Burke made 24 saves for his second shutout of the season and the Flyers strengthened their hold on first place in the Atlantic Division with a 2-0 victory over the slumping Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
“As a goaltender, you just go out and play hard,” said Burke, who was acquired Feb. 9 from Phoenix for forward Mike Comrie. “Those decisions are made by other people, but you want to make the decision tough for them.”
The shutout was the 35th of Burke’s career.
“I’ve played for 16 years and I came in here to do what I do—give our team good goaltending when I play. I haven’t thought about the decision. We’ll see. I don’t want to be a guy who is there just in case. You want to be a guy they can count on,” he said.
The victory gave the Flyers (40-20-14-6) 100 points, two more than second-place New Jersey. Both teams have two games left.
The Canadiens lost a fifth straight game and missed a chance to clinch seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
“We got the effort tonight and we haven’t had that in a while,” Montreal coach Claude Julien said. “The negative thing is we lost, but it’s encouraging to see the effort. At even strength, we were the better team, but Burke made the saves for them.”
The Canadiens have 91 points, three more than the New York Islanders, who have two games left. Montreal ends its season Saturday night at home against Buffalo.
“We had the solution tonight, which was the effort,” he said. “Now wejust need the result, which is to win.”
The sell-out crowd of 21,273 was booing after Handzus won a battle behind the net and flipped the puck inside the near post at 8:28 of the third period.
Burke was tested when Alex Kovalev broke in alone in the second period but managed to steer the shot wide.
Montreal has only four goals in its last five games.
The Flyers had two key players return from long injury layoffs— defenseman Eric Desjardins was back after missing 32 games with a fractured forearm and center Keith Primeau after being out 21 games with a concussion. … Tough guy Darren Langdon returned to the Montreal lineup after being scratched for three games … Claude Lapointe missed a second game with a flufor the Flyers.