Canadiens-Flyers Preview

The Philadelphia Flyers hope to prove they belong in the

discussion of the Eastern Conference’s best teams. After taking

another step in that direction with their latest victory, they’ll

look for a little revenge in the process.

Philadelphia hosts a matchup of division leaders Monday night

against Montreal, which shut out the Flyers less than a week

ago.

Philadelphia survived Washington’s comeback attempt Saturday for

a 5-4 shootout victory. Brian Boucher earned his first win since

Oct. 23, making 33 saves after going 1-3-1 in his first five starts

this season.

“It’s just nice to win,” Boucher said. “Obviously, you get a

two-goal lead in the third and you want to nail it down. It didn’t

happen.”

Despite giving up three power-play goals in the third period and

squandering a 3-1 lead, Philadelphia (13-6-2) snapped a two-game

losing skid which included a 3-0 loss to the Canadiens on Tuesday

and an 8-7 defeat to Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Danny Briere scored the only goal in the shootout, while Jeff

Carter, Claude Giroux, Andreas Nodl and Mike Richards scored in

regulation.

The Flyers entered Saturday against the Capitals having gone

only 2-4-1 against conference contenders Washington, Tampa Bay,

Pittsburgh and Montreal.

“It’s one thing to beat the lower-seed teams,” Briere said. “But

we have to start showing we belong amongst the best.”

Beating the Canadiens may help the Flyers’ case.

Carey Price made 30 saves in a 2-0 win Saturday against Toronto,

earning his third shutout in six games and fourth of the

season.

Montreal (13-6-1) has won five of six, killing 26 of 27

penalties in that span The Canadiens lead the NHL with a 90.5

percent penalty kill and held the Maple Leafs scoreless in three

attempts with the man advantage.

Jeff Halpern scored a short-handed goal in the second period,

and Michael Cammalleri netted his sixth goal of the season in the

third.

“I think our penalty killers have done an outstanding job.

(Halpern’s) goal was the turning point,” coach Jacques Martin told

the team’s official site. “That goal was just really good

execution. I think that exemplified how Jeff Halpern has been

playing for our team.”

It was Halpern’s fifth goal and 11th point this season.

“I thought we did a good job pressuring them and not letting

them get set up, but our (defense is) doing a great job of getting

on pucks on their zone entries,” Halpern said. “And when we have

broken down, a goalie can make stats and numbers look pretty

good.”

Halpern was alluding to Price, who has won five of his last six

starts and ranks among the league’s best with a 2.00 goals-against

average.

Rookie Sergei Bobrovsky, who is 11-3-1 with a 2.29 GAA, likely

will oppose Price, who made 41 saves in his shutout of the Flyers

last week. Bobrovsky allowed goals to Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec

and Brian Gionta even though Philadelphia outshot Montreal

41-28.

This is the second meeting between the teams since the Flyers

beat the Canadiens in five games in last season’s Eastern

Conference finals.