The Montreal Canadiens have been eliminated and are now heading home after a tough loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in game six. The Flyers pick up the series win and move on to round two. The Canadiens played a great series and have a lot to be proud of even after the loss. They had the Flyers right where they wanted them. If it was not for Carter Hart, the Flyers would have been the ones going home. As for game six. Here is the recap.
The Canadiens got off to a bad start in the first. Just 28 seconds into the game, The Flyers got a goal on their specialty play. A set play off a face-off where Ivan Provorov sent a slapshot Carey Price’s way and getting the Flyers on the board early. A huge goal for Philadelphia, which lead to a lot of momentum for the Flyers going forward.
The Canadiens got caught sleeping a few minutes later and took a very needless penalty. The Flyers put the pressure on and eventually got a goal, as Kevin Hayes got a beauty, right as the power play expired. This would set the Flyers up with a comfortable lead, and they were able to play their game.
The Canadiens were not going to go down without a fight in this game. Nick Suzuki gave the Canadiens a spark late in the first and gave them some momentum on a beautiful goal. Suzuki continues to impress everyone this season for the Canadiens. A great regular season and, he showed up big in the playoffs and, he was a guy the Canadiens tended to lean on greatly.
The Canadiens continued to press in the first but failed to finish. However, heading into the intermission, the Canadiens had the momentum of the game on their side. Only down 2-1.
The Canadiens came out with momentum in the second and were back to their simple game. Lots of shots on net, but Hart was extremely sharp in game six.
The Flyers got a short momentum swing, but it was all they needed. Michael Raffl, who was great for the Flyers this series put the puck past Carey Price, off the post and into the back of the net. Giving the Flyers their two-goal lead back.
The Canadiens would bounce back as just a couple minutes later, Jonathan Drouin got into a battle in the corner. He came out with the puck and sent it across the ice to Suzuki, who put the puck home for his second on the game. A perfect play by Drouin and a beautiful shot by Suzuki was what the Canadiens needed to regain the momentum.
The Canadiens controlled the rest of the second period but could not get ahead in the score. After two periods, they were still trailing by one goal.
The Canadiens put all they had into the third period. Pucks on the net, smarter passes and were the better neutral zone team. The only thing that mattered in this game was goal-scoring, but the Canadiens had trouble solving Hart. Hart played amazing all series long and even more so in game six.
The third period stayed scoreless despite multiple chances for the Canadiens. The Canadiens season was over. They put their all into every game, but the dream was over. The Flyers won 3-2 in the game and 4-2 in the series. Hart leads the Flyers past the Canadiens, in a great series by him and he finished it with an amazing third period.
The Canadiens have a lot to be proud of. They eliminated one of the best teams in the play-in rounds, the Pittsburgh Penguins. They surprised both the Flyers and the Penguins by the speed and the calmness of the young guys. This run built experience for players like Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaneimi, Max Domi, and many more. We saw breakouts from players that not many expected to play well in the playoffs. Guys like Brett Kulak and Joel Armia.
Going forward there is uncertainty with some players coming up on expiring contracts such as Domi and Victor Mete. Those are two key guys the Canadiens need to decide on in the offseason. We will almost certainly see some changes next year to the Canadiens roster, but hopefully, they are back next year in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
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