PHILADELPHIA – The Canadiens are taking the team’s “No Excuses” motto to heart following their loss to the Flyers.
After seeing his team get outshot 34-17 – including a 26-6 margin in the final 40 minutes – Michel Therrien had no trouble pinpointing what went wrong for the Habs in their 5-3 loss in Philly on Wednesday night.
“We didn’t play a good game. It’s that simple,” underlined the Canadiens head coach. “We didn’t match their level of intensity and the results showed that. When you have six shots in two periods, it shows your level of play and they were a lot more intense than we were. They deserved to win tonight.”
Seemingly on their way to a win in Philadelphia with five minutes left in the game, the Canadiens saw the Flyers rally back with a goal that deflected off Wayne Simmonds’ skate to tie things up at three apiece. A minute and a half later, Matt Read gave Philly the lead and they never looked back.
“They got four pretty lucky goals in my opinion and that’s the difference. But I don’t think we played well enough to win that game, regardless of the bounces,” stressed Carey Price, who kicked aside 29 of the 33 shots he faced on Wednesday night. “I think we definitely could have played better collectively as a group. We just didn’t have our legs under us. They played hard. You have to give their team credit.”
Despite scoring two goals 20 seconds apart to head into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead, the Canadiens weren’t able to carry the momentum with them into the third. Part of that could have something to do with star center Tomas Plekanec seeing his night end earlier than expected after suffering a lower body injury just 12 shifts into the game.
“It’s always tough when you lose a guy like that, but other guys have to step up and fill in that role,” offered Habs captain Brian Gionta. “Even before we lost him, we were struggling getting our game going and we just never found our rhythm. We got a couple bounces that led to a couple of quick goals to get us ahead but we weren’t playing good hockey most of the game.”
With a goal and an assist to show for his night’s work, David Desharnais made the most of one of those fortunate bounces to give the Canadiens their third goal of the night. Instead of focusing on the way the Flyers goals found their way into the back of the Habs net, Desharnais was more interested in what his own team was doing leading up to Philly’s comeback.
“We had a good first and then things kind of fell apart in the second and third. We didn’t generate much and they took over the game,” admitted the Habs center, who scored his ninth goal of the season on Wednesday night. “My goal was pretty lucky as well. You create your own chances and they had twice as many shots as we did. It’s going to go in at some point. We just didn’t deserve that game.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
The Numbers Game – April 3, 2013
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