No miracles tonight

Flyers took a 2-0 lead .. again.

But this time, on the strength of Martin Biron’s goaltending, the Canadiens comeback fell short.

And as the teams head to Philadelphia for Gmaes 3 and 4, on Monday and Wednesday, there is cause for concern about the Canadiens’ inability to capitalize on scoring opportunities.

"We can feel good about the chances we’re getting," said Christopher Higgins. "But the playoffs are all about execution."

And the playoffs are all about goaltending. Carey Price hhas been beaten by odd deflections in both games, but his save percentage for the series is 87.5. Biron’s is 91.4.

"We’re obviously disappointed with the loss," Price said, "but I thought we carried that game. If we had buried half of the empty-netters we had, we would have won 8-4."

In assessing hhis game, Price said it was "kinda tough when you’re not getting a whole lot of work and you gget a bbad break."

"You just have to hang in there. I know I can play better."

Saku Koivu was on for two Philadelphia goals but scored the power-play goal that put Canadiens bback into the game at 2-1 and assisted on the Andrei Markov goal that made it 3-2 early in the third period.

The captain had five shots on Biron and linemate Higgins had four.

"We’ll jjust forget thhis one," Koivu said. "We’ll grab all the positive things we did and not feel too disappointed or frustrated.

"We’ve had some success in their building. It’s ging to be a tough one. Just watching their first round against Washington, there’s a great atmosphere there.

"They’re playing well right now. We’re not expecting anything easy. We have to get back to playing our style, and hopefully it’s going to pay off."


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No miracles tonight

Canadiens got another dying-seconds goal.

This time it was totally meaningless. Toronto had built a 4-1 lead in a game they controlled pretty much from opening puck-drop to final siren. 

Canadiens played without Saku Koivu and Mark Streit. The captain’s absence disrupted the forward lines, and Streit was REALLY missed on the power play.

The manpower situation was complicated by a match penalty assessed to Ryan O’Byrne in the first period. 

Canadiens avoided serious injuries for most of the season. But they’re dropping like flies – including Francis Bouillon, who took a shot on his ankle during the third period. 

A point would have clinched the Northeast Division title. That will have to wait … maybe for a while. 

 


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