No showdown, but the Flyers pulled out the late win.
Coming into Monday night's game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens, much had been made of the blossoming rivalry between Flyers' captain Mike Richards and Canadiens' rookie PK Subban.
In a post game interview following a 3-0 loss to Montreal last Tuesday, Richards had some harsh comments about the multi-talented Subban.
"He's a guy that's come in the league and hasn't [earned] respect. It's frustrating to see a young guy like that come in here and so much as think that he's better than a lot of people. You have to earn respect in this league. It takes a lot. You can't just come in here as a rookie and play like that. It's not the way to get respect from other players around the league."
He wasn't done yet.
"Hopefully someone on their team addresses it, because, uh, I'm not saying I'm going to do it but something might happen to him if he continues to be that cocky."
When ESPN.com asked Subban his opinion on Richards' comments, Subban fired back.
"I think that I'm confident, but I think that there's a lot of players that are confident in this league," said Subban. "I'm not the only person that's confident when I play the game. Maybe the fact that I'm a young guy coming in, maybe people don't take well to that."
"As long as my teammates and the coaching staff are happy with what I'm doing, I'm going to continue to do that."
Less than a week later, the Flyers and the Canadiens squared off for the second time as the orange and black enjoyed sweet revenge with a 3-2 comeback win against Carey Price and Montreal at the Well Fargo Center.
The storyline surrounding the contest was what was going to happen with Richards and Subban. Were the two going to go mano y mano to solve their off the ice matter or was the situation overblown by the hockey world?
Surprisingly, no extracurricular activities took place during the game, which wasn’t expected after how chippy the third period was the last time these two teams played.
Nothing happened between Richards and Subban, neither played dropped their gloves to please the sold out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. Instead, they both concentrated on playing their games.
"I'm not going to answer, I'm not going to start anything up," Richards said after the game via Delco Times Flyers beat writer Anthony SanFilippo. "It got a lot bigger than I thought it would."
Facing a 2-0 deficit after one, the Flyers once again had difficulties beating Price, who stopped all nine shots faced during the first stanza. However, Philly got to the Habs' net-minder in the second period.
Ville Leino scored a goal from the left circle after being setup by Danny Briere to end a scoreless streak of 164 minutes against Montreal in the last two regular seasons.
Trailing 2-1 in the third period, Claude Giroux provided the Flyers' faithful with another clutch goal as he tied the game at two with a tip-in following some hard work by Darroll Powe on the forecheck. It was Giroux's team-leading 12th goal of the season.
Six minutes later, a miracle happened for the Flyers.
James van Riemsdyk, who was the subject of rumors of a possible benching for recently recalled Eric Wellwood, took a crisp pass from defenseman Braydon Coburn on the power play, and sniped the left corner for his first tally of the season.
For scoring his first goal of the year, JVR couldn't have chosen a better time to light the lamp.
With the win, the Flyers move into first place in the Eastern Conference.
*Don't forget to check out 2M2MG's breaking news section! It's an up-to-the-minute running post to keep you informed on all the goings-on around Philly sports. Bookmark it today!