Perhaps it was a tad early to throw dirt on the Montreal Canadiens, as they returned home and not only beat the Flyers, but did so every bit as decisively as Philadelphia had won the first two games of the series.
Montreal outshot Philadelphia 38-26, and that doesn't do justice to how tilted the ice was in favour of Montreal in Game Three. Nevertheless, the game resulted in goaltender Jaroslav Halak and Michael Leighton reversing the roles that had been established in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia's defensive stopper, Chris Pronger, and partner Matt Carle both took a minus-3 on the evening; the first time since March 27, 2009 that Pronger was minus-3 in a game.
For Montreal, Roman Hamrlik was a stalwart, registering two assists and a plus-4 rating, while P.K. Subban bounced back with three assists and a plus-3 rating (after going minus-3 in Game One at Philadelphia). Subban only played 18:11, his lowest game total since the Washington series, when he was first summoned to save the Habs defence.
Not surprisingly, Montreal got goals from Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta -- the duo has scored 21 of Montreal's 44 goals (44.7%) in the playoffs, but the encouraging part for Montreal in Game Three was that other players got involved offensively.
To wit, Dominic Moore and Tom Pyatt each had one goal and one assist. Pyatt does score in bunches; he has a total of nine points in 57 games including the regular season and playoffs this year and has four multi-point games, accounting for eight of those nine points.
While a late-game 5-on-3 power play goal by Marc-Andre Bergeron doesn't seem like a big deal, it doesn't hurt to at least register something with the man advantage -- Montreal is now 1-for-15 (6.7%) on the power play in this series.
The bottom line for Montreal was that they played an exceptional game, carrying the play and deserving their lopsided victory. Can they duplicate this effort in Game Four?
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@ctv.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen.