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Desharnais' goal sends Canadiens past Flyers

by Sean Farrell

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens are very good at digging themselves out of a hole.

Trailing after allowing a goal 51 seconds into the game, Montreal drew even on Tomas Plekanec's goal with 7:22 left in the third, and David Desharnais scored with 1:33 left in overtime to give the Canadiens a 2-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Desharnais, who was named the NHL’s Third ‘Star of the Week’ on Monday, drove in on Philadelphia goalie Ray Emery and scored on his own rebound to extend Montreal's winning streak to three games.

Carey Price made 23 saves for the Canadiens (35-15-3) in his 30th win.

Montreal is 14-13-2 when it allows the first goal, and 6-13-1 when trailing after two periods.

"Honestly, we had a slow start," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "But at the start of the second period I saw the intensity and the compete level was there for us, and we kept pressing the game and pushing, and this is a group of guys that refuse to lose. They're going to push. They show a lot of character and again they found a way to win that game."

Philadelphia forward Matt Read scored his first goal in nearly two months 51 seconds into the first period.

Outshot 9-7 in the first, Montreal held a 34-15 advantage the rest of the way, including 5-1 in overtime, and 41-24 in the game.

"That's been our philosophy these last few games, is just try and funnel pucks towards the net, just find ways to pick up those loose pucks," Price said. "That's been our bread and butter over the last couple of games and it's been working."

Emery made 39 saves for the Flyers (23-22-9), who are fifth in the Metropolitan Division with 55 points.

Philadelphia, which won 3-1 at the Washington Capitals on Sunday, has 12 points in its past seven games (5-0-2) in a bid to contend for a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Every point matters," Read said. "It's tough to swallow, coming into the third period in Montreal with a 1-0 lead, you've got to find a way to win that game. I thought we penalty killed well, we played well defensively. On their first goal, I think we had all five guys in front of our net and it just kind of bounced to their guy. It's a tough break, but we have to find a way in the last six minutes there to get another lead."

The Flyers are eight points behind the Boston Bruins for the second wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

"They're a pretty desperate team," Price said. "They're in that hunt and they played pretty well [Tuesday]; Ray Emery played very well, gave them a chance throughout the game. We still were able to get a good number of shots on net but they did a great job of clearing rebounds and made it really difficult to get second and third opportunities."

Plekanec drifted in from the left point while linemates Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk jammed away at the puck in the goalmouth. When the puck came free, Plekanec put a backhand past sprawled Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds and Emery to even it at 1-1.

"I knew it went to the slot, but I thought he was going to go up and I think he kind of fanned on it," Emery said.

Montreal rookie Jacob de la Rose broke up a scoring chance by Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier just before the winning goal.

"Yeah, big play," Price said. "It's good to see that the coaching staff has confidence to put him out there in those situations and it's really good to see him come up with a big play, and I'm sure he's really enjoying the moment right now."

Put on the ice for a shift with right wing Dale Weise in overtime, the 19-year-old Swede reached with his stick to interfere with Lecavalier's shot.

"I want to play as much as possible and it's up to me to show that I'm good enough to play here," said de la Rose, who was Sweden's captain at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Read, who hadn't scored since Dec. 11, sent a long wrist shot from the left side past Price into the top right corner of the net for his fourth goal, and first in 26 games.

Price stopped Flyers captain Claude Giroux on a breakaway during a delayed penalty call against Montreal in the first after Giroux deked and tried to tuck the puck under his left pad.

Price sprawled to his left to glove Jakub Voracek's shot on a 2-on-1 pass from Giroux at 1:33 of the second. Price blocked Sean Couturier's shot on a breakaway moments later.

"It's a tough building to come into, we know that's a good team," Emery said. "I thought we played real well again defensively. They buzzed around a bit with a bit of zone time, but we sorted it out pretty well. We had a lot of chances actually in the first half of the game; Price made some big saves."

Emery made five saves Sunday and got credit for the win after entering the game at 11:18 of the second period to replace Steve Mason, who left the game with a lower-body injury.

The Flyers announced Tuesday that Mason will be sidelined for 2-3 weeks. Anthony Stolarz, who was recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Sunday, backed up Emery.

Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn did not play because of an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

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