Gallagher, Eller lead Canadiens past Flyers

Arpon Basu  - Managing Editor | Sunday, 10.06.2013 / 12:06 AM

MONTREAL - Lars Eller and his youthful linemates Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher are making it difficult for Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien to keep them on the bench.

Eller, Galchenyuk and Gallagher led the way offensively for a second straight game and Carey Price made 22 saves to give the Montreal Canadiens their first victory of the season, 4-1 against the Philadelphia Flyers at Bell Centre on Saturday night.

Gallagher and Eller each had a goal and an assist, and Galchenyuk had two assists for the Canadiens, giving the youthful line five goals and seven assists in two games. The rest of the Canadiens have combined for two goals and five assists, including a goal and an assist each for captain Brian Gionta and Rene Bourque on Saturday.

"Right now things are going well, the puck's bouncing our way a little bit," said Eller, who has three goals and two assists in two games. "There's going to be times during the season where there will be downs. Right now we're trending upwards, which is good, we just have to remember what's making us successful. As long as we compete, all three of us, even when we have down times we're going to help the team."

Therrien tried to shelter Galchenyuk, 19, from difficult minutes in his rookie season, while both Eller, 24, and Gallagher, 21, were often passed over in favor of veterans last season on the power play and in offensive zone situations. But those days appear over, and Therrien says minutes will now be given solely based on merit.

"That's [internal] competition," Therrien said. "It's pretty simple; you perform well you get ice time. You don't perform as well and your ice time goes down. And it's fair."

Eller likes the fact he might be making his coach's life a little more complicated by having such a strong start to the season.

"As a coach, if you have a problem, that's the best one you can have," Eller said. "Not knowing who to put out there because you have so many good players who want ice time, that's a good situation. It's a good problem to have."

Local product Vincent Lecavalier, who was booed all night by the 21,273 in attendance for choosing not to sign with the Canadiens as a free agent in July, scored his first goal with the Flyers on a power play at 9:13 of the third period to make it 3-1.

It was not enough for Philadelphia to avoid its second loss in two games, scoring once in each. The Flyers will quickly have another opportunity; they travel to Raleigh, N.C., to play the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon.

Though his team has two losses, Lecavalier has been in on each of the two goals his team scored.

"I'm starting to feel more and more comfortable, and I felt good tonight," Lecavalier said. "But obviously I'm going to feel much better when we get a win."

Free-agent acquisition Ray Emery made his first start in goal for the Flyers and kept them in the game, stopping 17 of 18 shots through two periods and finishing with 30 saves.

The Flyers' lack of discipline hurt them in this game; they gave the Canadiens nine power plays, including two 5-on-3 opportunities. Montreal capitalized on the second of those two-man advantages when Gallagher scored off a nice feed in front from Galchenyuk at 5:00 of the third period to make it 3-0.

Philadelphia went 1-for-5 on the power play to run its season total to 2-for-12 in two games, meaning the Flyers have yet to score at even strength this season.

Montreal forward Daniel Briere played his first game against Philadelphia since the Flyers bought out his contract this summer but did not have one of his better games; he took two minor penalties and produced little offensively despite playing 5:02 on the power play.

Still, beating his former teammates was a nice feeling for Briere.

"Playing guys I played with the past six years there were a lot of bragging rights, that's was probably what we were playing for," Briere said. "It's fun to get the first leg, but I'm sure they'll want to counter back later this season."

After Gionta opened the scoring at 8:10 of the first period on a nice feed from Bourque, the game settled into an exchange of power-play opportunities that went nowhere until the third period.

Eller scored his third goal of the season 12 seconds into the third, sweeping a sharp-angled shot past Emery after gathering a puck off a Gallagher shot that missed the net to put Montreal up 2-0.

Gallagher and Lecavalier then exchanged power-play goals, but Nick Grossman took a slashing penalty nine seconds after Lecavalier's goal to cut any momentum Philadelphia may have had.

Bourque scored his first of the season at 19:03 of the third period on a power play off a feed from Gionta to ice the game for the Canadiens, who embark on a four-game Western Canada road trip starting Wednesday against the Calgary Flames.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
08:10MTL Brian Gionta (1) ASST: Rene Bourque (1), Tomas Plekanec (1) 1 - 0 MTL
2nd Period
3rd Period
00:12MTL Lars Eller (3) ASST: Brendan Gallagher (1), Alex Galchenyuk (3) 2 - 0 MTL
05:00MTL PPG - Brendan Gallagher (2) ASST: Alex Galchenyuk (4), P.K. Subban (1) 3 - 0 MTL
09:13PHI PPG - Vincent Lecavalier (1) ASST: Brayden Schenn (1), Mark Streit (2) 3 - 1 MTL
19:03MTL PPG - Rene Bourque (1) ASST: Brian Gionta (1), Lars Eller (2) 4 - 1 MTL
Three Stars of the Game
Carey Price
Carey Price
SA: 23TOI: 59:53
GA: 1EV: 12-12
PIM: 0PP: 6-7
SV%: .957SH: 4-4
Lars Eller
Lars Eller
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 18:43
Brendan Gallagher
Brendan Gallagher
G: 1Shots: 6
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 16:13
Penalty Summary
1st Period
03:43PHI Braydon Coburn  Holding against  Lars Eller
05:39PHI Luke Schenn  Boarding against  Alex Galchenyuk
08:21MTL Raphael Diaz  Holding against  Matt Read
13:13PHI Sean Couturier  Hooking against  Francis Bouillon
13:26MTL Daniel Briere  Hooking against  Claude Giroux
2nd Period
01:00MTL Raphael Diaz  Tripping against  Scott Hartnell
06:06PHI Nicklas Grossmann  Tripping against  Daniel Briere
08:27MTL Brendan Gallagher  Interference on goalkeeper against  Ray Emery
08:27PHI Ray Emery  Diving against  Brendan Gallagher
17:03PHI Wayne Simmonds  Slashing against  Ryan White
3rd Period
01:22MTL Daniel Briere  Hooking against  Jakub Voracek
03:11PHI Kimmo Timonen  Holding against  Lars Eller
04:12PHI Max Talbot  Delay Gm - Face-off Violation
07:53MTL Josh Gorges  Hooking against  Vincent Lecavalier
09:20PHI Nicklas Grossmann  Slashing against  Brendan Gallagher
13:06MTL Travis Moen  Fighting (maj) against  Luke Schenn
13:06PHI Luke Schenn  Fighting (maj) against  Travis Moen
14:22PHI Wayne Simmonds  Cross checking against  Ryan White
14:22MTL Ryan White  Interference against  Wayne Simmonds
14:22PHI Wayne Simmonds  Fighting (maj) against  Ryan White
14:22MTL Ryan White  Fighting (maj) against  Wayne Simmonds
17:55PHI Scott Hartnell  Hi-sticking against  Andrei Markov
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays1/52/9
Faceoff Wins4038
Blocked Shots2412
Penalty Minutes3224
5B. CoburnD0001225:31
8N. GrossmannD00-11416:13
10B. SchennC01-12010:59
14S. CouturierC0001215:19
17W. SimmondsR00-11913:09
18A. HallR000008:22
19S. HartnellL00-11214:54
22L. SchennD00-10712:52
24M. ReadR00-13019:02
25M. TalbotC0000217:23
28C. GirouxC00-11022:56
32M. StreitD01-13017:13
36Z. RinaldoC000005:15
37J. RosehillL000002:30
40V. LecavalierC10-13016:43
41A. MeszarosD00-13019:35
44K. TimonenD0002225:48
93J. VoracekR0001017:21
29R. Emery3034.88259:58
8B. PrustL0002010:44
11B. GallagherR1116216:13
14T. PlekanecC0113018:02
17R. BourqueR1112019:28
21B. GiontaR1113017:04
24J. TinordiD0000010:47
26J. GorgesD0010221:01
27A. GalchenyukC0212016:42
32T. MoenL000359:53
48D. BriereC0000413:56
49M. BournivalL000106:09
51D. DesharnaisC0000013:54
53R. WhiteC000177:40
55F. BouillonD0002016:45
61R. DiazD0010417:35
76P. SubbanD0115028:31
79A. MarkovD0011025:40
81L. EllerC1113018:43
31C. Price2223.95759:53