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Habs, Flyers set for Round 2

by Adam Kimelman
CANADIENS (10-9-3) at FLYERS (12-6-3)


Last 10 -- Montreal 5-4-1; Philadelphia 6-2-2.

Season series -- This is the second of four games between the teams this season. On Oct. 26, the Flyers scored the game's first goal, but the Canadiens answered with the next five in a 5-1 victory at Bell Centre.

Big Story -- The Flyers bring their League-best 3.67 goals-per-game average to Montreal to face the Canadiens, who are seventh in the League at 2.32 goals-against per game.

Team Scope:

Canadiens -- Carey Price has been outstanding in regulation and overtime this season, but shootouts have been a different animal for the Montreal goaltender. In his first two shootouts, he allowed goals on all four shots he faced in dropping both decisions.

Wednesday against Carolina, he finally made a shootout save -- actually three, as he denied Chad Larose, Jeff Skinner and Jussi Jokinen -- and the Canadiens picked up two valuable points.

On the Larose save, Price's first in a shootout this season, he said he got a bit of good fortune.

"I got a little bit lucky," said Price, who won for the third time in his last four games. "It hit the knob of my stick. I was pretty pumped for that fortunate little bounce, but I will take it."

Flyers -- Coach Peter Laviolette was looking for a spark after a lackluster first period Wednesday against the Islanders, and he got it from goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

After watching Ilya Bryzgalov let in three first-period shots, it was Bobrovsky in net to start the second, and he stopped all 23 shots he faced.

"We really put on the press to get back into it and there were a couple of point-blank chances that we gave up to press the other way and he bailed us out," Laviolette said of Bobrovsky. "Couple times off faceoffs, couple times off breakaways, a couple 2-on-1's. He had some big saves in there."

As good as Bryzgalov had been this month -- he was 4-1-1 in his six November starts -- it was only Bobrovsky's fourth game in 10 November games, and first win in nearly two weeks.

"It's not easy (coming off the bench)," said Bobrovsky, "but it's a game and you never know what can happen. It's not easy, but it's my job."

Who's Hot -- Montreal forward Tomas Plekanec has 6 points in his last five games, and leads the team with 20 points. … Flyers center Danny Briere scored the game-tying goal in the third period of Wednesday's win against the Islanders, and scored the winner in overtime for his second 2-goal game of the season.

Injury Report -- Canadiens center Scott Gomez is questionable with a lower-body injury suffered in Wednesday's game against Carolina. Defenseman Jaroslav Spacek (upper body) and center Andreas Engqvist (lower body) are questionable after missing Wednesday's game. … Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr likely will sit out Friday's game after aggravating a lower-body injury during Wednesday's game. Defenseman Chris Pronger is questionable after sitting out the last two games with a virus.

Stat Pack -- Travis Moen scored his seventh goal of the season Wednesday, putting the Montreal forward on pace for 26 goals. His NHL high is 11, in the 2006-07 season.

Puck Drop -- The Flyers have won just one of their last three games, despite playing the 13th-, 14th, and 15th-ranked teams in the Eastern Conference. Part of the problem is slow starts -- they've given up eight first-period goals in those games.

Wednesday against the Islanders, they trailed 3-1 after one period only to rally for a 4-3 overtime win.

"Once again, it was a two-goal lead we gave the other team but we somehow climbed our way out of the mess again," said Briere. "It was a long process but we played defense better and cut their chances."

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