Hart, Flyers take 2-1 series lead by winning clunky Game 3 vs. Canadiens

If Carey Price wanted a light night of work for his 33rd birthday, he got what he wished for. Price probably should’ve asked for a win, though, as the Flyers instead found a way to grind out a congested 1-0 win against the Canadiens in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Flyers miss plenty of opportunities, but beat Canadiens in Game 3 to take 2-1 series lead

Defensively, you can absolutely say the Flyers woke up after a terrible Game 2. Even so, the Flyers managed one goal over the last two games, so they shouldn’t be beating their chests too much despite their 2-1 series lead.

One of the more troubling trends is that the Flyers power play looked atrocious. That once-vaunted unit went 0-for-6 in Game 3, and hasn’t looked very potent for any of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs (and Qualifiers).

Carter Hart became the youngest Flyers goalie to record a playoff shutout, doing so at age 22 (he just celebrated that birthday on Aug. 13. While he wasn’t tested very often, this has to be huge for Hart, who followed a Game 2 in which he was pulled with this 23-save shutout.

For all the criticisms the Flyers receive for squandering a bucket of power plays and generally lacking energy, they didn’t need to do much after Jakub Voracek scored an early 1-0 goal, the only one of Game 3.

Muller might need to go back to the drawing board, as it might be best for the Canadiens to try to lure the Flyers into more of a “track meet” style of contest as this First Round series goes on. Maybe the Canadiens can’t channel the sort of dominate performance they managed in Game 2, but they’ll need more than this Game 3 output to beat the surprise top seed of the East.

No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. No. 8 Montreal Canadiens (PHI leads series 2-1)

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Flyers 2, Canadiens 1 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 14: Canadiens 5, Flyers 0 (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 16: Flyers 1, Canadiens 0
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Philadelphia at Montreal, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Montreal at Philadelphia – TBD
*Friday, Aug. 21: Philadelphia at Montreal – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Montreal at Philadelphia – TBD

*if necessary

MORE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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