(Sports Network) - After getting shut out in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals, the Montreal Canadiens hope to rediscover their scoring touch on home ice tonight when they welcome the Philadelphia Flyers for Game 3 at Bell Centre.
The seventh-seeded Flyers have taken a 2-0 lead in this best-of-seven series and have done so in impressive fashion, outscoring Montreal, 9-0, in Games 1 and 2. After notching a 6-0 victory in Sunday's opener at the Wachovia Center the Flyers took care of home-ice advantage once again on Tuesday, posting a 3-0 decision.
Philadelphia goaltender Michael Leighton has been the thorn in the side for the eighth-seeded Canadiens so far. Leighton stopped all 30 shots he faced on Tuesday and hasn't allowed a goal since the first period of the Flyers Game 7 victory over Boston in Round 2,
"We had one good player out there and, obviously, it was (Leighton). The rest of us were average," said Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen.
Leighton is now 4-0 in his playoff career, which began when he replaced an injured Brian Boucher during Game 5 against Boston. The 28-year-old journeyman has stopped 128-of-132 shots for an amazing .969 save percentage in the playoffs.
Leighton will take a shutout streak of 165 minutes, 50 seconds into tonight. Boucher has the longest scoreless streak in Philadelphia playoff history, playing 184:45 of shutout hockey in the 2000 postseason.
"We didn't play our best game, we know it," Briere said. "Sometimes you need your goalie to steal one for you and I feel like that was the case, especially in the first 40 minutes tonight."
Briere is leading the Flyers with nine goals and is tied with captain Mike Richards for the team lead in points with 18.
Philadelphia has ripped off six straight wins since falling behind three games to none against the Bruins, and is now two wins away from its first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals in 13 years. The Flyers have also scored 13 straight unanswered goals since falling behind 3-0 to Boston in the first period of Game 7.
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 Canadiens in Game 2
"I thought that we made some progress in areas," said Montreal head coach Jacques Martin. "We played much better in certain parts of the game. We spent more time in their zone tonight than the first game. We'll dissect the game and bring the necessary changes for Game 3."
The Canadiens have now lost six straight playoff games to Philadelphia. Also, Montreal has been blanked in successive playoff games for the first time since Bob Sauve of Buffalo pulled off the feat in Games 1 and 2 of the 1983 Adams Division semifinals.
Philadelphia and the Habs are battling for the East title despite being the bottom two seeds in the conference, marking the first time since the NHL adopted its current playoff format in 1994 that the seventh and eighth seeds in either conference are playing a series with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line.
The Canadiens, who will also host Game 4 on Saturday, are 3-3 on home ice during the postseason after going 20-16-5 at Bell Centre in the regular season.
Philadelphia had a poor 17-21-3 record as the guest this season, but is 4-3 on the road in the playoffs.
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. Laperriere sustained a brain contusion in Game 5 against New Jersey.
For the Canadiens, defenseman Andrei Markov underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee and is expected to need six months of recovery time.
The Flyers and Canadiens are meeting in the playoffs for the sixth time. Montreal won three of the previous five encounters, but Philly beat the Habs in five games the last time the franchises met in the 2008 conference semifinals. Prior to that, the previous two encounters were for conference titles, with Montreal earning a trip to the Cup Finals in 1989 -- two years after Philly beat them for the Prince of Wales Trophy in 1987.