By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
The last two games have been a fresh dose of reality for Carter Hart and the Flyers.
Obviously, against a powerhouse team like Tampa Bay, the Flyers showed they had a long way to go. With playoff implications on the line in Montreal, the Flyers were again overpowered, watched their 20-year-old goalie get chased again, and looked as lifeless as they did in November and December when a wave of changes were made to management.
On the ice, Brendan Gallagher scored a hat trick and the Canadiens rolled to an easy 5-1 win over the Flyers on Thursday night.
Gallagher got things started early for the Canadiens, scoring his first of the night just 58 seconds into the game. At 3:11, Travis Sanheim got beat at the Flyers blue line by Paul Byron, who set up Jesperi Kotkaniemi for the one-timer on a two-on-one to make it 2-0.
At 10:33, Gallagher scored his second from a very sharp angle right along the goal line, as the shot leaked through the side of the net along the skate of Hart.
Hart allowed three goals on nine shots for the second straight game. His night was over after the third goal and Brian Elliott entered for the second straight game.
After 20 minutes, the Canadiens had a 15-8 lead in shots.
The Flyers got an early power play in the second period but failed to score. Fresh out of the penalty box, Gallagher finished off the hat trick, scoring at 2:56. Less than four minutes later, Montreal kept the wave coming with Tomas Tatar getting on the board.
Through two periods, the Canadiens led in shots, 26-18.
The Canadiens continued to pepper the Flyers net with shots in the third. The Flyers did finally solve Carey Price just past the halfway point of the period.
Shayne Gostisbehere took a shot from the point that Michael Raffl deflected to make it 5-1.
Price made 29 saves on 30 shots. Elliott made 29 saves on 31 shots in relief of Hart.
The Flyers are back on the ice on Saturday night for the 2019 Stadium Series game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Game time is 8 p.m.