Montreal, Quebec – Mike Ribeiro tied the game in the third period and then won it in overtime as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Philadelphia Flyers at the Bell Centre, 3-2.
On the winning goal, Ribeiro controlled the puck at the side of the net, looking to pass. When he was left alone, he skated towards the net and lifted it over Robert Esche at 2:28 to end the Flyers' three-game winning streak.
In the third period, Montreal converted on a power play to tie the game after an interference call sent Joni Pitkanen to the penalty box. Andrei Markov shot it from behind the red line and Esche made the save, but Ribeiro got behind the Flyers defense to retrieve the rebound, make a move on Esche, and slide a backhand inside the post at 9:19.
All five minor penalties in the third period were called on Philadelphia.
"We couldn't keep up with the pace consistently," said Ken Hitchcock. "We were below the bar in the first period, we really picked it up in the second, and we faded in the third period again and we took some penalties because of it."
Trailing 1-0 after the first period, the Flyers took the lead in the second period thanks to their special teams play and Esche. First, on the power play, Michal Handzus fed Mike Richards with a perfect cross-ice pass through the slot and Richards' redirection beat Jose Theodore at 5:48 to tie the game.
Philadelphia was forced to kill three consecutive penalties after the Richards goal, and then took its first lead of the game while on a two-man advantage. Again, Handzus found Richards with a pass through the slot, but this time Richards held onto the puck for a split second before feeding Brian Savage in front of the net for an easy tap-in goal at 15:47.
Philadelphia ended the night 2-for-8 on the power play and killed off nine of 10 penalties, but it was the one they could not stop that ultimately cost the Flyers the game.
"We had to penalty-kill for basically the entire period, and we were back on our heels the whole time," said Savage. "We never really got any good flow going on the attack in their zone."
"We were in a great spot going into the third," said Mike Knuble. "They like to run-and-gun as much as they can, and when you're in the box for 10 minutes of the third period it's tough, especially in this building."
Esche stopped all 13 Montreal shots he faced in the second period to preserve the lead, but it did not last as the Canadiens won their third straight game. He finished the night with 26 saves, while Theodore finished with 20 stops on 22 Flyers shots.
The Canadiens came out of the gate strong, controlling play in the Flyers' zone before getting on the board first. Pierre Dagenais found the rebound of a wrist shot by Francis Bouillon at 15:24 for what turned out to be the only goal of the period.
Philadelphia had chances on its power play after consecutive power plays at the end of the frame, but was unable to capitalize. Richards and Jon Sim both had good opportunities on loose pucks at the side of the net, but were unable to get a handle on the puck
There was a scary moment for the Flyers in the third period after Keith Primeau, who was not near the puck at the time, went down following an elbow to the head by Alexander Perezhogin that was not called despite referee Blaine Angus standing right in front of the play. Fortunately for the Flyers, Primeau would return later in the period.
The Flyers return home on Thursday, Oct. 27 to face the Florida Panthers. Great seats still remain for the game, and can be purchased by clicking here
. FLYERS NOTES
Eric Desjardins played in his 700th career game as a Flyer, becoming the ninth player in franchise history to do so. … Donald Brashear played in his 700th game in the NHL. … Dennis Seidenberg was a healthy scratch. … Savage's goal was his first point as a Flyer. … The Flyers fell to 1-1 in overtime this season.