Tatar, Kotkaniemi scores twice, Canadiens rout Flyers 5-0

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Montreal won its trainer that was absent this playoff game.

Kirk Muller and the rest of the Canadiens had to dedicate the Game 2 victory to Claude Julien.

“To Claude, I’m sure you’re listening, this win’s for you,” Muller said.

Tomas Tatar and Jesperi Kotkaniemi each scored Carey Price stopped 30 shots and the Canadiens rebounded to rout the Philadelphia Flyers 5-0 on Friday and tie the series at a game apiece.

“We have a job and he would anticipate that also,” forward Max Domi said. “So we’re just trying to stay focused here and get ready to go. And I think we did a excellent job of this.”

Julien was in Montreal a day after a stent was placed in a coronary artery. The group said doctors expect a complete recovery.

Julien was rushed to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto overnight Wednesday with chest pain. Thursday, he had surgery. If he wants to re-enter it he will need to follow quarantine protocol because Julien left the NHL bubble in Toronto. Muller will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

“Claude steers the ship for us and he guides what we do out there,” defenseman Ben Chiarot stated. “We’ll just play as hard as we can for him.”


The Canadiens roughed up Flyers goalie Carter Hart, who turned 22 on Thursday, and scored four goals through two periods to send him.

The Canadiens continued their surge that was sensational and bounced back fine after a Game 1 loss. Montreal was the last group to be eligible for the expanded playoffs, and then needed four games to win its best-of-five series over Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hart grew up in Alberta and was a long-time lover. Price had a shutout against the Penguins and had. When Cost was made a first-round pick in the 2005 draft by the Canadiens hart was just 6 years old. He was 22 for only a day when he got benched against idol.

“At this time of the year, together with the significance of the game, we certainly do not anticipate that,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said.

Tatar needed only 1:02 to score into the game, and Kotkaniemi connected in the period. Tatar into the second period. Joel Armia knocked out Hart with his goal.

“I think we actually played the right way in the get-go. We jumped right out of the gate,” Tatar said.

Hart allowed four goals. He allowed two goals from the round-robin show that helped the Flyers go 3-0 and clinch the top seed in the East on 59 shots. His .914 save percentage was tied for eighth in the regular season.

The Flyers continue to find little production from their top stars. Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes, travis Konency, Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk — their top-five goal scorers — have yet to score in the Toronto bubble.

Kotkaniemi beat on Brian Elliott in the third for a 5-0 lead.

“You can’t win the series by winning a single match,” Hayes said.

Notes: Konency was helped off the ice with an injury in the third period. … Tatar scored 22 goals and had a career-high 61 points in 68 games headed into the NHL break. He had yet to score in the playoffs. … Hart was pulled from a game for the first time since Jan. 4.


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