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Jonathan Drouin stars in shootout as Habs beat Flyers 3-2 in empty arena

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  • Philadelphia Flyers
    Philadelphia Flyers
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  • Jonathan Drouin
    Jonathan Drouin
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  • Keith Primeau
    Canadian ice hockey player

MONTREAL — Jonathan Drouin was the lone scorer in the shootout as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Thursday in an empty Bell Centre.

Quebec public health officials asked the Canadiens to play without any fans in their home arena earlier in the day in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The Habs agreed to the provincial government's request, making the game the first at Bell Centre without spectators since Game 4 of the 2021 North Division semifinal against the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 25.

Artturi Lehkonen and Laurent Dauphin scored for Montreal (7-21-3). 

Cayden Primeau, son of former Flyer Keith Primeau, allowed two goals on the 38 shots he faced and saved every Philadelphia shootout attempt.

Max Willman and Jackson Cates, with his first NHL goal, replied for the Flyers (11-12-5). 

Carter Hart blocked 38 of 40 shots and only allowing Drouin's goal in the shootout.

Lehkonen deflected Brett Kulak’s shot from the point to bag his second goal of the season to open the scoring.

Philadelphia tied it 1-1 2:20 into the second period when Willman took advantage of Montreal forward Nick Suzuki falling in front of the net.

Cates drove the puck in the offensive zone himself and beat Primeau with a wrist shot to make it 2-1 in the final minute of the second.

Montreal tied the game up 2-2 at 14:21 into the third period. Dauphin took advantage of a Hart rebound to net his first goal as a Hab.

Centre Mathieu Perrault didn't take part in the game. The Canadiens later confirmed that it was due to a lower-body injury. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2021.

Tristan D’Amours, The Canadian Press

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