Montreal Canadiens vs. Philadelphia Flyers Pick & Prediction MARCH 28th 2024

The Philadelphia Flyers will try to firm their grip on third place in the Metropolitan Division when they visit the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

The Flyers (36-27-10, 82 points) are coming off a 6-5 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday, a contest in which they held a 2-0 lead before trailing by a goal three times and tying it late. The setback kept them one point ahead of the Washington Capitals, who hold two games in hand.

It’s been an inconsistent month of March for Philadelphia, which hasn’t been able to string wins together while going 5-5-3 thus far.

“We’ve got nine huge games left and we’re going to take them one at a time,” Flyers associate coach Brad Shaw said. “We’re going to try to get the job done and play some real meaningful games in April as well.”

The Flyers spent the past three weeks competing against the top teams in the Eastern Conference in all but one game. The competition over the final stretch will be different. Only one team on the schedule is ahead of them — the Rangers. Further, the Rangers and Capitals are the only two playoff teams, as it stands after Tuesday’s action, remaining on the Flyers’ schedule.

“It was a tough stretch to go through but I think it was a stretch that we needed to get our team to play the way we need to right now,” forward Travis Konecny said. “And I think we’ve really dialed it in. … NHL teams are NHL teams for a reason. You can beat anyone on any given night, so the message is going to be the exact same thing.”

Konecny had a goal and an assist against the Rangers to bring his team-leading points total to a career-high 63 (31 goals, 32 assists), surpassing his previous best of 61 set last season. His next goal will also be a new personal best, and he’s just five assists from matching a career mark set in 2019-20.

The Canadiens (27-32-12, 66 points) return home on a high after a five-game road trip. After dropping the first three games, Montreal finished the trip with a pair of wins, including a 2-1 triumph against the Colorado Avalanche that snapped the Avalanche’s nine-game winning streak.

It was the first time the Canadiens won consecutive games since Jan. 15-17.

“We raise our game against good competition,” captain Nick Suzuki said. “I think it really forces guys to be dialed in.”

The win was Montreal’s 10th when allowing the first goal, tied for fifth fewest in the NHL.

Against Philadelphia, the Canadiens, who have won two in a row seven times this season, will be eyeing their first three-game winning streak.

After an eight-game stretch in which he had just one point, second-year forward Juraj Slafkovsky has been on a roll over the past few weeks and brings an eight-game point streak into Thursday’s matchup. The 19-year-old, who is fourth on the team in scoring with 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists), has nine points (two goals, seven assists) during his current streak.

–Field Level Media

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