CANADIENS (13-6-1) at FLYERS (13-6-2)
-- RDS (HD), TSN-HABS (HD), CSN-PH (HD)
-- Canadiens 6-4-0; Flyers 7-2-1
-- This is the second of four meetings between the teams this season. In their first meeting, Nov. 16 in Montreal, Carey Price
made 41 saves as the Canadiens handed the Flyers their first loss in regulation 10 games, 3-0.
-- Will there be any carryover from the late-game nastiness in the teams' first meeting? The third period featured three misconducts, a nasty hit by Philadelphia's Darroll Powe on the Habs' Jeff Halpern and a war of words between Flyers captain Mike Richards and Canadiens rookie defenseman P.K. Subban
-- Carey Price
never met Pat Burns, but the three-time Jack Adams Trophy-winning coach has had a major impact on the Canadiens goalie.
Burns' life was celebrated Saturday night prior to the Canadiens' 2-0 shutout of the Maple Leafs. Price made 30 saves for his League-best fourth shutout. This season has been a major turnaround for Price, who has been receiving regular standing ovations from the same Montreal fans who booed him vociferously last season. And part of that turnaround can be credited to Burns.
Burns sent a message to Price through Canadiens assistant coach Kirk Muller prior to the start of the season. While Price wouldn't reveal what was in the note, it obviously made a tremendous impact.
"He sent me a message before the season and it really touched me," Price, who had Burns' initials on his helmet Saturday, told reporters. "I was surprised; it came out of the blue. … He's a special person. He did a lot of great things for both these teams and he was definitely in our hearts tonight."
-- Goalie Brian Boucher made his first start in nearly a month a memorable one, as he stopped Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Ovechkin in a shootout to lead the Flyers to a 5-4 victory Saturday against the Capitals.
Boucher has been lost amid the hype surrounding rookie Sergei Bobrovsky
, who has emerged from obscurity to become an early Calder Trophy candidate.
"It feels nice," Boucher said of getting the win. "When you don't play it is hard to feel a part of it. You don't feel like you're contributing much. When you have to chance to get a win and have a good start -- aside from the end there when it got a little hairy, I thought it was a pretty solid game. In the shootout it is man vs. man and I was able to do it, so it is nice."
-- Canadiens forward Michael Cammalleri
has 3 goals and 5 points in his last five games, and if history is any guide, he has a good chance of staying hot against the Flyers -- he has 3 goals and 5 points in six regular-games against the Flyers. … Richards has 8 goals and 17 points in his last 13 games, and with 23 points on the season, he's 10th in the League.
-- Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov
is out indefinitely with a right knee injury. … Flyers forward Daniel Carcillo is out for at least two weeks with a sprained left knee. Goalie Michael Leighton
(back) and defenseman Matt Walker
(hip) are continuing to practice while recovering from injuries that have sidelined them all season.
-- In his first 19 games last season, Price was 7-9-2 with a 2.87 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. This season, he has a League-best 12 wins and four shutouts, is fourth with a 2.00 GAA and has a .932 save percentage.
-- The war of words between Richards and Subban started following the teams' last meeting when Richards called Subban disrespectful.
Halpern, who Subban stuck up for after Powe hit him from behind, defended Subban's style of play; he compared his enthusiasm to that of his former teammate, Alex Ovechkin.
"I remember (former Washington coach) Glen Hanlon saying you can't take away that excitement and enthusiasm," Halpern told the Montreal Gazette
. "You look at Ovechkin today and he's that same player and he carries that team.
"Subby's the same kind of player. You want his enthusiasm to drive this team."