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Habs down Flyers for third straight victory
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - David Desharnais' early second-period tally proved to be the game-winner as the Montreal Canadiens topped the road-weary Philadelphia Flyers, 4-1, at Bell Centre.
Tomas Plekanec, rookie Brendan Gallagher and Rene Bourque also scored for the Canadiens, who have won three straight games. Peter Budaj finished with 18 saves in place of a flu-stricken Carey Price.
"I thought we did a better job of protecting the front of our net and around our net," said Montreal defenseman Josh Gorges. "They didn't get too many second or third opportunities, which is really big for us."
Danny Briere had the lone Philadelphia goal, while Brian Boucher stopped 25 shots in his first start of the season.
"On the offensive side, we've been misfiring right now," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.
The Flyers fell to 1-3-0 on their six-game trek and to 2-8-0 overall on the road this season.
Gallagher beat Boucher with a quick shot from the left circle 8:53 into the game. Desharnais jumped on a loose puck during a broken play in front of Boucher and buried it behind the Philadelphia goaltender at the 1:15 mark of the second.
Briere halved the Flyers' deficit with 6:04 left in the middle stanza, but Plekanec restored Montreal's two-goal cushion in the third period.
Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn blocked Plekanec's first bid, but the Montreal forward got the puck back and put it home at 4:32. Anticipating the initial shot, Boucher was out of position and unable to recover.
Bourque was credited with an empty-net goal with 1:04 to play.
The Canadiens recalled Robert Mayer from AHL Hamilton to serve as Budaj's backup ... Both teams were 0-for-4 on the power play.
02/16 23:01:27 ET