MONTREAL (Reuters) - The Flyers beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 on Saturday to even their Eastern Conference semi-final series at 1-1 as the two teams head to Philadelphia.
The Canadiens outshot the Flyers 36-23 and the Habs’ powerplay finally seemed to find its spark, but Philadelphia goaltender Martin Biron was sharp facing the barrage and turned aside many scoring chances.
“Sometimes you create the bounces for your side,” Biron told reporters.
“The Canadiens are a team that is very strong on the attack. You see them coming -- five red sweaters -- and the puck is being passed from one side to the other.”
Philadelphia’s R.J. Umberger had two goals, while fellow centers Jeff Carter and Daniel Briere notched one each as the Flyers capitalized on their best chances.
As he had in Thursday’s 4-3 overtime loss, Umberger opened the scoring with a high wrist shot from the top of the face-off circle at 5:53 that surprised Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.
Philadelphia’s Jeff Carter scored his fourth goal of the playoffs just over two minutes later on a Flyers’ powerplay, again catching Price high on the glove side.
Habs Captain Saku Koivu put the Canadiens on the scoreboard with 3:42 left in the first period, jamming the puck past Biron in a quick wrap-around play.
The Canadiens were on a powerplay at the time and had just come off playing about one minute with a two-man advantage.
Daniel Briere restored Philadelphia’s two-goal advantage at 13:33 of the second period, backhanding the puck past Price.
Montreal came out charging in the final frame with Andrei Markov scoring after 1:26 on a crisp passing exchange with Chris Higgins and Koivu.
The home team pressed for an equalizer but was unable to get the puck past Biron and Umberger scored his second of the night with 2:21 left, sending many of the 21,273 fans at the Bell Centre heading for the exits.
“We let them back in the game a little bit, but I like the way we didn’t just sit back this time... we attacked and found a way to get that two-goal lead again,” Briere told reporters.
Montreal outshot the Flyers 16-7 and 13-9 in the first and second periods but the teams traded seven shots each in the third.
The best-of-seven series moves to Philadelphia for the next two games on Monday and Wednesday.
Editing by John O'Brien