Somehow the Canadiens missed the message. You know, the one about fourth games of playoff series being the most critical. They missed the message and missed the boat. The Philadelphia Flyers stifled the Canadiens at every turn, totally silencing the crowd en route to a 3-0 victory. The Flyers now lead the series three games to one. All three of their wins have been via shutout. The Canadiens were outshot on their own ice 25-17 including 13-1 in the second period as the Flyers took a 2-0 lead on goals by Claude Giroux and Ville Leino. Giroux added an empty net goal to complete the scoring.
The Flyers can now wrap up the series on Monday on home ice in game five.
(Game Video Highlights Below)
How It Went
The First Period
Momentum Changer? – Five minutes into the game Tomas Plekanec corralled a rebound and rolled the puck past the open side of the net. At the time the shots on goal were 5-1 in favour of the Canadiens.
Losing Their Way– The final fifteen minutes of the period the Canadiens had just two shots. Meanwhile Jeff Carter was stopped on a breakway by Halak at 12:48 and Hal Gill had to fall on the puck in the crease behind Halak a minute later. End of the first period 0-0. Shots on goal 7-5 for the Canadiens.
Getting The Jump- The Flyers took control early. Claude Giroux got the puck on the fly from Kimmo Timonen, swept around Josh Gorges and flipped the puck over Halak on the short side to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
The Only Moment– At 13:34 of the period the Canadiens got their only shot. Off a rush started by P.K. Subban, Maxim Lapierre took a shot that was easily blocked by Michael Leighton.
The Gambler- Subban’s rush created the only shot of the period. In the 15th minute he tried another rush but fell as he hit the Philadelphia line. Chris Pronger hit Ville Leino at centre ice for a breakaway. Leino just tucked the puck in and it was 2-0.
Dead in the Water- The Canadiens were outshot 13-1 in the period and the 21,000 at the Bell Centre were eerily silent. 2-0 Flyers.
The Third Period
No Gas In the Tank- Matt Carle was given a delay of the game penalty at 6:35 for clearing the puck over the glass. The Canadiens could get no shots on goal during the advantage. The Flyers defence blocked five attempts.
Another Opportunity- Arron Asham was given a penalty for Interfering with Halak in the crease. The Flyers had the best scoring chance when Mike Richards broke loose on a breakaway forcing Halak to make a save.
The Last Chance- In the 18th minute Lapierre found himself alone at the side of the net. With Moen also on top of the crease, Lapierre was stopped twice. They were the Canadiens last two shots of the game.
Empty Net- Jacques Martin removed Halak for the extra attacker with 2 minutes remaining. Nine seconds later Bergeron had to dive to prevent a rolling puck from entering the empty net. Thirty-eight seconds later Giroux scored in the empty net to wrap it up. Final score 3-0.
Summing It Up- The Canadiens played like they hadn’t awakened from their afternoon nap. It is rare that a goaltender who registers a shutout is not given a star in the game. It was the case in this game. The Canadiens were so flat offensively that Michael Leighton could have worked the game in a rocking chair. Some would call it a perfect road game for the Flyers who worked very hard and shutting the Canadiens down and silencing the crowd. They did it perfectly and made it look easy when the Canadiens wouldn’t engage the battle.
They keep making it hard on themselves.
Goalscorers – Philadelphia – Giroux (7th) (Timonen); Leino (4th) (Pronger); Giroux (8th) ENG (unassisted). Montreal – None
Shots on Goal – Philadelphia 5-13-7 = 25 Montreal 7-1-9 = 17
Three Stars- First-Chris Pronger (1 assist – 31:07 ice time – 3 blocked shots)
Second-Matt Carle (six blocked shots) Third – Claude Giroux (2 goals –won 11 of 16 faceoffs)