The Flyers scored three fluky goals, held on for dear life and are now are on to the second round after Friday’s Game 6 win over Montreal. Here are some observations:
Hay now. It took 54 shots, but Kevin Hayes finally scored his first career goal against Carey Price. It was his 26th game overall, and 12th in the playoffs. As Hayes said earlier in the series, ugly is the way to go against a goalie of Price’s ability. “You might need the perfect shot to beat him, but I think everyone’s trying to put it on net, cause some rebounds or hopefully score a goal,” he explained.
Up next. The Islanders, who beat the Flyers in all three meetings this season, including a shootout which they forced after being down 3-0 in the third period. They will need to be better to survive this season.
Game 1: Monday, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
Game 2: Wednesday, 3 p.m. (NBCSN)
Game 3: Thursday, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
Game 4: Saturday, Aug. 29, 12 p.m. (NBC)
*Game 5: Monday, Aug. 31
*Game 6: Wednesday, Sept. 2
*Game 7: Thursday, Sept. 3
Missing you. Matt Niskanen was suspended for this one and he was missed. Not that the Flyers were helpless, but they too often had trouble getting out of their zone with any speed. Passes were missing, etc.
Missing you, too. The Canadiens were without Brendan Gallagher, one of their best players, but controlled play throughout. Niskanen can expect to get a hard time whenever he visits Montreal from here on out. Their fans will argue that they could have won this series if Gallagher wasn’t knocked out. It would be hard to disagree.
Our three stars. Kevin Hayes, Nick Suzuki, Michael Raffl. The official three stars were Carter Hart, Suzuki, Ivan Provorov.
Ghost in. Matt Niskanen’s suspension opened the door for Shayne Gostisbehere to get back into the lineup for the first time since Game 2. Gostisbehere got himself into trouble on a power-play with two much stickhandling, but then made up for it on the very next rush by skating through the blue line to set the Flyers up in what resulted in Hayes’ goal.
Five (or so) notable numbers
That was dangerous. Sean Couturier, perhaps feeling the frustration of no goals in the first 5 1/2 games took a dangerous swipe at puck in midair and almost clipped Artturi Lehkonen. Couturier, who ignited a minor melee at the end of Game 5, did not have a goal in the series. Hard to see them beating the Islanders if that happens again.
Hart stopper. Carter Hart made 31 saves and was steady throughout. His best save was on Joel Armia in the second period, but he had way too much traffic in front of him again.
Tapped out. Nick Suzuki created a stir when he tapped Carter Hart on the helmet in Montreal’s Game 5 win. Moments after the buzzer ended the series, Derek Grant tapped Suzuki on the helmet and a brief scrum ensued.