Flyers at Canadiens – 7:30 p.m., CSN
Bell Centre, Montreal
Flyers: 17-21-3 (Fifth in Atlantic Division, 13th in Eastern Conference)
Canadiens: 26-10-5 (First in Northeast Division, second in Eastern Conference)
In the last matchup between these two clubs, the Flyers closed out a productive homestand (3-1-1) with a gritty 5-3 win over Montreal. Simon Gagne and Jakub Voracek each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who had a strong defensive performance in front of Ilya Bryzgalov. Second-year center Sean Couturier snapped a 28-game goal drought with his second-period tally.
Monday will mark the third and final meeting between the Flyers and Habs this season. The two teams have split the first two contests, with Montreal outscoring the Flyers, 7-6.
Steve Mason made 20 saves and certainly played well enough to earn a victory, but the Flyers failed to give their newly-acquired netminder any support in a 1-0 shutout loss to Buffalo on Saturday. It was the first time the Flyers were shut out by the Sabres since 1998. Christian Ehrhoff scored a fluke goal that bounced off the back boards and off Mason's skate into the net for Buffalo's lone marker.
The Canadiens are coming off an embarrassing 5-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Carey Price allowed the Leafs to score four goals on their first five shots and was pulled midway through the first frame. Davis Drewiske scored the only goal for Montreal, which remains one point ahead of the Boston Bruins for the Northeast Division lead and second seed in the East.
The Flyers have the third-best power-play unit in the NHL, but you wouldn't be able to tell that over their last six games. During that stretch, the Orange and Black have failed to score on the man advantage and are 0 for 19 overall.
Danny Briere made his return to the Flyers' lineup on Saturday after missing 10 games with a concussion. The veteran forward played just under 19 minutes and fired three shots on net. Briere also found iron, hitting the crossbar as the final horn sounded.
Keep an eye on...
A deep scoring slump has done nothing to help the Flyers climb back into playoff contention. After putting together a season-best four-game winning streak, the Flyers have since dropped four in a row and now trail the New York Rangers by nine points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Maybe that's because the team has only mustered three goals in its last four games.
It's obvious the Flyers need someone -- anyone -- to step up offensively. Two players that have carried the team throughout the season have been Voracek and Claude Giroux. Both skaters have 39 points in 41 games this season but have struggled as of late. Voracek has just one goal in his last four contests, while Giroux has a goal and assist in the same span. The Flyers are going to need more production from their top line if they want to avoid a fifth straight loss.
For the Habs, watch out for P.K. Subban. The blueliner is the leading scorer amongst NHL defenseman with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 35 games this season. He is notorious for getting under the skin of opponents but can also hurt teams with his offensive prowess if tested.
Did you know?
The Flyers have won seven of their last 10 matchups against the Canadiens. The three losses, however, have come at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Flyers: Braydon Coburn (separated left shoulder), Andrej Meszaros (left shoulder), Nicklas Grossmann (concussion), Max Talbot (broken left leg), Zac Rinaldo (high left ankle sprain) and Jody Shelley (left hip) are out for the rest of the season.
Canadiens: Yannick Weber is questionable for Monday's game against the Flyers with a knee injury.
Raphael Diaz (concussion) and Colby Armstrong are on injured reserve.
Slexei Emelin is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Will the Flyers score a power-play goal against Montreal?