Gallagher had hip issue for Canadiens before breaking jaw against Flyers

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Brendan Gallagher was playing with a tear in his hip before the Montreal Canadiens forward sustained a broken jaw in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Philadelphia Flyers.

“[Gallagher] had surgery (on his jaw) last night late and he’s on his way back to [his home in] Vancouver probably in the next few hours,” Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said Saturday. “Everything went well … we expect a full recovery.  

“But he was also playing with a hip issue that he hurt against [the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers]. He had a little tear in his hip. But you guys know him as well as I do; he’s got the heart of a lion and he wouldn’t get off the ice. But he was a little banged up.” 

Gallagher’s jaw was broken when he was cross-checked by Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen during a puck battle with 5:08 left in the third period of Montreal’s 5-3 win in Game 5 on Wednesday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the East hub city. He finished the game but did not play in Game 6, a 3-2 victory by the Flyers on Friday that eliminated the Canadiens from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  

Niskanen also did not play in Game 6; he was suspended one game by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Thursday. 

Gallagher, who tied forward Tomas Tatar for the Canadiens lead with 22 goals during the regular season, scored his first goal of the postseason in Game 5, giving Montreal a 3-2 lead at 11:30 of the second period. He scored four points (one goal, three assists) in nine playoff games.

The Canadiens defeated the Penguins in four games in the best-of-5 Qualifiers, advancing to the playoffs for the first time since 2017. They outscored the Flyers 13-11 but were shut out twice in their first-round series.

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