Flyers

With no fans in Montreal, Flyers stop streaking in shootout letdown

Flyers

The Flyers let a point and their winning streak slip away with a 3-2 shootout loss Thursday night to the Canadiens in Montreal.

Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux and Cam Atkinson were denied in the skills competition as the Flyers dropped to 0-3 in shootouts this season.

Jonathan Drouin won it for Montreal with the lone tally.

There's no denying that this was a letdown for the Flyers, who had built a much-needed stretch of positive performances. They had won a season-best three games in a row but couldn't make it four against a team that owns the NHL's second-fewest points and hadn't won since Nov. 27.

The Flyers (11-12-5) received strong depth contributions from Max Willman and Jackson Cates, who provided second-period goals to erase the team's sour first period.

But after the Flyers took a 2-1 lead into second intermission, they couldn't build on it and surrendered the game-tying goal with under six minutes left in regulation.

The Canadiens (7-21-3) snapped an 0-6-1 skid, a stretch in which they were outscored 24-10.

The game was played in an empty Bell Centre. With concerns over coronavirus cases, the Canadiens prohibited fan attendance, adhering to a request from Quebec public health officials.

Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers

• Carter Hart was huge in the first period, having to make 18 saves as the Flyers were slipshod and lacking life. They took double-digit giveaways and a 1-0 deficit into first intermission.

For some reason, the Flyers were flat Thursday night just two days after playing their best game under interim head coach Mike Yeo. Maybe a sea of empty red seats sucked the energy out of them, but the Flyers should have had a significantly better start. The poor start resulted in them having to play a tight game in the third period against a desperate team. Just a bad recipe.

 

Hart needed to convert only 26 saves during the Flyers' 6-1 win Tuesday over the Devils in Philadelphia.

Different story in Montreal. Hart made 38 saves on 40 shots and denied two of three shootout attempts. He has had to stop 105 shots in his last three starts.

Canadiens netminder Cayden Primeau, the son of former Flyers captain Keith Primeau, was very good with 37 saves.

The Flyers had a power play in overtime but couldn't deliver the winner. Primeau recorded six saves in the bonus session.

• Two years ago at this time, Willman was playing professionally in the ECHL for the Reading Royals and Cates was a college sophomore at Minnesota Duluth.

On Thursday night, they were scoring game-tying and go-ahead goals for the Flyers. Willman's marker was his second at the NHL level and Cates' his first.

With Morgan Frost staying back in the Philadelphia area because of COVID protocols, Cates made his season debut. He played four games last season after signing with the Flyers during April.

Both players have capitalized on their opportunities. However, it's not a good sign that Willman and Cates finished as the Flyers' only goal scorers.

• The Flyers are off from practice Friday before hosting the Senators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

After missing the last seven games with a shoulder injury, Joel Farabee hasn't been ruled out against Ottawa.

"I don't want to say that he's going to play this weekend, but certainly he's becoming a possibility as things get closer here given what he was able to do today," Yeo said after practice Wednesday.

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