MONTREAL _ Looking for players to shut down the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Peter Laviolette did some line-tinkering on Tuesday.
The Flyers’ coach had Mike Richards centering Claude Giroux and Andreas Nodl _ and had them face the Crosby unit for much of his team’s 3-2 win.
Giroux had been centering a line with Jeff Carter as his right wing.
On Wednesday in Montreal, Laviolette stayed with his two new units _ Richards’ line, and Carter centering James van Riemsdyk and Nik Zherdev.
JVR and Giroux were flip-flopped, and Carter moved to his natural position _ center _ while Giroux was shifted to RW on the other unit.
The switch paid major dividends in the Flyers’ 5-3 win over Montreal at the always-electric Bell Centre on Wednesday.
Carter’s unit combined for four goals, seven points and 15 shots _ and was a combined plus-8.
JVR (three points, six shots) had the second two-goal game of his young career, while Carter (three points, seven shots) and Zherdev (two points) each added goals.
“Carter was flying, Z was flying, JVR looked like he had great legs under him,” Laviolette said after the Flyers’ fourth straight victory. “I thought that line was terrific all night. It seemed like they generated a lot of speed and a lot of offensive opportunities with the puck. I thought they dominated a lot of their shifts.”
After Montreal scored two late goals to make it 3-3, JVR scored on a rebound to give the Flyers the lead for good with 5:33 left.
Montreal was rested, while the Flyers were playing their second game in as many nights; they looked fatigued before finding a way to pull out the win.
“I don’t think we were at our best tonight, but we kept at it and kept working and didn’t give in,” Laviolette said. “When you’re playing big teams _ Montreal and Pittsburgh _ you want to play them fresh. We had an emotional game last night (against Pittsburgh), a physical game, and traveled and had to get up here. Sometimes, teams learn how to win in situations like that. It wasn’t our best, but they were willing to fight for it.”
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Chris Pronger suffered what the team called a lower-body injury in the second period and did not play in the final period. He will be re-evaluated Thursday.
The team did not know if the injury was severe, but a spokesman said Pronger was not in a lot of pain. Pronger declined comment.
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