The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Flyers won Game 1 with a score of 2-1. Here is the recap of Game 2 between the Canadiens and Flyers.
You wouldn’t have known that the Canadiens lost Game 1 by the way they started this period. Canadiens forward Tomas Tatar scored 1:02 into the period making it the first time the Flyers have trailed in this series. From there, it was all Canadiens. They were able to sustain offensive pressure against the top seeded Flyers and also got another goal in the process. Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored to extend the lead to two. However, the Flyers built momentum in the last five minutes of the period but couldn’t find a way to score.
Montreal went into the second period with a 2-0 lead.
Tatar again scored an early goal this period and extended the lead to three on a power play. But, the Flyers made the game feel closer as they started to pressure the Canadiens on both ends of the ice. However, they weren’t able to convert their takeaways to goals this period. With 2:03 left in the period, Canadiens forward Joel Armia scored a goal to extend the lead to four. Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault decided to pull goaltender Carter Hart out of the net and put in backup goaltender Brian Elliott.
Montreal went into the third period with a 4-0 lead.
The Flyers mainly controlled this period but the damage had already been dealt to them. To make matters worse, Kotkaniemi scored again on a power play that extended the Canadiens’ lead to five. Even though the Flyers got their game rolling after Kotkaniemi’s goal, they couldn’t find a goal and were shutout.
Montreal won the game 5-0 and tied the series 1-1.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Max Domi (3 assists)
Second Star: Jesperi Kotkaniemi (2 goals)
First Star: Tomas Tatar (2 goals)
Montreal’s head coach Claude Julien is expected to be out for the rest of the series due to having chest pains the night before Game 2. He also had a heart surgery procedure done and is currently recovering in Montreal. Canadiens assistant coach Kirk Muller will take position as head coach for at least the rest of this series.
With that said, the Canadiens played their best game since the NHL restart. They were the quicker and faster team and were able to make their shots count. The Canadiens did all that without Julien on the bench. It’s just the matter of whether they can consistently play this way the rest of the games in this series.
On the other hand, Philadelphia was nowhere to be found during this game. They had spurts of momentum going their way but they just couldn’t seem to get a goal from their scoring chances. And, the fact that the Canadiens chased Hart out of the net should say something about the goaltending as well.
Game 3 of the Canadiens-Flyers series is on Aug. 16 at 8:00 pm EST.