PHILADELPHIA — Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice, including the first of two Montreal Canadiens goals in 11 seconds early in the second period, in a 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.
Carey Price made 40 saves, Tomas Tatar had a goal and two assists, and Phillip Danault had three assists for the Canadiens (21-21-7), who are 3-1-0 in their past four games after losing their previous eight (0-7-1).
“That’s the one goal we’ve got, to make [the Stanley Cup] Playoffs,” Kovalchuk said. “So we’re going to make a push, nobody is giving up in this locker room. I’m just one of the soldiers, so I’m going to go and try my best to help the team to win more games.”
[WATCH: All Canadiens vs. Flyers highlights]
Montreal was coming off a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.
“We were definitely not pleased all around about last night,” said Price, who backed up Charlie Lindgren against Chicago. “It’s never easy coming on the road on a back-to-back, but I thought we did a great job.”
Alex Lyon made 36 saves in his first start of the season for Philadelphia (25-17-6), which had won consecutive games after going 1-4-1 in its previous six. Lyon backed up Brian Elliott when he made 30 saves in a 4-3 overtime win at the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.
“I thought my brain fell asleep a little bit in the second there for about five minutes, and that was a real dagger,” said Lyon, who was recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis after No. 1 goalie Carter Hart sustained an abdominal injury at practice Tuesday.
Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said of Lyon, “He did what you want a goaltender to do, he gave us a chance.”
Kovalchuk scored a power-play goal at 2:08 of the second when he tapped in a loose puck in the crease to put Montreal up 2-1.
Artturi Lehkonen deflected Danault’s pass into the goal mouth to make it 3-1 at 2:19.
Kovalchuk put the Canadiens up 4-1 with his second goal of the game at 11:13 of the third. He has seven points (three goals, four assists) in seven games since signing with Montreal on Jan. 3.
Farabee, who was recalled from Lehigh Valley on Thursday, scored at 18:47 of the first to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead, but Tatar scored 18 seconds later to tie the game 1-1 at 19:05.
Price made the save on Scott Laughton‘s shorthanded breakaway at 1:28 of the second to keep it tied.
“The first shift, we turned the puck over three times, but we found a way to score an important goal,” Vigneault said. “And one of the major turning points for me is that goal we gave up at the end of the first period. We should have gotten through that period with a one-goal lead.
“And then we take a penalty early in the second. We had a breakaway chance, and (Price) makes the save, and a couple of minutes later it’s 3-1, so we’re down by two against one of the best goaltenders in the League. So it was going to be an uphill battle.”
They said it
“I thought we were using our speed. Whenever we’re using our speed and killing plays and playing well in our (defensive) zone, we’re definitely a lot better.” — Canadiens goalie Carey Price
“He’s a cool guy. He’s not like most of the goalies, you know, he’s hanging out with the guys, he’s one of the players. He’s a big guy. I didn’t expect how big he is, like without the gear, with the big shoulders, big legs. He works hard every day to prepare himself. So it’s great to be around those kind of guys.” — Canadiens forward Ilya Kovalchuk on Price
“A few of them were perimeter shots, kind of low-quality shots that led to some quality looks. I think a number of times Price had to scramble across the crease to make another good save. So you’d always like better quality and more of them, but we certainly threw a lot of rubber at the net tonight.” — Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen
Need to know
Kovalchuk has 53 points (27 goals, 26 assists) in 52 games against Philadelphia. … It was Farabee’s first goal in 16 games dating to Dec. 3. … It was Lyon’s first start for the Flyers since Nov. 21, 2018, and his first appearance since Dec. 15, 2018. He is 4-4-1 in 14 games (nine starts) in three seasons for Philadelphia.
Canadiens: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CITY, SNE, TVAS, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)
Flyers: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, FS-W, NHL.TV)