Forward lines and defense pairings
Pacioretty – Byron – Hudon
Galchenyuk – Drouin – Scherbak
Lehkonen – Plekanec – Gallagher
Deslauriers – Froese – L. Shaw
Alzner – Petry
Mete – Schlemko
Morrow – Benn
Jacob De La Rose, Daniel Carr, Jakub Jerabek
Ales Hemsky – concussion, Shea Weber – lower-body, Phillip Danault – concussion, Andrew Shaw – lower-body
Jonathan Drouin was a minus-3 to move to a season-long ranking of minus-27. It’s clear to most fans that the plus-minus statistic isn’t the best measure of a player but it isn’t meaningless either.
Let’s dig down a bit. You can ignore the third strike if you wish, as Drouin was on the ice for Ivan Provorov’s empty-net goal. But the other two goals against were key and both came from the stick of Travis Konecny against the Drouin line.
Tomas Plekanec, with linemates Brendan Gallagher and Artturi Lehkonen, did a good job of keeping the Flyers top line in check in the first period. Having the last change, Philadelphia head coach Dave Hakstol ensured that Konecny, Claude Giroux and Sean Courturier would not have to face Plekanec and crew from the second period on.
It took just 42 seconds into the middle frame to expose the defensive weakness of Drouin. And it happened again early in the third period with Konecny getting his second goal of the game. With Drouin being a non-factor offensively 5-on-5 and struggling defensively, the Canadiens weren’t in this contest.
Carey Price kept the game close with most of the Canadiens scoring chances coming from the Plekanec line. Uncharacteristically, Plekanec ran into penalty trouble with three minors on the night. The Flyers cashed in on two of their four opportunities, when Plekanec and Byron Froese were in the box.
The Canadiens head home to host Alexei Emelin, Yannick Weber and the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.
▲ Artturi Lehkonen, Carey Price, Jeff Petry, Nikita Scherbak, Brendan Gallagher
▼ Paul Byron, Charles Hudon, Jonathan Drouin, Alex Galchenyuk, penalty-kill