Philadelphia Flyers

Carter Hart and Flyers Shut Out Canadiens in Game 3 to Grab Series Lead

It wasn't pretty but the Flyers were at least prettier in style and effort Sunday night to pick up a massive 1-0 win over the Canadiens and grab a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.


Once again, it wasn't pretty for the Flyers in this best-of-seven first-round playoff series.

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But they were at least prettier in style and effort Sunday night and did just enough to pick up a massive 1-0 win over the Canadiens in Game 3 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

Oh, and Carter Hart was really good, propelling the Flyers back in charge of the series, seizing a 2-1 lead.

Jakub Voracek scored the lone goal and the Flyers struggled offensively. However, they were solid in front of their net, blocked 24 shots and improved to 5-0-0 when they've scored first in these playoffs.

• The Flyers haven't lost consecutive games since Dec. 31-Jan. 7, when they dropped four straight.

Since Jan. 8, in games after their last nine losses, the Flyers are 9-0-0 and have outscored the opposition 41-17.

The Flyers desperately need more goal-scoring. Their top five goal scorers from the regular season - Travis Konecny (24 goals), Kevin Hayes (23), Sean Couturier (22), Claude Giroux (21) and James van Riemsdyk (19) - have combined for 10 assists but no goals in the tournament so far.

But after getting blasted, 5-0, in Game 2, the Flyers pitched their own shutout in Game 3. That's a response.

• What a bounce-back effort from Hart, who wasn't awful during Game 2 but was yanked late in the second period as head coach Alain Vigneault tried to spark his club in front of the net.

Hart made a massive save 29 seconds into the game. If Montreal scored, the Flyers would have been down early for a second straight game and probably thinking a lot more.

The Flyers know if they give Hart an advantage entering the third period, they have a great chance to win. During the regular season, Hart was 17-0-1 with a 1.60 goals-against average and .943 save percentage when leading after the middle stanza. Hart was great in the final frame.

Overall, the 22-year-old made 23 saves and improved to 4-1-0 with 129 stops on 136 shots in the tournament.

On his 33rd birthday, Carey Price converted 19 saves. He has allowed only three goals through three games this series.

• Back on the first line with Giroux and Couturier, Voracek made another heads up play by going to the net and looking for the puck.

Giroux wisely found him and Voracek was able to get the puck to bounce past Price to hand the Flyers the important early lead in the first period.

It marked Voracek's second goal of the series, both of which have come right by the crease and in front of Price.

• Credit to the Flyers, who put together a solid response in the first period.

After letting the Canadiens jump all over them in the opening stanza of Game 2 with 16 shots and two goals, the Flyers shored things up, yielding only five shots.

• Outside of the whole response storyline, the big question entering Game 3 was would Vigneault make lineup changes.

He made a few, one that was more anticipated, the other a bit more surprising.

Robert Hagg entered for Shayne Gostisbehere, while Michael Raffl returned from an undisclosed injury and replaced Joel Farabee.

As well as Farabee has played (two goals and one assist in four games), Raffl will play when he's healthy. It was likely a tough decision for Vigneault to take out the rookie Farabee, but Vigneault likely wanted to get after the Canadiens with some more size, physicality, forechecking and possession hockey in a huge Game 3.

The 20-year-old Farabee (6-0/164), who has taken a ton of hits in the tourney so far, will be waiting for his next chance and can clearly give the Flyers a jolt of offense.

Hagg was steady with an assist and those kill type of plays.

• Uncharacteristically, Scott Laughton had a pair of glaring turnovers that led to scoring chances for the Canadiens. Hart bailed out Laughton both times.

Look for Laughton to be sharper and smarter in Game 4 because those miscues were very unlike him.

• Special teams update:

The Flyers' power play is 1 for 25 in the tournament and was particularly ineffective during the third period of Game 3. Giving van Riemsdyk a look on the first unit could provide a lift.

The team's penalty kill is 16 for 20 thus far and was strong in Game 3.

• The defensive pair of Travis Sanheim and Philippe Myers was great at both ends of the rink.

Despite the playoff inexperience coming into the tourney, they've been so reliable.

• Oskar Lindblom was shown on the NBC broadcast watching the game from the stands.

Lindblom, who enjoyed his 24th birthday Saturday, is back to practicing with the Flyers.

Sunday was an emotional and powerful morning for Lindblom and the Flyers.

• The series continues Tuesday with Game 4 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSP.

For the full series schedule, click here.

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Pretty or not, Flyers answer 5-0 laugher by shutting out Canadiens in Game 3 to grab series lead originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

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