Habs return home, shoot for 3rd straight win vs. Flyers

A trip to sunny Florida seemed to be just what the Montreal Canadiens needed.

The Habs take aim at a third straight victory on Saturday evening when they play host to the Philadelphia Flyers, who enter the backstretch of a six-game road trip.

The Canadiens dropped three straight games from Feb. 6-9, a losing streak that was capped with a 6-0 setback at home to the rival Toronto Maple Leafs. Montreal then traveled south for matchups with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers, winning a pair of one-goal games to get on track.

Two days after beating the Lightning 4-3 in a shootout, the Canadiens escaped Sunrise with a 1-0 overtime triumph against the Panthers on Thursday. Carey Price made 26 saves for his 17th career shutout and Rene Bourque had the winner 2:10 into the extra frame.

"The guys played very well in front of me," Price said. "We limited their scoring chances all game and they only got a couple of really quality chances all game."

Bourque, meanwhile, netted his fourth goal of the season off a feed from Alex Galchenyuk, who had his centering attempt deflected into the air off a Florida defenseman. Bourque was there to bat the puck out of midair and into the net, giving the Canadiens some momentum ahead of playing four of their next five at home.

"(Galchenyuk) was trying to come to me a few times and it finally got across," Bourque said of the final play. "I don't knot if I hit it out of the air or I got my stick on the ice. I was just trying to whack it somewhere."

While the Canadiens are returning to the friendly Bell Centre, the Flyers will play the fourth contest of their road trip and sit at just 1-2-0 on the swing so far.

Philadelphia was in action on Friday night in New Jersey, were it has dealt a 5-3 setback by the Devils despite holding a two-goal edge following the first period.

Wayne Simmonds, Mike Knuble and Matt Read all scored in the opening frame, but the Flyers were shut down the rest of the way. Ilya Bryzgalov faced 18 shots and allowed four goals as Philadelphia fell to 2-7-0 overall on the road this season.

"When you got a 3-1 lead, you got to find a way to get it done," said Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux, who notched two assists in his 300th career game.

The Flyers may be forced to face the Habs on Saturday without veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who left the Devils game with a lower body injury and did not return.

Though the Flyers have won six of their past seven versus the Canadiens, the clubs split their two meetings in Montreal last season.