Canadiens’ Maxim Lapierre tries to clear Flyers forward Scott Hartnell from the front of Carey Price’s the net Wednesday night at the Bell Centre. John Kenney, The Gazette
• At a Glance: The Canadiens battled to the end, clawing back from a two-goal deficit in the third period before ultimately falling 5-3 to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre. James van Riemsdyk scored a pair for the Flyers, including the winning goal with about five minutes to play during a Flyers power play. Jeff Carter opened the scoring when he scored on a nice individual effort with 18 seconds to play in the first period. In the second period, van Riemsdyk was credited with a goal 2:33 into the frame when a harmless looking shot from the far board deflected off Hal Gill’s leg and over Carey Price’s shoulder. P.K. Subban narrowed the gap to 2-1 during a 5-on-3 man advantage with 1:51 to play in the second period, beating Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky on Montreal’s 27th shot on goal. Nikolay Zherdev re-established the Flyers’ two-goal lead early in the third period when he went aroudn Price’s net and his centring pass went off the goaltender’s stick and slid between his pads. Tomas Plekanec got that one back a few minutes later off a scramble in front of the Flyers net for his 10th goal of the season. And captain Brian Gionta tied the score 3-3 at the midway point of the period when his shot from the slot slipped between Bobrovsky’s legs for his 10th goal of the season, keeping pace with Plekanec. But the Flyers roared back after Gionta tied the game, with goals by van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux a minute apart to put this one out of reach.
• Key Moments: A defensive error during a Flyers power-play in the third period led to the winning goal for the Flyers to spoil the comeback.
• What It Means: Montreal has now lost three straight games for the first time this season and their record falls to 18-11-2 and their hold on top spot in the Northeast Division is extremely tenuous with only a two-point lead over the Boston Bruins, 3-2 losers to the Sabres Wednesday night.
• What’s Next: The Canadiens are back in action Thursday night with a visit from the Boston Bruins. Montreal then hits the road for seven straight games starting Sunday night in Colorado. There is no game Saturday night, a rarity for the Canadiens.