Voracek’s 2 late goals rally Flyers past Canadiens in OT
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Suddenly short-handed, the Philadelphia Flyers aren’t going to let a few injuries stop them.
Jakub Voracek scored the tying goal with 1:25 left in regulation and then got the game-winner 1:26 into overtime to lift the Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
Voracek also had an assist and Nolan Patrick had the other goal for Philadelphia, which improved to 7-0-2 in its last nine games. The Flyers, third in the Metropolitan Division, pulled two points behind second-place Pittsburgh and three behind first-place Washington.
“That’s a nice way to get two points,” Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol said.
It’s even better, perhaps, considering the state of the Flyers.
The Flyers were without forward Wayne Simmonds, who will be out for 2-to-3 weeks after suffering an upper-body injury in Sunday’s win over the New York Rangers.
Simmonds joins a growing list of injured Flyers. Starting goalie Brian Elliott had surgery Feb. 13 for a core muscle injury and is expected to miss up to five more weeks. Backup Michal Neuvirth, who was elevated to No. 1 last Tuesday after Elliott’s injury, will be sidelined 4-to-6 weeks after suffering a lower body injury in Sunday’s game.
“You just have to dig in,” Voracek said. “We have to find a way to win games. We’ve got to keep finding a way.”
Philadelphia acquired goalie Petr Mrazek from Detroit on Monday night for a pair of draft picks to fill the void. Mrazek backed up Alex Lyon on Tuesday. Lyon, appearing in his fifth career game, made 25 saves for his second victory.
“He took care of business and was a big part of us winning a hockey game,” Hakstol said of Lyon. “We’re going to need contributions from everybody in our lineup.”
Oskar Lindblom replaced Simmonds, who has 20 goals and 37 points, and didn’t register a point in his NHL debut.
“Those are big shoes to fill, but I don’t think anybody spends too much time thinking about the injuries or who’s out of the lineup,” Hakstol said.
Paul Byron and Jeff Petry scored for Montreal, which lost its sixth straight. The Canadiens’ NHL-worst road record fell to 8-19-2.
With Lyon pulled for an extra attacker, Voracek sent the game to overtime with a slap shot from the point that deflected off Montreal’s Max Pacioretty and through goalie Carey Price’s five-hole.
“It’s not ideal, that’s for sure,” Price said of giving up the late tying goal. “Pretty good game up to that point. That pretty much sums it up, really.”
Voracek netted the game-winner when he skated to the slot and fired a wrist shot past Price’s glove side.
“We would have liked to prove something on the road, but we weren’t able to,” Pacioretty said. “We were close tonight and it goes off my stick and goes in for the tie, so it’s tough.”
Price played in his 552nd game for the Canadiens to move past Patrick Roy for second all-time in games played among Montreal goalies. Jacques Plante tops the list with 556.
Byron scored his 14th of the season after a pretty assist from Tomas Plekanec with 11:15 left in the third period to put Montreal up 2-1.
Petry opened the scoring with 2:13 left in the first period when he deflected Karl Alzner’s shot from the point past Lyon.
The Flyers tied it on the power play 7:18 into the second period when Patrick, replacing Simmonds on Philadelphia’s top extra-man unit, one-timed Claude Giroux’s pass from the slot past Price’s glove side.
NOTES: Montreal C Phillip Danault returned for the first time since suffering a concussion on Jan. 13. ... The teams wrap up their season series Feb. 26 at Montreal. ... LW Nicolas Deslauriers, who signed a two-year contract extension on Monday, won a one-sided fight with Brandon Manning in the second period. ... The Flyers have not played short-handed in three straight games, becoming the first team to do so since the league started keeping power-play and penalty-kill stats in the 1977-78 season. ... Flyers C Travis Konecny struggled to get through the game after blocking a shot with his skate with 5:02 left in the first period.
Canadiens: Host the New York Rangers on Thursday night to open a four-game homestand.
Flyers: Host Columbus on Thursday night.