MONTREAL — The Flyers extended their point streak to 12 games and claimed first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 1-0 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre Monday night.
The Washington Capitals’ 5-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets opened the door for the Flyers to take over the top spot in the Metro (see standings).
Petr Mrazek stopped 28 shots for his first shutout since joining the Flyers. He’s now won his first three starts since the Flyers acquired him last Monday from Detroit.
Sean Couturier scored the game-winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout.
The Flyers became just the second team in franchise history to win 10 games in the month of February, joining the 1975-76 club that went 10-0-4 mark during the month.
The Flyers won their first 1-0 game after dropping two 1-0 decisions this season: Oct. 19 vs. Nashville and Nov. 11 vs. Minnesota.
• Shayne Gostisbehere has become Travis Konecny’s personal bodyguard out on the ice. Eight days ago in New York, Gostisbehere dropped the gloves with Pavel Buchenevich after Konecny took a hard check.
On Monday night during the opening shift, Ghostisbehere took exception when Max Pacioretty tripped up Konecny and nearly engaged once again. Both “Ghost” and Pacioretty earned matching roughing penalties.
• Konecny told me after the morning skate that his foot is 100 percent, and it certainly looked to be the case late in the first period when he sped into the Canadiens’ zone with the puck and then dropped a pass off behind his back to Couturier, who had an open look in the slot.
• The shots were 10-3 in the Flyers’ favor during the first period, but both teams had the equal number of scoring chances. The line of Oskar Lindblom, Nolan Patrick and Jakub Voracek was probably the best in the opening 20 minutes. All three players present a challenge for an opposing defense with how quick they close and how tough they are on pucks.
• Canadiens goaltender Charlie Lindgren has the makings of a good, solid NHL goaltender. He led the NCAA with 30 wins in 2015-16 at St. Cloud State, the same season Alex Lyon had an All-American season at Yale.
The Flyers tried to rattle him by crashing the net. Voracek almost connected with Lindblom early in the second period, but the Flyers didn’t make Lindgren’s job too terribly tough early on.
• Mrazek did a tremendous job of locking in and tracking the puck, and didn’t play himself out of position once over the first two periods. His best save came on Paul Byron, who came across the crease. Mrazek followed and extended his stick to keep the puck out and keep the game scoreless. Mrazek was the difference-maker in the second period. The Canadiens were the better possession team in the second and had seven high-danger chances to the Flyers’ four.
• Couturier was a force in his return home with four shots on goal and a pair of hits through two periods. Patrick was the only other Flyer who had more than one shot on net after two periods of action.
• The Flyers reversed course and came out strong in the third period as the Canadiens tried to slow them down through the neutral zone with a 1-2-2 formation. The passing lanes opened up and the Flyers had some uncontested looks on Lindgren, but they couldn’t break through.
• Dave Hakstol rolled four lines rather consistently but then favored the Valtteri Filppula, Jori Lehtera, Dale Weise trio over the Scott Laughton line in the third period of a close game. It’s trust factor with Hakstol. He felt confident the Filppula line wouldn’t cough up the puck and make a costly play that led to a goal.
• Mrazek was spectacular with several dazzling glove saves in overtime.