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Flyers edge Canadiens, win 7th straight

Dec 16, 2011 - 4:49 AM
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Andrej Meszaros netted the game winner in the third period as Philadelphia won its seventh-straight game thanks to a 4-3 decision over Montreal at Bell Centre.

Max Talbot, Wayne Simmonds and Harry Zolnierczyk also scored for the Flyers, who soldiered on despite learning that captain Chris Pronger will be lost for the remainder of the season plus playoffs while recovering from the after- effects of a concussion.

"It was not an easy thing for the guys to know that Pronger would be gone for the season. But they competed and fought the whole game," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "Certainly, the news was not what you wanted. It's hard to replace a man for 26-27 minutes per game. We can move forward without Chris and Claude (Giroux), but it's really going to be tough to remain in first place. We have to keep going."

Matt Carle added three assists and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28-of-31 shots as Philadelphia regained sole possession of first place in the East with 43 points -- two ahead of idle Boston.

David Desharnais, Louis Leblanc and Erik Cole provided the offense for the Canadiens, whose two-game win streak came to an end.

Carey Price allowed four goals on just 25 shots for the loss.

Jaromir Jagr fed Meszaros for a successful one-timer at the right point for a 4-3 Philly lead at 8:08 of the third. It was the fourth one-goal margin for the Flyers, but there was not to be another tie.

The Canadiens held an advantage with 2:31 remaining when Talbot was sent off for holding. Price was sent to the bench for the final half of the power play, but the hosts failed to connect even with a 6-on-4 manpower edge.

"We had to capitalize on the 5-on-3, but games lose rhythm when there are so many penalties called on both sides," admitted Habs forward Mike Cammalleri. "It kinda screws up the flow in the game. This was one with a lot of ups and downs. We clawed back three times but it wasn't enough."

After holding the fort on an early short-handed situation, Bobrovsky kept the game scoreless with a left-pad stop on a Tomas Plekanec breakaway.

Talbot rewarded his goaltender with a one-timer from the left circle which eluded Price at 12:07 of the opening period

Montreal had a two-man advantage for well over a minute late in the first, and a score by Plekanec was wiped out when Cole was ruled to have committed incidental contact with Bobrovsky on the play.

Another extended Habs advantage, which included another 5-on-3 and also carried over into the second period, went by the wayside. Nonetheless, Desharnais managed to move around the Philadelphia net and lift a shot over bodies in front at 5:02 for a 1-1 tie.

The Flyers regained the lead just 46 when Zolnierczyk went airborne in the slot to backhand home the rebound of a Matt Carle chance, but Leblanc tied the game with 6:36 left when he tapped in a loose puck from the slot.

It was a 3-2 lead for the visitors as the clock ticked under two minutes to play in the second, as Simmonds kept whacking at a loose puck in the Montreal crease until his tap-in at the left post.

Cole responded in the final 16 seconds on a power play, shoveling home a Max Pacioretty pass at the top of the crease.

Game Notes

Philadelphia improved to 12-3-2 on the road...Montreal fell to 5-6-6 at home...The Flyers have won seven in a row for the first time since an eight- game run from January 6-19, 2002...Zolnierczyk's two NHL goals have come in Canadian arenas...Pacioretty recorded two assists...The Flyers have won five of the last six overall meetings with the Canadiens...Carle notched his first three-point contest since January 7, 2010 at Pittsburgh...Simmonds extended his career-best goal streak to four straight games.