it, and remember these feelings where you're out of the mix and you're not getting a chance to win the Cup. It's a tough situation, but you've got to learn from it and keep moving forward.”
Flyer goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made some tremendous save and he was thinking ahead. His game is razor sharp now mentally and physically. He stopped 23 shots and the Flyers clinched a playoff spot.
"It's good. He well deserves it. The first was him and [Schenn] in the slot and he paid the price to screen the goal. The second one was an amazing shot. He's got some skills,” Bryzgalov said about Briere.
The Flyers are trying their best to get home-ice advantage in the playoffs. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has his team focused on that.
"For us it means more than that. We are still playing and we still have a chance for home ice,” Briere stated. “If something happens in front of us, you never know. First and foremost we need to win at home. We need to win our home games. We need to win those games. We want to go into the playoffs on an upswing, unlike last year. Those are all factors that we have talked about and we want to make sure we are playing hard even though we are facing a team that has nothing much to play for. It was a good all-around effort, I thought.”
The Flyers welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning into their building on Monday night.
photo by del Tufo
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