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The Canadiens Stay Alive And Take Game Five

Montreal Canadiens stay alive and take game five over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Montreal Canadiens take game five from the Flyers to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Canadiens controlled this game throughout the entire 60 minutes. Even when they were trailing, they looked like they had more confidence, and looked like the better team all game. The Canadiens played their most complete game so far this series and, they live to see game six. It’s time to recap the fast-paced game five.

First Period

At the beginning of the game, the Canadiens looked the same as they did in game four. Slow, tired, and far from comfortable. Ben Chiarot took a penalty two minutes into the game. Forcing the Canadiens to kill off a penalty before they even had a chance for all their players to play a shift.

One of the few things that stayed consistent from the regular season was the Canadiens penalty kill. It was one of the best in the league, and when the play-in round started, it seemed like they didn’t even skip a beat.

In this penalty kill situation, it was one of the most unlikely of heroes, who made the play to get something going for the Canadiens. Xavier Ouellet made an excellent play when clearing the puck to send it off the boards, and the puck bounced out to Joel Armia, who put it past Carter Hart making the game 1-0. An early goal means a lot for the Canadiens, but short-handed made it even better for the Canadiens’ momentum.

The Canadiens went into the first intermission with a very good first period. They drew some penalties and put some pressure on Carter Hart. They needed to continue that in the second period and get some more insurance.

Second Period

Jesperi Kotkaneimi has been one of the Habs best players in the playoffs Photo Credit- The Canadian Press Frank Gunn

The Second Period started very well for the Canadiens. The young guys like Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaneimi were flying around the ice, and it was a great start to the period. Until Kotkaneimi took a costly penalty after sending Flyers’ defensemen Travis Sanheim into the boards. The young center ended up getting a game misconduct and a 5 minute major for the hit. Sending the Flyers to the power play was not ideal, but perhaps losing Kotkaneimi was worse for the Canadiens.

The Flyers started the power play off hot. They were flooding Carey Price in shots, and it eventually paid off as the puck was sent across to Jakub Voracekwho banked it in off Chiarot’s stick tying the game at one goal apiece. Voracek wasn’t done yet, on the same power play, Voracek had an opportunity and shot it off Chiarot’s skate past Price with just under a minute left in the power play. The Canadiens gave up the lead but got out of the Kotkaneimi penalty.

Win the Period Back

The Canadiens regained momentum as soon as the penalty was over. Once they got possession again, they were back in the game. Shoot as much as possible, and no matter who had the puck or what angle you were at, throw it on the net and see what happens. That paid off very quickly.

Brett Kulak got the puck out of a battle and backhanded it down to Armia, and Armia, who already has one goal was looking for two. He tossed the puck on net, and it somehow went off Hart and in to tie the game. The goal gave the Canadiens a lot more confidence, and it caught the Flyers off guard. 

The Flyers had a lot of trouble staying out of the penalty box in game five. They took two double minors, and it could have been four. The Canadiens had a motivated power play to try to get something done with the man advantage. After Jake Evans got cross-checked in the mouth by Sanheim, the Canadiens had a chance on the power play. Brendan Gallagher finally got the monkey off his back by scoring a beautiful goal on a sweet feed from Suzuki to give the Habs their lead back. Which they held onto going into the intermission.

3rd Period

The Canadiens had 20 minutes to close this out and force a game six, but first, they had to fight off the Flyers. The Canadiens needed to play the same way they did through the first 40 minutes, but minimize the penalties, and keep flooding Hart with shots.

A play that could have been a turning point for the Flyers was stopped by Jeff Petry. He ended up taking a penalty trying to shutdown Kevin Hayes on a breakaway. It should have been a penalty shot, but it didn’t matter as on the ensuing power play Voracek set up Joel Farabee to tie the game up. The Flyers power play burned the Canadiens again. 

The Canadiens didn’t let the tie game get in their heads as Johnathan Drouin won a battle behind the net and set up Nick Suzuki for the go-ahead goal. Suzuki had one disallowed in the second when Drouin was offside.

Drouin made up for it with a sweet feed to Suzuki in front who put it past Hart. Once again, it’s a young guy coming in clutch for the Canadiens, and Suzuki made it look so easy.

The Canadiens continued to push the Flyers in this game. A huge factor in game five was the pressure put on by all four lines. It is a lot to build off of for the next matchup. The Flyers tried to push Price, but he stood tall in goal.

Price once again was a huge reason for the Canadiens to survive this series. In the final minute, the Flyers pulled Hart for the extra attacker. With just 17 seconds left, Phillip Danault put the puck into the empty net. This sealed the deal for the Canadiens in game five. Keeping them alive to play game six.

Three Stars:

#3 Nick Suzuki

Nick Suzuki was the main guy who stood up in the absence of Kotkaneimi. Suzuki played a great game and had one goal, but could have had two, if not more. He continued his great play throughout the playoffs and was one of the Canadiens’ best forwards in this game.

#2 Jakub Voracek

Voracek had a great game getting two huge goals for the Flyers. Out of the big three on that team, Voracek has been the only one who has been able to produce offensively. He was spot on in game five with his shots and passes. He was the Flyers’ best player on the ice all night.

#1 Joel Armia

From the very start of the game, Armia was all over the ice. Two goals for Armia on the night, and he helped pave the way offensively for the Canadiens. He was their best player in game five, and he continues to impress everyone in these playoffs.

Force Game Seven.

The Canadiens have two more wins to get in this series, and it won’t be easy. Now they are down Brendan Gallagher for the rest of the series, and they need to finish this job. Rally for Gally, support Price and flood Hart with shots. The more shots, the more chances. As we saw in game five, Hart can’t save them all.

The same mindset for Game six. Matt Niskanen should be thankful he does not have to pay the price from Chiarot or Shea Weber. The Canadiens have a high chance of pulling this out. It seems every game they get gas added to the fire. The Canadiens have more motivation than ever. If they can pull out another upset in game six, they will have the table shifted on the Flyers for game seven. Hopefully, we get to see it.

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