MONTREAL (AP) — Jonathan Drouin was the only scorer in the shootout, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Thursday night in an empty Bell Centre because of the rise of COVID-19 cases.

Quebec public health officials asked the Canadiens to play without fans in their home arena earlier Thursday to help slow the spread of the virus. The Canadiens agreed to the provincial government’s request, making the game the first at Bell Centre without spectators since Game 4 of the 2021 North Division semifinal against the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 25.

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Artturi Lehkonen and Laurent Dauphin scored in regulation for Montreal. Cayden Primeau, son of former Philadephia player Keith Primeau, allowed two goals on 38 shots. He saved every shootout attempt.

Max Willman and Jackson Cates scored for the Flyers. Carter Hart stopped 38 of 40 shots.

Lehkonen deflected Brett Kulak’s shot from the point for his second goal of the season to open the scoring.

Philadelphia tied it 1-1 2:20 into the second period when Willman took advantage of Montreal forward Nick Suzuki falling in front of the net.

Cates drove the puck in the offensive zone and beat Primeau with a wrist shot for his first NHL goal to make it 2-1 in the final minute of the second.

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Montreal tied the game at 2-all at 14:21 into the third period. Dauphin took advantage of a rebound and scored his first as a member of the Canadiens.

NOTES: Center Mathieu Perrault didn’t take part in the game. The Canadiens confirmed that it was due to a lower-body injury.

UP NEXT

Philadelphia: Host Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Montreal: Host the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

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