TORONTO - Carter Hart made 27 saves, Joel Farabee scored 16 seconds after Montreal tied it, and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Canadiens 2-1 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Ivan Provorov also scored for the Flyers. Shea Weber scored for the Canadiens, and Carey Price stopped 29 shots.
Montreal, the final club in the NHL’s 24-team restart, stunned the Pittsburgh Penguins — who had the NHL’s seventh-best record when the schedule was halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic — 3-1 in the best-of-five qualifying round to book a place in the 16-slot playoff bracket.
Philadelphia sat fourth of four teams vying for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, then beat Boston, Washington and Tampa Bay by a combined 11-3 in the round-robin tournament to grab top spot.
Down 1-0 after a tentative first, the Canadiens showed more life and got even with 5:22 left in the second when their power play, which came in a league-worst 0 for 12 in the postseason, finally connected. Hart stopped Weber’s one-time blast, but the puck popped out of a crowd in front for the Montreal captain to snap it home.
The teams were even for exactly 16 seconds, with Farabee picking up his own rebound deflection.
Provorov opened the scoring midway through the first with a one-timer from the point.
NOTES: Flyers winger Jakub Voracek returned to the lineup after missing the final two round-robin games, and made an immediate impact on a Philadelphia power play that entered 0 for 11 since the restart.
Game 2 is Friday.
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