The Canadiens Bounced Back with a dominant win over the Flyers in game 2. Playing with motivation for head coach Claude Julien. The Habs had the Flyers chasing all game, a fast start led to a huge Canadiens win. The whole team played great under Kirk Muller in game 2 and here’s the Recap.
Fast Paced First Period
The Montreal Canadiens got off to a very hot start in the first. Pressure on Carter Hart early paid off right away as on the second shot of the game Tomas Tatar buried the puck past Hart. Tatar’s first of the playoffs couldn’t have come at a better time.
A hot start for the Habs was exactly what was needed, Only a few minutes later it was one of the Habs best players so far in the postseason getting a big goal. Jesperi Kotkaneimi put a rebound in and just like that it was 2-0 for the Canadiens.
The Habs were all over the Flyers in the first period, of a player in an orange sweater had the puck it wasn’t for long. The Canadiens did an excellent job gaining possession. and through the entire first period, Carey Price only got tested once. The Flyers spent nearly no time in the offensive zone. And the Habs had a lot of momentum to build around heading into the 2nd period.
A Strong Second Period.
The momentum kept rolling as the Habs flooded Hart with chances. Pucks on net from the first time they entered the zone. The game started to even out for the Flyers until they took a penalty and the Canadiens finally made them pay for it. Tomas Tatar who was struggling throughout the entire play in series put away his second of the day. 3-0 Habs with a lot of hockey left to play.
The Canadiens kept consistent pressure on during the second period. It seemed as if Hart had figured it out, settled down, and appeared to be back to himself. Then another lucky bounce for the Canadiens led to another goal. Joel Armia just threw the puck in front and it went off Shayne Gostisbehere’s skate and past Hart.
After goal number 4 the night was over for Carter Hart after making 22 saves on 26 shots. Hart was very solid for the Flyers, unfortunately, their offence had nothing but problems at the other end. After 4 the decision made was the right one, getting your young goalie out of there as soon you can. And with Hart out, in comes the veteran Brian Elliott for the Flyers. Elliott was just there to stop the bleeding for the Flyers.
Keeping the Pressure on in the 3rd
A great part of this game for the Canadiens was their ability to keep their foot on the gas. Even with a 4-0 lead the Habs still weren’t satisfied, they kept the puck in the Flyers zone and continued to flood the net with shots.
The Habs were one step ahead of the Flyers all night, and it caused frustration for the orange and black. The Canadiens found themselves on the power play what seemed to be every 5 minutes.
The Canadiens had the pace set fast, and the Flyers couldn’t keep up. So when the players got tired the only thing they could do to get a stoppage that they could change on, was to take a penalty. The Canadiens produced with the man advantage. Jesperi Kotkaneimi walked right into the slot and put it past Elliott for his second of the day. And that was it for scoring 5-0 for the Canadiens and it stayed that way till the final whistle.
Kotkaneimi finished this game with 2 goals moving his playoff total to 4 goals in 6 games. Kotkaneimi has been one of the Habs best players so far in the playoffs and he’s proving himself as a great goalscorer and player. Excited to see him in the rest of the playoffs.
#2 Max Domi
Max Domi was Dominant all night for the Habs. Through the first 5 games, Domi was basically invisible. Stuck on the 4th line and never got much ice time. Tonight he got a chance on every line the Habs have. And on every line, he got a point, 3 assists for Domi. His first 3 points of the playoffs. Domi was the Habs best forward in game 2.
#1 Carey Price
A 30 save shutout of Carey Price on Friday. Definitely some momentum he can carry over into game 3 on Sunday. Price didn’t face a shot for most of the first 20 minutes but was sharp when the shots started. Price has been back to the 2014-15 form during this run. He kept them in game 1 and the whole play-in series. Price’s performance was what drove the Canadiens in this game.
Going into game 3 a lot of people were down on the Flyers. They played terrible in game 2 and it was their time to prove the doubters wrong, but they still had to get past Carey and the Habs who had a lot of momentum.
Unlike game 2 nobody really had strong possession at the beginning of the game. It was looking to be a neutral zone game. Not very many chances and when they were there Price and Hart shut them down.
About 5 minutes into the game the first chance happened. Off a faceoff a shot from the point when straight through and was deflected by Jakub Voracek and it was 1-0 Flyers. A very lucky bounce for Philadelphia but they’ve already found out you need to be lucky to beat Carey Price.
The next shift for the Canadiens they came out firing. Multiple chances but couldn’t put it in the net. Jesperi Kotkaneimi had a great opportunity but put it off the post, later that shift it was Brett Kulak with his second great chance but he hit the post as well. Inches away from tying the game. That goal would have been the Cherry on top for Kulak who has been amazing for the Habs in the playoffs.
The Habs couldn’t tie the game in the first but there was a lot of hockey left and they needed to bring the heat in the second.
The Second period was very interesting, not many chances and both goalies were almost flawless. The frustration for both teams was obvious, the refs weren’t letting anything go, multiple icings and multiple penalties, but neither team was successful.
At this point the game had settled down. Both teams were looking really tired and there was still a whole other period of hockey to play. The Canadiens needed to wake up and try to get something going in the 3rd.
The 3rd Period was extremely frustrating for both sides, a very slow paced period. If the Canadiens had been able to find their legs they would be blown the Flyers away, but they all looked tired. It was almost too easy for Carter Hart and Carey Price.
For the Canadiens their top 2 forward lines were looking quite good. Suzuki with Tatar and Gallagher is possibly going to be their top line for a while. And the second line with Domi Kotkaneimi and Drouin was very good on Sunday. The line shuffles Muller has made have been great for the Canadiens.
The Canadiens started to put pressure on late in the 3rd and that’s where Carter Hart came in clutch for the Flyers. Hart stood tall in the final minute and earned his first career shutout in the playoffs as the Flyers take game 3 by a score of 1-0
#3 Jesperi Kotkaneimi
Once again Kotkaneimi earns the 3rd star from me. He continues to impress me in this series, Kotkaneimi is a driving force of the offense. And was the Habs best forward without a doubt in game 3.
#2 Carey Price
Price once again stood on his head for the Canadiens and the Voracek goal wasn’t his fault at all. Price is playing amazing hockey right now and he has to be he turning point for the Canadiens in this series.
#1 Carter Hart
The rest of the Flyers team wasn’t too sharp on Sunday, but Carter Hart bounced back after being pulled in game 2 and earned his first career playoff shutout and was great all night for the Flyers.
From Making great saves on Nick Suzuki to clutching up late in the 3rd. Carter Hart without a doubt was the Flyers best player all night and the better goalie in the duel on Sunday.
Get ready for game 4
Game 4 is a must win for the Habs on tuesday, they can’t afford to get down 3-1 in this series. They need to be awake and aware for game 4. They need to control the game the way they did in game 2, and if they do the series could easily be tied up again. Don’t let this one sit in your head. it behind you and be ready for game 4.
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