(SportsNetwork.com) – The Montreal Canadiens will try to extend their winning
streak to a season-high five games when they welcome the Philadelphia Flyers
for Saturday’s battle at the Bell Centre.
Montreal has won four in a row for the second time this season and the Habs
are coming off Thursday’s impressive victory over the rival Boston Bruins. The
Canadiens slammed the visiting Bruins 5-1 and improved their home record this
season to 7-2-0. They have a chance to complete a perfect four-game homestand
tonight against the Flyers.
Max Pacioretty fueled Montreal’s big win over last season’s Presidents’ Trophy
winners, potting a pair of goals to help the Habs rout the B’s. Pacioretty,
who is leading the Canadiens in both goals (8) and points (13), recorded his
first multi-goal effort since notching a hat trick against Ottawa on April 4
of last season.
Dale Weise also scored on a penalty shot, with Lars Eller and Jiri Sekac
adding a tally each for the Canadiens. Carey Price came up with 21 saves for
“I think we’re playing better at both ends of the rink. Sometimes the goals
come in bunches, but that’s the game we’ve been searching for the last while,”
said Pacioretty. “Tonight really showed that, we got a couple of bounces here
and there. It does a lot for our confidence.”
The Canadiens last won five straight from March 22-29 of last season.
Montreal posted a 4-3 shootout win in Philadelphia on Oct. 11, giving the club
only its third win in the past 10 meetings with the Flyers. The Canadiens have
won two of three and three of the last five encounters at the Bell Centre.
Price will get the call in net tonight and is 9-9-0 with a 2.68 goals against
average in his career against Philly.
The Flyers will try to bounce back Saturday after losing a 4-3 decision last
night against visiting Columbus. James Wisniewski and Nick Foligno each scored
two goals as the Blue Jackets halted a nine-game slide in Scott Hartnell’s
return to Philadelphia. Hartnell spent seven seasons in Philadelphia before
getting shipped to Columbus in June for fellow forward R. J. Umberger and a
fourth-round draft pick.
Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Michael Del Zotto lit the lamp for the
Flyers, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Steve Mason, a former
Blue Jacket, made 34 saves.
“Yeah I don’t think it was a great effort,” said Mason. “We needed to be
better, I just don’t think we had the urgency that they did tonight.”
Voracek recorded a point for his ninth straight game, tying his career best
point streak. He has five goals and 12 assists during the run, and with 24
points on the season, Voracek is just one behind Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby
for the league lead.
With the Flyers playing on consecutive nights, Ray Emery could get his first
start in net since Oct. 30 when he surrendered four goals in a loss against
Tampa Bay. Emery is 4-1-1 this season with a 2.74 GAA and is 9-7-1 with a
2.87 GAA in 17 career appearances versus the Canadiens.