PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Wayne Simmonds and Erik Gustafsson scored goals late in the third period to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.
The Flyers had been 1-11 when trailing after two periods.
Trailing 3-2, Simmonds tipped in the puck from the crease for the tying goal. Less than 2 minutes later, Gustafsson’s pass for Matt Read went off a defenseman and into the net past a stunned Carey Price for his 10th goal and a 4-3 lead.
Jakub Voracek scored an empty-netter with 39 seconds left.
Fighting for a playoff spot, the Flyers have won three straight games for the first time this season.
Sean Couturier and Simon Gagne also scored for the Flyers. Alexei Emelin, Brandon Prust and David Desharnais scored for Montreal.
Prust and Desharnais scored 20 seconds apart late in the second period to keep Montreal, chasing Pittsburgh for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, in control.
Prust evened the score at 2-all with his fifth goal of the season.
The Canadiens went ahead on a bit of an odd play. Desharnais’ slapper from the circle knocked off Philadelphia’s Brayden Schenn’s stick and knuckled toward goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. Maybe the Flyers’ much-maligned goalie lost the puck in the lights, but he dropped to his knees and ducked as the puck sailed over his head for the go-ahead goal.
He was mocked on social media by Flyers fans fed up with his erratic play over the last two seasons.
Bryzgalov signed a $51 million, nine-year deal before the 2011 season and has rarely played like the goalie expected to lead the Flyers to their first Stanley Cup since 1975. Before Wednesday’s trade deadline, the Flyers acquired backup goalie Steve Mason from the Columbus Blue Jackets, a sign that perhaps the Flyers could use their amnesty buyout on Bryzgalov in the offseason and go with a cheaper and just as productive alternative.
Bryzgalov was bailed out late in the third when Simmonds caught a break and tipped in the puck for the tying goal.
Bryzgalov, making his 20th straight start, stopped 14 shots.
Emelin’s shot from the point through teammate’s Brendan Gallagher’s screen gave Montreal a 1-0 lead in the first.
The Flyers tied it when the puck shot off Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban’s skate and into the net. Couturier was credited with his third goal. Gagne made it 2-1 with his third goal.
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