Philadelphia Flyers vs. Montreal Canadiens: Top 3 takeaways from Game 1

Tyler Pitlick #18 of the Philadelphia Flyers and Victor Mete #53 of the Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Tyler Pitlick #18 of the Philadelphia Flyers and Victor Mete #53 of the Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Flyers managed to hold off the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of their series.

As the top team in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, the Philadelphia Flyers seemed to be the heavy favorite going into their series against the lowest-ranked Montreal Canadiens. Philadelphia took Game 1 by a score of 2-1, but it wasn’t a walk in the park for the Flyers.

Here are three takeaways from game one of the Flyers and Canadiens series.

It’s going to be a goalie battle

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Carey Price and Carter Hart are two of the best goalies on the planet. Coming into the series we all knew it would be tough to score on both of these goalies.

The key to this series for both teams is to throw the opposition’s goalie off their game. Whether that means crowding the front of the net or trying to score off of deflections, both teams will need to find ways to score on these amazing goalies.

Today’s game showed that the only way to beat Price or Hart is by not giving them time to react to the puck.

Philadelphia scored off of a screen in front of the net and a rebound goal where Price saw no help from his defensemen. Montreal’s only goal was a loose puck finding the stick of Shea Weber while Hart was sprawled across his crease.

Price came away with 29 saves and Hart had 27. Both goalies made some amazing saves, but Carey Price may have had the save of the season when he stopped the puck with the tip of his stick on a wide open goal.

This series will be a battle of the goalies and whichever team can break their opponents rhythm will come out on top.

Montreal needs to keep the pressure

From the drop of the puck in the second period, Montreal was all over Philadelphia. The Habs controlled the momentum of the game with their aggressive forecheck and constant pressure in the Flyers zone. When Montreal lost the puck, they were able to retrieve it before the Flyers could exit the zone. Montreal’s forecheck provided tons of scoring opportunities in the second and had Philadelphia on their heels.

The Habs key to staying in this series is their drive to win. We saw it in the play-in-round against Pittsburgh; Montreal looked hungrier than their opponent and won the series. If the Canadiens can constantly pressure the Flyers defense, they will have plenty of scoring opportunities in this series.

Stay out of the box

Bad penalties can kill a team in a tight playoff series and today both teams reaped the consequences of that. Philadelphia opened the scoring on a powerplay and Montreal tied the game up on a powerplay of their own. In a three goal hockey game, only one of the goals was scored 5 on 5. Montreal ended up having four more penalty minutes in the game than Philadelphia.

The Habs didn’t concede a short handed goal after the first one, but they aren’t doing their goalie any favours when they give the Flyers an extra man.

Whether it is Shea Weber on the point for Montreal and Claude Giroux on the wing for Philadelphia, both teams have weapons on the powerplay, so staying out of the box will be very important.

First Round Predictions. dark. Next

Philadelphia was able to squeak by Montreal with a one goal win, but the bottom ranked Habs aren’t going to go out without a fight. Both goalies and teams seemed like they came to play and this was only game one of a best-of-seven. This should be a fun, low scoring series.