PHILADELPHIA — Matt Read scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period to lead the Flyers to a 3-1 win over the Canadiens on Thursday.
Claude Giroux also scored and Sean Couturier had an empty-netter for the Flyers, who opened a five-game homestand — their longest of the season — by winning their fourth in their past five. They began the day with a tenuous hold on the Eastern Conference's final wild card playoff spot, with eight teams within seven points. The win put the Lightning eight points back.
Nikita Nesterov scored in his first game with the Atlantic Division-leading Canadiens after being traded from the Lightning last week. Montreal's 16 shots were a season low and the fewest Philadelphia has allowed in a game this season.
Game highlights: Chris Kreider scored 3:56 into overtime and the Rangers beat the host Sabres 2-1 to snap a two-game losing streak.
Around the league: The head of the International Olympic Committee is joining high-level talks over whether NHL players will participate in next year's Olympics in South Korea, reports said. The IOC and the International Ice Hockey Federation requested a meeting today with commissioner Gary Bettman and Players Association executive director Don Fehr. The meeting is the first to include IOC president Thomas Bach, federation president Rene Fasel, Bettman and Fehr about the NHL's 2018 participation. Bettman has said league brass and owners are leaning against going to the Games for the sixth straight time. Players have said they are for it.