Flyers-Canadiens Preview


After spending the previous six seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Daniel Briere signed with the Montreal Canadiens this summer.

The two-time All-Star is eager to get the first showdown against his former team out of the way.

Montreal and Philadelphia try to bounce back from season-opening losses Saturday night at Bell Centre.

Briere scored 124 goals during his time with the Flyers, helping lead them to five playoff appearances and the Stanley Cup Finals in 2009-10. While the last two years of his contract with Philadelphia were bought out, he doesn't harbor any ill will and is excited about the game.

"I'm happy that the matchup with the Flyers is early in the season. I'm also happy the first one is at home," he told the team's official website. "I guess that makes it a little bit easier on the preparation because for me, personally, it's not a normal game.

"On Saturday night, I face my friends, but once the puck drops, they have a job to do and so do we. You have to leave the friendships behind until after the game."

Some of Briere's former teammates are also looking forward to the matchup.

"Playing him the first time and seeing him warm up will obviously be a little different, lot of emotions," Flyers forward Scott Hartnell said. "But when push comes to shove out there during the game, if there's a puck up for grabs, it's going to be my puck instead of his."

Briere had a quiet Canadiens debut, going without a point in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to Toronto. Lars Eller had two goals and an assist and Alex Galchenyuk added two helpers as Montreal went 0 for 4 on the power play.

"The execution by our team was not there," coach Michel Therrien said. "A lack of execution with the puck led to two goals, and a lack of focus without the puck cost the other two."

The Canadiens' 350th consecutive sellout crowd witnessed a scary moment when enforcer George Parros was knocked unconscious after his face slammed into the ice during a fight. While he has been released from the hospital, Parros is out indefinitely with a concussion.

The Flyers are also coming off a disappointing result to the Maple Leafs, falling 3-1 on Wednesday. Brayden Schenn gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead before Steve Mason allowed three goals.

Vincent Lecavalier notched an assist in his first game with the Flyers, who outshot Toronto 32-25. Philadelphia also had seven power-play chances but only converted one.

"Offensively that's the best we've looked in a while," coach Peter Laviolette said. "But at the end of the day you've got to score more than one goal to win a game. We had a lot of chances, but there were plenty of missed shots."

Philadelphia could turn to Ray Emery, who is back for his second stint with the team. The 10-year veteran went 17-1-0 with a 1.94 goals-against average in 21 games with Chicago last season.

While Emery has posted a 1.75 GAA in winning four consecutive starts against the Canadiens, he hasn't faced them since 2008.

Philadelphia has gone 9 for 43 (20.9 percent) on the power play in taking eight of 10 from Montreal, which hasn't opened 0-2-0 since 2000-01.

The Canadiens' Carey Price, who made 34 saves Tuesday, is 1-7-0 with a 3.97 GAA in his last eight meetings against Philadelphia.

Flyers captain Claude Giroux has six goals and four assists in his last nine versus Montreal.