PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau earned credit for Montreal’s winning goal. The Canadiens kept their perfect record, though, on the strength of a gutsy third period.
Parenteau scored in the shootout, and the Montreal Canadiens rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the winlessPhiladelphia Flyers 4-3 on Saturday night. He was the fourth Canadien to go in the shootout against Ray Emery and the first to score.
“It’s the best feeling when you go up there, you know you can end the game,” Parenteau said. “The nerves are going and you’re getting a little nervous but it’s a great feeling and you just have to bear down, stay focused and that’s what I did.”
The Canadiens really won this game with a dominant third when they scored three times to send it to OT. Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk all had goals to keep the Canadiens (3-0) perfect this season.
The Flyers are winless through three games for the third straight season. They fired coach Peter Laviolette after three games last season and replaced him with Craig Berube. Berube certainly wasn’t on the hot seat this season, though the Flyers held a team meeting on their off day Friday.
Wayne Simmonds scored twice and Mark Raffl had a goal for the Flyers.
The Canadiens controlled the third after a listless first two periods to stun the Flyers. The Canadiens outshot the Flyers 14-2 during their game-changing run in the third, getting goals from Markov and Plekanec to cut the lead to 3-2.
Emery was on his knees after turning away one shot, but Plekanec pounced on the puck and scored to make it 3-2.
Galchenyuk tipped in Plekanec’s shot with 5:20 left in regulation to tie it at 3-all.
“We went out there and started skating, scored the first goal, which gave us a bit of life,” Plekanec said. “And then we got going, every single line that went on the ice had pressure, had good shifts and kept going.”
The Canadiens outshot the Flyers 19-4 in the third. The Flyers are in serious trouble this season on the blue line with injuries sidelining Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen.
“When they got the first goal we stopped playing,” Berube said. “We started watching.”
The Flyers struggled in their first two games, never holding a lead and already facing questions about staving off a similar winless funk to last season.
They eventually fell to 1-7 before a strong rebound earned them a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
“I think we went through it last year at times at the start of the season, same kind of thing,” Berube said. “We had leads in the third period, might have been four or five of them at the start of the season, and lost them.”
With no desire to keep the losses mounting, the Flyers regrouped with a meeting on Friday. Berube told his team to focus on playing the right way and tune out critics.
Of course, scoring two goals in the first 4 minutes of the game had to help.
Raffl’s backhander beat Carey Price and opened the scoring at the 3:39 mark. Simmonds, who picked up where he left off with a hot end to last season, followed with a goal just 18 seconds later for a 2-0 lead.
Simmonds pounded in Vinny Lecavalier’s rebound in the second to make it 3-0.
Simmonds scored twice in 57 seconds in the home opener on Thursday. He’s been on a bit of a hot streak at home, dating to the 2014 postseason. He scored three goals against the New York Rangers in Game 6 of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff game.
Simmonds was scoreless in his first seven games last season, but has quickly become this season’s top scoring threat.
He’ll need some help for the Flyers to turn this season around, though he said this year’s team is in a better spot.
“It’s night and day. Last year, we weren’t even skating,” he said.
Notes: Flyers general manager Ron Hextall was pleased former All-Star defenseman Chris Pronger joined the NHL’s department of player safety. Pronger hasn’t technically retired. The former NHL MVP is still being paid by the Philadelphia Flyers through 2017, even though he hasn’t played in the league since 2011 due to concussions and an eye injury. Pronger, who ran afoul of the office many times during his bruising career, will not be involved in any decisions involving the Flyers. “He’s been the guy probably on both sides of it and he’s got a lot of experience from that,” Hextall said. “I don’t think that makes you worse at the job. In fact, I think it makes you better at the job. So I don’t see that as a detriment.”
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