In what was a complete reversal of the season opener against the New York Rangers on Saturday, the Philadelphia Flyers got off to a blistering start against the Montreal Canadians Monday night, but fell apart in the final stanza.
With the Flyers holding down a one-goal lead, the Canadiens scored four third-period goals to go on a beat the Flyers 5-3, at the Wachovia Center.
Early in the first period, after the Canadiens opened scoring, Jeff Carter took a Scottie Upshall drop pass and blasted a slap shot by Price. It was Carter’s first of the season. Shortly after knotting the game at one, Mike Richards fired a slap shot of his own from the top of the slot, that beat Price over the left shoulder, to give the Flyers the 2-1 lead. It was downhill from there.
The Canadiens scored two goals in 44 seconds to open the third period and give themselves the 3-2 lead. Then it got worse.
13:50 into the third period, Robert Lang beat a lacadazical Braydon Coburn in front of the Flyers’ net, to one-time a shot past Marty Biron, to give his team the 4-2 lead.
Simon Gagne would bring the Flyers back within one when a flubbed slap shot from Mike Knuble bounced off Price’s pad and onto the stick of Gagne, who buried it easily. But the die had been cast and the Flyers went tasted defeat once again, to start the season 0-2.
The Flyers’ offense showed continued pressure most times during the game, but slowed down considerably in the third period. After giving up four first-period goals to the Rangers on Saturday, the defense was much improved to start the contest, but faded fast. Kimmo Timonen, the Flyers top blue liner, finished a team-low minus-3. Coburn and Eminger both had games to forget. Rookie Luca Sbisa made small mistakes here and there, but was mostly strong in his end. However, Ossi Vaananen may be the bright spot of the season for the shaky Flyers back line.
For the second game in a row, Biron has been shaky. Making big saves on occasion, the first Montreal goal was a let. A wrist shot from the high slot from Andrei Kostitsyn, went through the legs of Timonen and beat Biron low glove side.
The Flyers will get some much needed reinforcement Tuesday night when newly acquired Andrew Alberts will be in uniform, as the Flyers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.