Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Inconsistency and missed chances prove troublesome for Habs

A collection of hit posts and missed opportunities in the first period, combined with a second period slump from goaltender Carey Price proved to be the recipe for success for the Philadelphia Flyers.

The early going seemed to be destined to go Montreal’s way, as they took the play into the Philadelphia end frequently in the opening period only to find frustration from goal posts, crossbars and a goaltender named Biron.

The Flyers goalie held his team in the early rough going, allowing the Flyers offence to begin to test Price in the Montreal nets through the first and particularly into the second period, which clearly wasn’t the Montreal goaltenders best period of hockey this season.

The Flyers took advantage of Price’s forgettable second period to push three goals into the Montreal net, holding a 3-0 lead as the teams headed into the third period. For the twenty minute lapse, Price was joined by his team mates who made a number of miscues that allowed the Flyers to gain control of the flow of the play, much to the delight of the hometown crowd. Rattled through the second, Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau pulled his rookie for the third period sending in back up goaltender to face the Flyer onslaught, which when all was said and done on the night amounted to two shots.

Montreal battled back into the third recapturing two of the three goals against, coming up short for the equalizer as Biron closed the door after two, giving the Flyers the 3-2 victory and 2 games to one lead in the series. Montreal's fate seemed destined for the night when a too many men on the ice penalty brought their run to an end as the clock ticked down to full time.

Montreal’s missed opportunities mimic much of the last three games, where a wasted opportunity proved costly on the scoreboard as well as in the momentum of the game.

The Flyers who now have the lead will be looking to grab a stranglehold on the series with game four on Wednesday night, if Montreal is to avoid having to climb out of a large hole they will need a full sixty minutes of Price’s attention and a more consistent effort in the Philadelphia end of the rink.

Most of all though, perhaps a little puck luck might help, a bounce here and a clank there was the difference in game three, if some of those bounces go the other way on Wednesday the teams could head back to Montreal tied at two games a piece.

Globe and Mail-- Price is wrong
Montreal Gazette-- Flyers open 2-1 lead
Philadelphia Inquirer-- Flyers outlast Canadiens in Game 3
Philadelphia Daily News-- Are the Flyers playing Canada's team?
NHL.com-- Stats Pack

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