It was two Eastern Conference semi-final elimination games for hockey fans last night. The Montreal Canadiens were looking to do the impossible yet again by eliminating a superior team in a game seven. No matter what happened in that game, a near riot was expected in Montreal. Meanwhile, Philadelphia was trying to avoid elimination for the third straight game. Two more wins would mean history but a rusty goalie meant their luck had to run out some time.
Montreal 5 @ Pittsburgh 2 – The President’s Trophy champion? Easy enough to engineer a three-game comeback. The defending Stanley Cup champs? Destroyed them in game seven. The Habs scored four goals on 13 shots to chase Marc-Andre Fleury and that was all she wrote for the defending champs. Montreal had some second period jitters but were far enough out front that is was coasting to a win. The Habs didn’t really need a stellar 37 save by Halak to win the game and series. The only question my mind after that game is what is left of Montreal after that win. So who’s next?
Montreal wins the series 4-3
Boston 1 @ Philadelphia 2 – Michael Leighton was one of the revolving door goalies that the Flyers brought in to stop the bleeding this year. When he came in game five, Flyers fans and prognosticators were thinking gloom and doom. However, he stopped 30 shots to lead the Flyers to victory. Mike Richards and Danny Briere led the offense with a goal each. Lucic scored late in the going to end a scoreless streak that stretched of 130 minutes which was since Mark Recchi scored the tying goal in game four. Now, the Flyers will go back to Boston with a chance to make history. A Philadelphia win will mean that they are only the third team in history to come back from an 0-3 deficit. Will history be made?
The series is tied 3-3
Three Stars of the Night:
1. Jaroslav Halak (Montreal) – 37 saves
2. Michael Leighton (Philadelphia) – 30 saves
3. Brian Gionta (Montreal) – 2 goals
Philadelphia at Boston – Series tied 3-3 (TV: TSN, Versus)