MONTREAL -- A quick whistle negated Matt Read's first-period goal Saturday night at the reverberating Bell Centre, but the Flyers can't point fingers at the referees for dropping a 4-1 decision to Danny Briere and the Montreal Canadiens.
Blame their anemic offense.
The Flyers, now 0-2 and without an even-strength goal, did not generate nearly as many chances as they did in the opener, and their attack looked feeble until Vinny Lecavalier scored a power-play goal midway through the third period.
"We didn't play a good game," captain Claude Giroux said. "We'll look at the video, and it has to change."
Every time the Flyers had some momentum, they seemed to take a penalty. Montreal was 2 for 9 on the power play.
"We're not going to win the game from the penalty box," winger Brayden Schenn said. "We have to be way more composed."
Lecavalier was booed loudly every time he touched the puck. Montreal fans, who booed Briere when he was a Flyer, apparently believe every French-Canadian who is a free agent should sign with the "bleu, blanc, et rouge.
"I felt sorry for Vinny, but I've been that guy," Briere said.
Before Lecavalier scored on a rebound, the Flyers were 0 for 4 on the power play and 1 for 11 on the season.
Montreal took a 1-0 lead as Brian Gionta got position on defenseman Mark Streit and knocked a shot past Ray Emery from the doorstep with 11 minutes, 50 seconds left in the first period.
The Flyers appeared to tie it with about four minutes left in the opening period as Read converted a rebound of Streit's blast. But the refs thought goalie Carey Price had control of the puck and didn't realize it had gotten away from him.
Twelve seconds into the third period, the Canadiens made it 2-0 when Lars Eller deposited a backhander after retrieving a shot off the backboards. The Canadiens gained control at center ice -- and took control in the offensive zone -- after Wayne Simmonds slipped.
Brendan Gallagher scored on a five-on-three power play with 15 minutes left to increase the lead to 3-0.
The game marked the first time Briere had faced his ex-teammates since the Flyers bought out his contract in the summer.
Briere, who turns 36 on Sunday, was in the Flyers' faces -- and vice versa -- on Saturday night.
The Flyers did a nice job containing Briere, who went to the penalty box in the first period for hooking his former Haddonfield housemate, Giroux. The Flyers could not convert the ensuing power play.
With Montreal on a power play late in the second period, Sean Couturier, another player who used to live with Briere, stole the puck from his ex-teammate and helped kill the advantage. In fact, it was the Flyers who had the best scoring chance, as Giroux made a slick move and broke in on Carey Price, who turned aside his backhander with 1:05 to go in the period.
Briere also was called for hooking Jake Voracek early in the third period. Again, the Flyers' power play stumbled. They had two shots in their first power play and none in their next three.
In two games, the Flyers have scored a total of two goals; they will try to rebound Sunday in Carolina. Another loss would make Peter Laviolette's team 0-3 for the second straight season.
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