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Montreal captain Nick Suzuki reaches 30 goals for first time, helping Canadiens beat Flyers 4-1

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MONTREAL (AP) — Montreal captain Nick Suzuki reached 30 goals for the first time in his NHL career and added an assist to help the Canadiens beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Thursday night.

“He’s still a young player and sometimes you ask yourself, especially at his age, if there’s another level he can reach,” Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. “But the level he’s reaching right now is fun to watch. I’m not surprised he has 30 goals, he doesn’t cheat the game.”

Cayden Primeau made 29 saves as Montreal won its third straight in its Bell Centre return after a five-game trip. Jesse Ylonen also scored and Joel Armia and Jake Evans added empty-netters.

Juraj Slafkovsky extended his points streak to a career-high nine games with an assist on Suzuki’s goal. Mike Matheson had three assists.

Primeau had shutouts in his previous two home games and held Philadelphia off the scoresheet until Owen Tippett broke through with 1:01 left.

“It would have been nice to get one,” Primeau said. “But a win is just as nice. You don’t play for a shutout. They’re nice when you get them but that’s not why you play.”

Philadelphia lost its third consecutive game amid the Eastern Conference playoff race.

“We have 11 or 12 chances in the third period, and Primeau shut the door,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said. “He made some really good saves but we just we just got to keep on going. “We got to move by this and get ready for our next game.”

Samuel Ersson made 13 saves. He allowed six goals on 27 shots in a 6-5 overtime loss to the New York Rangers last time out.

Suzuki opened the scoring with a power-play goal midway through the first period by knocking home a feed from Slafkovsky at the side of the net.

Ylonen made it 2-0 late in the period, scoring off a rebound of Jayden Struble’s shot.

UP NEXT

Flyers: Host Chicago on Saturday night.

Canadiens: Host Carolina on Saturday night.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

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