The Philadelphia Flyers have eliminated the Montreal Canadiens from the playoffs with a Game Six victory Friday.
The final score was 3-2. Ivan Provorov, Kevin Hayes, and Michael Raffl had the goals for Philly, while Nick Suzuki had both for Montreal.
Carter Hart made 31 saves, facing down his hero Carey Price.
Montreal had the clear shots edge in Game Six, plus they went one for two on the power play while the Flyers couldn’t find the net on four tries.
Philadelphia got in the shooting lanes and led with 21 blocked shots. Their aggression forced the Canadiens to make some crucial turnovers, plus they played pinball with Montreal’s defenders and got pucks in the net off deflections.
While it’s easy – and disappointingly popular – to armchair-scold a team for failing in the playoffs and promote a complete franchise overhaul like life is a video game, these Habs have a lot to be proud of. They entered the bubble down in the standings and had no business even making it to the official playoffs. But then they took down the Pittsburgh Penguins and they carried on without head coach Claude Julien.
The Canadiens made a run of it, got a star-making performance out of Suzuki, and proved their depth. Veterans like Price and Shea Weber held the fort. And not for nothing, but losing Brendan Gallagher for Game Six and beyond would be a blow to any team in the National Hockey League.
The Canadiens won’t make excuses, but the future is bright, and they gave this series their all. They didn’t disintegrate like the Calgary Flames or Washington Capitals when it mattered most.
The Flyers will take their imposing physical game to the New York Islanders in the second round. It’ll be a tight-checking, heavy series.