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Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Flyers #4

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Starts with one: As the Flyers proved against the Bruins one round ago, it is possible to live dangerously and still move on. But clearly the best way to get through a grueling playoff round when you’re down 0-2 in a series is to win the next game. Thanks to Thursday’s 5-1 win at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens improved their record to 11-9 in Game 3s when trailing a series 2-0. The Habs have rallied back from such a deficit more than any other team in NHL history, with five series comebacks after dropping the first two games.

Rookie moves: Held off the scoresheet like the rest of his teammates in Games 1 and 2, P.K. Subban made up for lost time in Game 3 against the Flyers. The shifty 21-year-old chipped in with three assists on the night, bringing his playoff total to seven points in 12 postseason games so far in his young NHL career, good enough for second among rookies this spring. Only 26-year-old “rookie” Ville Leino has more points than Subban, with 11 thus far.  

All in: Even when the power play isn’t producing, the Habs have been able to count on solid play 5-on-5 to guide them through the playoffs this spring. Thursday night was no exception, with Jacques Martin’s squad nabbing four of its five goals at even strength, marking the 15th time this season that the Habs have scored four goals playing 5-on-5. Their record in those games? 13-2-1. 

Big shoes to fill: After hearing that All-Star defenseman Andrei Markov underwent knee surgery this week, the Habs’ blue-liners stepped up and filled in for their injured comrade. Roman Hamrlik will be looking to pick up right where he left off in Game 4, carrying over his 23:06 in ice time that included two assists, a fight with Scott Hartnell, a plus-4 differential and first-star honors on the night. Thursday’s game was the seventh time in Hamrlik’s 18-year career that he’s finished with a plus-4, and the second time he’s done so as a Hab.

Shoot and score: There’s a reason Wayne Gretzky once said “You miss 100% of the shots you never take” and the Canadiens finally proved The Great One right on Thursday night. While outshooting their opponents hasn’t been a recipe for success thus far in the playoffs with the Habs previously going 0-5 when doing so this spring, Montreal got on the board early and often by outshooting the Flyers 38-26. Fifteen different Canadiens fired at least one puck at Michael Leighton on Thursday night and they’ll be planning on sending even more rubber his way in Game 4.

Shauna Denis is a writer for

See also:
Bob the builder
Canadiens storm back
Goals anyone?  
2010 Playoffs Central
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