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Canadiens claim first win at home

The SportsXchange

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens were determined to even their record before heading out on a four-game trip to western Canada.

Brendan Gallagher, Brian Gionta and Lars Eller each had a goal and an assist to lead Montreal to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.

Rene Bourque also scored and Price made 22 saves for the Canadiens, who rebounded from their season-opening 4-3 loss to Toronto on Tuesday night.

"Obviously, playing the first two games at home to start a season you couldn't afford to go 0 and 2," Gallagher said. "I thought it was a really good team effort. Everyone showed up, everyone played their game and contributed to a big team win."

Montreal begins its road trip in Calgary on Wednesday, followed by games in Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

"Price made a bunch of big saves for us," said Gionta, who opened the scoring 8:10 into the opening period with his first goal of the season. "He gives us a chance and he loves us to play patient, I've said it a lot of times before, but with him back there kicking them out and making some big saves, it helps us out."

Vincent Lecavalier scored his first Philadelphia goal on a power-play 9:13 into the third period to ruin Price's shutout bid.

Price caught a break when a quick whistle denied Philadelphia the tying goal at 15:17 of the first period.

Former Montreal defenseman Mark Streit drove a slap shot from the point off a faceoff won by Lecavalier. Matt Read put the puck into the net after it dropped in front of Price, but the play had already been blown dead.

"These are things that happen," Flyers center Maxime Talbot said. "You can't look at a game and say that was the turning point of the game. Even though it was 1-0, we've got to be able to battle back and win some hockey games."

Eller made it 2-0 with his third goal in two games 12 seconds into the third period. Gallagher increased the lead to 3-0 at the five-minute mark with his second goal in as many games on a two-man advantage.

P.K. Subban drew an assist moments after he had appeared to score. The Norris Trophy winner's slap shot from the left point got lodged in the padding on the outside of the back of the goal but never entered the net.

Gionta was denied a second goal at 12:05 because the referee's whistle had blown the play dead before the Montreal captain poked the puck over the goal line.

Bourque scored Montreal's second power-play goal at 19:03.

Ray Emery stopped 30 shots in his first start for the Flyers since Feb. 1, 2010.

Canadiens right winger Daniel Briere was held without a point in his first game against his former team.

Lecavalier was booed early and often by the sold-out crowd of 21,273. The Montreal native passed up an opportunity to play in his hometown when he signed a five-year, $22.5 million deal with the Flyers on July 2 after Tampa Bay bought out his previous contract.

"I just wanted to try to help my team win the game, that's all it is, really," Lecavalier said. "It's always special playing in Montreal and it was the same thing tonight."

Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov moved up into the slot and put a wrist shot off the right post on Montreal's first power-play opportunity just over four minutes in.

The Canadiens went 2-for-9 with the man-advantage during the game.

Philadelphia converted one of its five power-play opportunities.

"It's tough to score when you're in the box," Talbot said. "I think tonight you've got to look at the discipline and it was a factor. We started playing with a little bit of tempo and momentum and then we'd get a two-minute (penalty), so we've got to clean that up. I think that's the main thing right now."

NOTES: Former Canadiens D Hal Gill did not dress for Philadelphia. D Erik Gustafsson and C Kris Newbury were also left out of the Flyers' lineup. ... Canadiens C Tomas Plekanec played his 600th game. ... Montreal D Josh Gorges shattered a pane of glass inside the penalty box 15:18 into the first period when his shot went through the open door as Flyers C Sean Couturier returned to the ice after serving a hooking penalty. ... Canadiens LW Max Pacioretty missed the game because of an upper-body injury he suffered in Tuesday's 4-3 season-opening loss to Toronto. ... Montreal enforcer George Parros is out with a concussion. Parros, who was acquired from Florida in a July 5 trade, suffered the frightening injury when he landed face first on the ice at the end of his second fight of the game with Maple Leafs forward Colton Orr. ... Emery, who played 29 games for the Flyers in 2009-10, left the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks as a free agent to sign a one-year, $1.675 million deal with Philadelphia after sharing the William Jennings Trophy for the league's lowest goals-against-average with Corey Crawford.
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