Ole, Ole, Ole: Leighton Extends Shutout Streak, Gives Flyers 2-0 Series Lead

  • Live
3 Total Updates since May 18, 2010
  • Updates 3
  • All Updates 3

Flyers Take Two Game Series Lead With 3-0 Victory

For more information on this game, please visit our Flyers site, Broad Street Hockey, and our Canadiens site, Habs Eyes On The Prize

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Michael Leighton stopped all 30 shots he faced, as the streaking Philadelphia Flyers stonewalled Montreal, 3-0, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals at Wachovia Center.

Coming off his first career playoff shutout in the series opener, Leighton is 4-0 in his four postseason starts, allowing just four goals in those outings, since replacing an injured Brian Boucher during Game 5 against Boston.

Leighton will take a shutout streak of 165 minutes, 50 seconds into Game 3 on Thursday, when the series shifts to the Bell Centre in Montreal.

Danny Briere and Simon Gagne scored power-play goals for the seventh-seeded Flyers, who used a punishing forecheck to suppress the smaller Canadiens and come away with a resounding 6-0 win Sunday.

Ville Leino registered an even-strength goal and one assist for his third consecutive multi-point game.

Philadelphia has ripped off six straight wins since falling behind three games to none in its previous series with the Bruins, and is now remarkably two wins away from its first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals in 13 years.

History says a 2-0 start is a huge asset for Philadelphia. The Flyers are 16-0 all-time when winning the first two games of a postseason series.

Jaroslav Halak, yanked midway through the second period after allowing four goals on 14 shots in Game 1, made 20 saves for the eighth-seeded Canadiens, who have lost six straight playoff games to Philadelphia.


Habs Blog: Game 2 A Must Win For Montreal

The Flyers embarrassed the Canadiens on Sunday night. It was a 6-0 domination by Philadelphia, who believe it or not wasn't really happy with the effort they put in during the game. For Montreal, though, they saw a Flyers team that is absolutely rolling right now -- winners of five straight playoff games, including four straight to make an historic comeback against Boston.

At SBN's Habs Eyes On The Prize, they think their team needs to stop watching and start doing the things that have made them successful so far this postseason.

In trying to figure another explanation for Monday's debacle, it could be that the Canadiens were showing just a tad too much respect for a Flyer team that had just pulled off the greatest series comeback in 35 seasons. Perhaps a little too in awe of their new rivals, it looked as though the Habs pulled up a front row to watch this phenom go by. Now that the fascination has sunk in, the lingering emotions from Monday's humiliation are sure to take over.

The mantra will again be to put aside the various assets the Flyers own, treat every threat as one, and play the shackle brand that put them though as underdogs biting the ankles of giants.

Montreal has to tighten it up their own end, frustrating the Flyers just as they did the Capitals and Penguins.

The Canadiens need to get back to the unpretty methods that have worked for them in the past month, otherwise the dream season could be over swiftly.


Game 2, 7:00 P.M.: Canadiens Hope To Rebound, Steal A Game In Philadelphia

(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens will try to bounce back from an embarrassing loss in the opener of the Eastern Conference finals when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers for Game 2 tonight at Wachovia Center.

The Flyers notched a 6-0 victory on home ice in Game 1 to take the early lead in the best-of-seven series. For the Canadiens, it was their worst loss to start a series since 1919.

It was a lopsided start to a surprising conference finals matchup, as Philadelphia and the Habs are battling for the East title despite being the seventh and eighth-seeded teams in the conference, respectively. This series marks the first time since the NHL adopted its current playoff format in 1994 that the bottom two seeds in either conference will play a series with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line.

Michael Leighton made 28 saves on Sunday to earn his first career playoff shutout, and six different Flyers scored in the blowout victory.

Leighton, who has played in four games and started three since Brian Boucher went down with a knee injury in Game 5 of the conference semifinals against Boston, improved to 3-0 in this postseason. Philadelphia, which remarkably recovered from an 0-3 series deficit to defeat the Bruins in Round 2, has now ripped off five straight playoff wins for the first time since a six-game stretch in 1995.

"I'm obviously happy the way things went. It makes it easier when we score that many goals," Leighton said. "I was seeing a lot of the pucks. They don't have a big presence like Boston did...I just had to make the saves I should make in the first (period), and we kind of went from there."

Braydon Coburn, Scott Hartnell, James van Riemsdyk, Claude Giroux and Danny Briere each posted a goal and an assist in the resounding victory. Simon Gagne also scored for the Flyers, who will look to take a two-game series before the series shift to Montreal for Games 3 and 4.

"You have to stay grounded," Briere said. "It's just one game. We know (the Canadiens are) going to come back a lot stronger in their next game. The goal was to keep home-ice advantage, so we're halfway there. We need to win the next game at home, and we need to concentrate on that. We have to clear our minds -- we're happy about (this win), but let's move on and concentrate on the next one."

Jaroslav Halak, who helped the Habs notch unlikely series victories over Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington and defending champion Pittsburgh, was scorched for four goals on only 14 shots. Carey Price made nine saves in relief of Halak, who was pulled midway through the second period.

"It's a matter of adjusting our game and raising our level of intensity," said Habs head coach Jacques Martin. "Tonight, we didn't play a team game. We played an individual game, and you can't be successful that way."

Halak, who still has an excellent .927 save percentage in the playoffs, had his worst outing since giving up five goals in the opener of Montreal's conference semifinals series against Pittsburgh. Despite the shaky performance in Game 1 of this series, Halak is expected to get the start tonight.

The Flyers are 5-1 as the host in this year's playoffs after going 24-14-3 in Philadelphia during the regular season. This matchup marks the first time the Flyers have begun a series with home-ice advantage in the post-lockout era.

Montreal was 19-17-5 on the road prior to the start of the playoffs and 5-4 as the guest in the postseason. The Canadiens will host the Flyers in Game 3 on Thursday.

On the injury front, there have been rumors flying around about the possible return of key players for both Philadelphia and Montreal.

Reports out of Canada are saying the Montreal's top defenseman Andrei Markov, who has been out since injuring his right knee in Game 1 against Pittsburgh, will not be able to return for this series.

For the Flyers, there had been rumors that forward Jeff Carter, who had foot surgery on April 23, would be back for Game 2 or 3 of this series, but Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren denied those reports, saying it was "a stretch" that the sniper could return for this series. Carter, the club's leading goal- scorer during the regular season, has been sidelined since April 20, when he broke his foot in Game 4 of the conference quarterfinals against New Jersey.

Philadelphia forward Ian Laperriere could also be close to returning from a brain contusion suffered in Game 5 against New Jersey. He has resumed skating, but still needs to be cleared by doctors before seeing game action.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.