NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 Tot
Montreal 2 2 1 5
Philadelphia 0 0 0 0
Series tied 1-1
Three Stars
1: Tomas Tatar, Mon (2G)
2: Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Mon (2G)
3: Max Domi, Mon (3A)
12:00 PM PT1:00 PM MT2:00 PM CT3:00 PM ET19:00 GMT3:00 12:00 PM MST2:00 PM EST23:00 UAE15:00 ET16:00 BRT, August 14, 2020
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario  Attendance: 0

Flyers look to continue surge vs. confident Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers

  1. The Canadiens' last 11 postseason games (all six in 2017 and all five this year) have been decided by one or two goals. This is the longest active streak in the NHL and the longest such streak for the Canadiens since they played 11 straight postseason games that were decided by two goals or fewer between 1959 and 1960.
  2. Philadelphia has allowed exactly one goal in each of its four postseason games in 2020. This ties the longest streak in the Flyers' 437-game postseason history of consecutive games allowing zero or one goal, also done from 1975 to 1976 (including the '75 Cup clincher) and in 2004.
  3. Carey Price has allowed three goals or fewer in 15 consecutive postseason starts dating back to 2015. This is tied for the third-longest such streak in Habs postseason history, trailing Patrick Roy (28 games, 1992-1994) and Gump Worsley (23 games, 1966-1969). Roy also had a 15-game streak to start his playoff career (1986).
  4. Shea Weber is the third defenseman in Canadiens history to score goals in three straight games in a single postseason, joining Guy Lapointe (1973) and Jim Roberts (1977). No Montreal blueliner has ever scored goals in four straight playoff contests (single season or spanning seasons).
  5. Carter Hart has started three postseason games, allowing one goal in each and winning all three. Only two other goaltenders have won their first three career postseason starts, allowing zero or one goal in each game: Norman Smith (four games with Detroit in 1936) and Steve Penney (three games with Montreal in '84).
  6. Joel Farabee's game-winning goal in the series opener was his second goal of the postseason and the fifth by a Flyers rookie, adding to Nicolas Aube-Kubel's two goals and one by Philippe Myers. Only the Blackhawks, with seven, have more goals by rookies in the playoffs.

The Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens head into Friday's Game 2 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series with a sense of confidence.

That might seem more logical for the Flyers, who posted a 2-1 win on Wednesday in the series opener in Toronto.

Philadelphia was outplayed in the second period before Joel Farabee scored the go-ahead goal just 16 seconds after Montreal had forged a tie. The Flyers also reaffirmed a belief in goaltender Carter Hart, who made 27 saves.

"He's a great young goalie, a lot of potential. He's just been a true pro ever since he got here," Philadelphia center Sean Couturier said of Hart, who turned 22 on Thursday.

Hart is playing at the opposite end of the ice from his childhood idol, Montreal goalie Carey Price.

The Flyers were most impressed with the poise Hart showed to weather a second period when his teammates showed some sloppiness. He then then shut things down in the third.

"(Hart) did a great job and kept us in the game," defenseman Ivan Provorov said.

The Flyers have won 13 of their past 14 games, including all three of their round-robin contests earlier in these reconfigured playoffs.

Despite the loss, the Canadiens proved to themselves that they can play with the top-seeded Flyers. Montreal entered the postseason ranked 12th in the East before knocking off the Pittsburgh Penguins in the qualifying round.

"I thought from the second period on (Wednesday) we really started to play our game, and I think we built some confidence in knowing we can play with these guys," Montreal coach Claude Julien said of his club.

Julien, however, was hospitalized after the game with chest pains and is not expected to be back for the remainder of the first round.

"Claude felt chest pains during the night," general manager Marc Bergevin said Thursday. "We immediately consulted our doctors and it was agreed to quickly transfer him to the hospital by ambulance. He's presently there and is under tests to determine exactly the nature of his condition. This has nothing to do with COVID.

"We don't expect him to be back during this series against the Flyers. Kirk (Muller), Dominique (Ducharme) and Luke (Richardson) will share the responsibility. However, Kirk is the associate head coach and he will assume the responsibility of head coach until Claude's return."

The Canadiens shook up their lines during the series opener, the biggest move being elevating feisty but talented Max Domi from center on the fourth line to winger on a line with Jonathan Drouin and Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

Montreal also moved rookie Nick Suzuki onto the top line between Tomas Tatar and Brendan Gallagher. Suzuki, however, preferred to look at a bigger picture.

"I think we can generate a ton as a group," he said. "We've shown that we can play against the top teams in the league, and this team is definitely one of them."

Some of both teams' confidence came from notching a power-play goal. Philadelphia had been 0-for-11 this postseason while Montreal 0-for-12.

"I think we were more aggressive, more direct and firing pucks at the net," Provorov said. "We got a lot of shots from the top, and that helped us to create chances."

The Canadiens' only goal came during a man-advantage, from defenseman Shea Weber.

"That is big, obviously, for the power play," said Weber, a hulking defenseman who leads Montreal with three goals, five points this postseason. "Hopefully, that can build some momentum."

--Field Level Media

Updated August 13, 2020

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