The Philadelphia Flyers will look to rebound from a frustrating road trip when they return home to battle the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.
The Flyers were outscored 16-6 in losses to the Seattle Kraken, Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers while salvaging a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames.
It’s unclear whether leading scorer Travis Konecny will be available to face the Canadiens. Konecny (27 goals, 27 assists) was injured Monday at Calgary, when he was checked hard near the boards by MacKenzie Weegar.
The Flyers have been besieged with injuries, but outspoken first-year head coach John Tortorella has offered no excuses since taking over. And he was actually pleased with his team’s effort against the ultra-talented Oilers.
“We’re a team playing four in six nights, we get bag-skated through the trip through a lousy game in Seattle, travel. I’m proud of the team,” Tortorella said after the loss Tuesday. “We don’t find a way to finish the game, the penalties hurt us tonight. I thought the team laid it out there. They did all the things we asked of them and we played a hard game, we just couldn’t find a way to win.”
Penalties have hurt the Flyers all season and the Oilers capitalized with two power-play goals.
“I think we knew that if we stayed out of the box and stayed 5-on-5 it would be a close game,” Owen Tippett said. “I think for most of the night our effort was there, and it was just a few bounces.”
The Canadiens will look for another road victory when they battle the Flyers.
Montreal came away with a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, snapping the Devils’ six-game home winning streak.
Justin Barron, Johnathan Kovacevic, Nick Suzuki, Rem Pitlick and Mike Matheson each scored one goal for the Canadiens.
The Canadiens had been scuffling through a maddening season, placing second-to-last in the 16-team Eastern Conference standings. Only the Columbus Blue Jackets (41) have fewer points than the Canadiens’ 52 in the East.
Montreal had lost its previous two games by a combined 11-3 score against the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs.
“It’s definitely rewarding for a coach to see instant improvement and the buy-in,” Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. “I always say I think as coaches you’re trying to convince them to do things a certain way and when they do it and get rewarded. I think it’s a lot easier to convince them through the success we’re having. It’s a buy-in and we have that.”
Goaltender Sam Montembeault was also stellar with a 38-save performance.
“I felt good. I was seeing the puck well,” Montembeault said. “We blocked a lot of shots to help me out. The guys came up with big blocks, but I remember giving up two breakaway goals on my blocker side against Carolina and I worked on that a lot in the last few practices so I’m happy to get the stops tonight.”
–Field Level Media