The Montreal Canadiens were in a familiar situation. Down in the series once again, the Canadiens were hoping to pull off another comeback in hopes of reaching the conference finals. Everyone is always up for a good underdog story, but unfortunately not all underdog stories conclude with a happy ending.
Montreal 2 @ Philadelphia 4 – The Habs’ possible surprise Stanley Cup dreams have been shattered by the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers did what they did best: play a physical game to pull off a victory. With the help of the surprising performance of Michael Leighton, the Flyers are making the trip to the Stanley Cup finals against the youthful Blackhawks. The Canadiens opened up the scoring early in the game as Brian Gionta’s wrist shot beat Leighton to give the Habs the early lead. However, it didn’t last long as Mike Richards of the Flyers responded in less than 4 minutes with a goal of his own. The Flyers added to their lead early in the second with 2 goals less than 1:30 apart. Scott Gomez scored in the third period to give the Canadiens a glimmer of hope, but it wasn’t enough. Jeff Carter scored the empty netter near the end of the game to put an end to the series. Jaroslav Halak has not been performing at the same level as the previous two series when the Canadiens managed to claw back from behind. Surprisingly, Michael Leighton continues his outstanding performance as he carries the Flyers toward another win. Now that Canada’s last hope is done, the finals will now feature a very interesting matchup. So who will come out on top? On one end there is the team with youth and speed and at the other end is one that plows through opponents by brute force. This should be an interesting series to check out.
Philadelphia wins the series 4-1
Three Stars of the Night:
1. Mike Richards (Philadelphia) – 1 goal, 2 assists
2. Jeff Carter (Philadelphia) – 2 goals
3. Scott Gomez (Montreal) – 1 goal, 1 assist
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Philadelphia Flyers (TV: CBC, NBC)