PHILADELPHIA (NHL.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers returned home from a six-game road trip last month to face the Montreal Canadiens on a back end of a home-and home set and won. They were in the same situation Wednesday and came away with the same result.
In their first home game capping a six-game road trip with a 3-2 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, the Flyers extended their home win streak to 10 games by beating the Canadiens 3-1.
The home winning streak is the longest for the Flyers since they won 11 in a row between Oct. 27, 2003 and Dec. 5, 2003.
Sean Couturier, Zac Rinaldo and Michael Raffl scored goals and defenseman Andrej Meszaros had three assists for his first three-point game since March 1, 2012. Goaltender Steve Mason made 19 saves to win for the eighth time in his past nine starts.
The Flyers took a 3-0 lead at 8:24 of the second period with Meszaros doing the majority of the work to set up the goal. He took a pass from Brayden Schenn and skated the puck hard down the left side in the Montreal zone, then cut to the middle to create a nice scoring chance. Budaj stopped his shot, but the rebound pinballed around until Raffl found it and scored from in close.
The Flyers opened the scoring 6:27 into the game on Couturier's eighth goal of the season. Meszaros' shot from the point into traffic in front of the Montreal net was tipped by Vincent Lecavalier and bounced off Budaj. The puck dropped into the crease and Couturier skated in from the left side to knock in the rebound.
Philadelphia extended its lead to 2-0 at 14:39 on Rinaldo's first goal of the season. Rinaldo fired a shot from the left side off the rush that deflected into the left corner. Douglas Murray got to the puck first but under pressure from Claude Giroux sent it back in front. Rinaldo got it on his backhand and slid a puck in front that went off the stick of Montreal forward Lars Eller and between Budaj's pads.
The goal was Rinaldo's first in 54 games, a streak that dated to March 7, 2013.
Plekanec scored for Montreal late in the second. The Flyers were attempting to break out of their zone on a power play when Steve Downie fell at the Philadelphia blue line. Brian Gionta jumped on the loose puck to create a quick 2-on-1 with Plekanec. Gionta sent a pass to Plekanec on the left side of the Flyers' zone and he sent a wrist shot over Mason's right shoulder at 17:37.
Montreal had a chance to draw closer in the third period. After killing off a penalty on P.K. Subban assessed at the end of the second period, they got a power play at 13:08 when Lecavalier was called for hooking. But the Flyers killed it off, as they did the Canadiens' other three man-advantage opportunities. It extended the Flyers' streak of successful penalty kills to 19 in a six-game span that started Dec. 30 against the Vancouver Canucks.