|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT, February 21, 2019
Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec Attendance: 21,302
Flyers looking for another win at Montreal
After winning in Montreal five weeks ago, the Philadelphia Flyers will look for an encore performance when they visit the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
The Flyers were in last place in the Metropolitan Division when they notched a 5-2 win over the Canadiens on January 19. That result was part of an eight-game winning streak and a 12-2-1 run for Philadelphia over its last 15 games, bringing the Flyers (28-25-7, 63 points) back to the outskirts of the playoff race.
Philadelphia sits eight points behind Montreal for an Eastern Conference wild-card berth, as well as eight points back of Pittsburgh for the third Metro Division playoff spot.
The Flyers' postseason hopes took a blow, however, when with a 5-2 loss to the league-best Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. The Lightning scored three goals in their first nine shots against Carter Hart, leading Hart to be pulled from the game after just 10:23 of action.
Despite the early hook, Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon didn't blame Hart, and said he intends to again deploy the rookie goalie against Montreal.
"We didn't give Carter a chance tonight, to be able to help us win the game," Gordon said. "Him getting pulled had nothing to do with him as much as it was I want him to be ready for Thursday. ... I thought it was also an opportunity to get Moose 1/8Brian Elliott 3/8 in there, get some NHL action which he hasn't had in a while."
Elliott stopped 22 of 23 shots on Tuesday, his first game since November 15 due to a lower-body injury. It could be a brief return for Elliott, however, as newly-acquired goalie Cam Talbot practiced with the Flyers on Wednesday. Talbot has yet to make his Flyers debut due to visa issues, though he could be activated for backup duty as early as Thursday.
The Canadiens (32-21-7, 71 points), of course, are much more settled in net thanks to Carey Price. The former league MVP had another strong game on Tuesday, stopping 31 of 33 shots in a 3-2 Montreal win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"Teams that are winning are getting great goaltending. We've got that right now from him," Canadiens head coach Claude Julien said. "Even the games we didn't win, he's been good. He's been good for quite a while now. He's back to the Carey that we all know."
Price's performance has been all the more important given the struggles of backup Antti Niemi, who has a 3.75 goals against average in 16 games. Niemi has just 14 minutes of ice time over Montreal's last eight games, and Price is expected to again get the start against Philadelphia.
The victory over Columbus snapped a four-game (0-3-1) winless streak for Montreal. The Jan. 19 defeat to Philadelphia marks the Canadiens' only regulation loss in their last 10 games (7-1-2) on home ice.
Phillip Danault may not be available on Thursday, as the Montreal forward missed both the Columbus game and Wednesday's practice due to personal reasons.
The Flyers have won their last five games against the Canadiens, dating back to 2017.
Sean Couturier recorded two assists against Tampa Bay, giving him four consecutive multi-point games. Couturier has 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in his last 11 games and 27 (nine goals, 18 assists) in his last 18.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 20, 2019