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game recap

Canadiens edge Flyers on Byron's shootout goal

Victory ends Montreal's three-game losing streak

by Sean Farrell / Correspondent

Byron beats Neuvrith in shootout

PHI@MTL: Byron goes top-shelf to beat Neuvrith

2/19/16: Paul Byron shoots the puck over the shoulder of Michal Neuvrith for a go-ahead goal in the shootout

  • 00:27 •

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens believe that their up-and-down season can still end with a trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Paul Byron scored in the fifth round of the shootout to give Montreal a 3-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday at Bell Centre.

Byron beat goaltender Michal Neuvirth with a high wrist shot, and Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon ended the game by stopping Brayden Schenn's wrist shot.

Max Pacioretty, who also scored in the shootout, drew Montreal even at 2-2 with his 21st goal on a power play at 8:35 of the third period.

Video: PHI@MTL: Condon turns away Schenn, Canadiens win

The Canadiens (28-27-4), who returned from an 0-3-0 road trip, won their fourth straight at home. Montreal, which won its first nine games on its way to a 19-4-3 start, is 12th in the Eastern Conference with 60 points, six behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"We haven't written it off. There's a lot to play for," Pacioretty said. "There's still a playoff hope. We're professionals in this room. We come to the rink every day, and we're not going to give up until the very end. So I really like the way we've played the last two games. It's good to get rewarded with two points. I feel that we deserved it and tonight just feels good. We've got to run with it.

Condon made 35 saves, including one with the tip of his left pad on Schenn's backhand on a breakaway in overtime.

"He made some great saves for us," Byron said. "We can't ask any more from him than what he gave us tonight. He plays like that, like he's been for us all year, he gives us a chance to win every night and with the game on the line he makes a big save for us and we ended up getting the win because of it."

Defenseman P.K. Subban assisted on each of Montreal's goals. Subban, who leads the Canadiens with 41 assists and 46 points, said he was no more motivated than any other game despite being called out by coach Michel Therrien after Montreal's 3-2 loss at the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.

Video: PHI@MTL: Pacioretty ties it up with a power-play goal

"I've always been told that people can criticize you as a person, criticize your character, the one thing that's very difficult to do when you perform is criticize your play," Subban said. "For me, my numbers speak for themselves. So if somebody wants to criticize my play on the ice, I tell them to look at the numbers, look at the production over the past six years. Find me a handful of defensemen who have done what I've done in this League.

"I play for the crest on the front of the jersey. But if people want to be critical, I don't have to say anything. Just look at the numbers; that'll shut them up pretty quickly."

Philadelphia (25-21-11), which is one point ahead of Montreal, lost for the third time in four games.

"I think we let the game slip through our hands a little bit. We were all over them all night. Their goalie played well," said Shayne Gostisbehere, who extended his record point streak by an NHL rookie defensemen to 14 games with an assist on Michael Raffl's goal at 3:15 of the third period that put the Flyers up 2-1.

Raffl was on the edge of the crease and tapped in a hard pass from Gostisbehere, whose persistence in getting Scott Laughton's attention paid off.

Video: PHI@MTL: Condon denies Schenn's breakaway attempt

"I just saw an opportunity to jump up and I screamed [Laughton's] name about 10 times," Gostisbehere said. "I was just happy he heard. It was a great play. I was actually going to shoot it first but then I saw [Raffl] there on the back door. It was a great play all around, starting with [Laughton]."

Philadelphia is 2-6 in shootouts. Cousins scored the Flyers' only goal in the tiebreaker on their first attempt when his shot hit the left post but bounced in off the back of Condon's pad.

"Those are important points. We know that," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "If we could flip a switch and change it and turn it, we would. But obviously we weren't able to do that tonight. I do believe a lot of it, as you go through a shootout, is feeling confident and going out there with a clear mind. For that to happen we've got to have some success a couple of shootouts in a row."

Neuvirth made 29 saves in his second straight start for the Flyers. He has started three of four games since returning from an upper-body injury that sidelined him for six games.

Dale Weise, who assisted on Pacioretty's goal, scored at 2:56 of the first period to give the Canadiens a 1-0 lead, which lasted all of 10 seconds before Cousins tied the game.

Video: PHI@MTL: Gostisbehere finds Raffl with a pretty pass

Weise got credit for his 14th goal when his centering pass from behind the net hit the right skate of Philadelphia defenseman Nick Schultz and went past Neuvirth.

Public address announcer Michel Lacroix had just begun announcing the details of Weise's goal when Cousins drew Philadelphia even. His wrist shot from the top of the left circle deflected off Montreal defenseman Nathan Beaulieu's stick on its way past Condon's glove into the top right corner at 3:06.

Canadiens defenseman Tom Gilbert left the game after the second period because of a lower-body injury.

Philadelphia continues its five-game road trip at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. The Canadiens host the Nashville Predators on Monday.

Video: Byron, Condon lift Habs in shootout

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