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Apr 10, 2024 2:02 am

Juraj Slafkovsky (three goals), Canadiens demolish Flyers

Juraj Slafkovsky

Juraj Slafkovsky recorded his first career hat trick and Christian Dvorak and Brendan Gallagher each scored two goals, lifting the host Montreal Canadiens to a 9-3 victory over the free-falling Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

Josh Anderson and Joel Armia also scored a goal and Sam Montembeault made 33 saves as the Canadiens (30-36-12, 72 points) emphatically snapped their three-game losing skid.

Jordan Harris notched three assists and fellow defensemen Mike Matheson and Johnathan Kovacevic each had two for Montreal.

Erik Johnson had a goal and an assist and Ryan Poehling and Joel Farabee each scored in the third period for the Flyers (36-32-11, 83 points), who saw their faint playoff aspirations take another hit following their eighth straight loss (0-6-2).

Samuel Ersson yielded five goals on 17 shots before being replaced by Ivan Fedotov, who made 10 saves.

The Canadiens got the early jump by scoring 1:05 into the first period. Matheson exchanged passes with Cole Caufield before unleashing a shot from the high slot that deflected off Slafkovsky and past Ersson.

Slafkovsky wasn’t done, however. The top overall pick of the 2022 NHL Draft converted captain Nick Suzuki’s saucer pass at the right doorstep at 8:43 of the second period.

Gallagher scored off a deflection to extend Montreal’s lead to 3-0 just over two minutes later before Slafkovsky completed his hat trick at 11:22 of the second period. Slafkovsky, at 20 years and 10 days old, converted a breakaway to become the second-youngest player in franchise history to record a hat trick behind only Stephane Richer, who was 19 years and 283 days old when he accomplished the feat on March 17, 1986.

Anderson gained inside position on defenseman Nick Seeler before tucking the puck past Ersson 80 seconds later. Anderson’s ninth goal of the season spelled the end of the evening for Ersson.

Dvorak was playing in his first game since Dec. 30 after recovering from a torn pectoral muscle. He scored with 4:33 remaining in the second period and again midway through the third to give Montreal a 7-1 lead.

–Field Level Media

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