for this game

Gagne's three-point night helps Flyers cool off Canadiens

Nov 26, 2006 - 2:41 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Simon Gagne and the Philadelphia Flyers proved that maybe there is not such a big gap between the Habs and the have-nots.

Gagne scored two goals and added an assist and Antero Niittymaki made 29 saves as the Flyers cooled off the Montreal Canadiens with a crisp 4-2 victory.

Philadelphia has won back-to-back games for just the second time this season but still sits last in the Eastern Conference with six wins and 15 points.

The Flyers edged lowly Columbus, 3-2, on Friday before heading north of the border to snap a season-high three-game winning streak by the Habs.

"We've changed a little bit of our style," Gagne said. "We play more disciplined and when we play that way, we give ourselves more chances to win. We showed it a little bit last night against Columbus and tonight against Montreal, one of the hottest teams in the league. When you can win against one of the best teams in the league, then it shows that the plan is working."

Sami Kapanen and Mike Knuble also tallied for the Flyers, who scored three times in the second period to win for just the second time in their last six meetings with the Canadiens.

Alexei Kovalev gave Montreal a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, but Kapanen forged a tie at 1:34 of the middle session with his fourth goal of the season.

Knuble put Philadelphia ahead for good with 4:17 remaining in the second period, scoring from the doorstep after goaltender David Aebischer allowed a wraparound by defenseman Randy Jones to squeak under him.

"We've seen enough adversity this season to last a while," Knuble said. "I think the guys in the room feel it's our turn to get some positive things to happen."

Gagne made it 3-1 with 62 seconds left in the period and only one second remaining on a power play. The Canadiens actually had killed off a lengthy two-man advantage before Gagne's one-timer from the right faceoff circle fluttered over Aebischer's head for his team-leading 12th goal.

"It was a one-timer he fanned on and it just found its way into the net," said Aebischer, who has been in goal for each of Montreal's last three defeats. "It was unfortunate, but that's the way it goes."

Gagne added a shorthanded tally with 2:08 left in the third period to cap the scoring.

"We have a plan to follow and, if we go away from it, then we struggle - and that's what happened in the first (period)," Gagne said. "We went back to the plan in the second and I think it was one of our best periods of the season."

Aebischer turned aside 22 shots and Saku Koivu also scored for Montreal, which had allowed a total of four goals during its winning streak.

"We started the game real strong, but we took some penalties in the second," Koivu said. "It seems the second period is a problem for us in a lot of games. We lose focus and make some mental mistakes and lose the momentum we had."






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