Drouin scores in SO, Canadiens beat Flyers in empty arena
Jonathan Drouin was the lone scorer in the shootout, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 Thursday night in an empty Bell Center amid rising COVID-19 cases.
Quebec public health officials called on Canadians to play without supporters in their arena earlier Thursday to help slow the spread of the virus. The Canadiens acceded to the provincial government’s request, making the game the first at the Bell Center without spectators since Game 4 of the 2021 North Division semi-final against the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 25.
Artturi Lehkonen and Laurent Dauphin scored in regulation time for Montreal. Cayden Primeau, son of former Philadelphia 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 the game 1-1 at 2:20 of the second period when Willman took advantage of Montreal forward Nick Suzuki who fell in goal.
Cates led the puck into the offensive zone and beat Primeau with a wrist shot for his first NHL goal to make it 2-1 in the dying minute of the second.
Montreal tied it at 2 points at 14:21 in the third period. Dauphin took advantage of a rebound and scored his first as a member of the Canadiens.
NOTES: Center Mathieu Perrault did not take part in the game. The Canadians have confirmed it was due to a lower body injury.
Philadelphia: will host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
Montreal: Hosts the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
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