PHILADELPHIA - MAY 24: The Philadelphia Flyers celebrate after defeating the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 4-2 to win Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals and to advance to the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Wachovia Center on May 24, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

Flyers End Canadiens' Magical Run, Advance To Eighth Stanley Cup Finals

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Habs Blog: Canadiens Dream Season Ends

When the playoffs began, no one except the Canadiens players themselves expected this deep of a playoff run. The team has provided it’s fans with countless thrills as they upset the President Trophy winning Washington Capitals and upended the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. It ended a little earlier than they hoped but Canadiens fans are grateful for the run.

As Canadiens fans, we must tip our hats to this group of players, who battled relentlessly and resiliently in the face of all odds.

Personally, I’ve long felt, even prior to last summer’s massive changes, that where the Canadiens needed to be measured most in the Eastern Conference was against teams strong down the middle, such as the Capitals, Flyers and Penguins, with Crosby, Malkin and Staal.

It matters not how it was done, but Montreal defeated two of these rivals, and now have a much clearer idea of where they need improvement in order to go farther in the post season.


Flyers 4, Canadiens 2: Philadelphia Beats Montreal, Advances To Stanley Cup Finals

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Jeff Carter notched a pair of goals and Mike Richards picked up a goal and two assists, as the Philadelphia Flyers dispatched the Montreal Canadiens by a 4-2 count in the deciding Game 5 of this Eastern Conference final.

Arron Asham also tallied for the Flyers, who head to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1997 and did it in a more impressive manner and in a tougher fashion than the last time.

Philadelphia reached the Cup Finals that season by rolling past Pittsburgh, Buffalo and the New York Rangers in 15 total games only to be swept by Detroit -- which ended a then NHL-longest 42-year title drought.

This time around, it was a five-game victory over New Jersey in the conference quarterfinals followed by an improbable seven-game semifinal win against Boston which saw Philly become the first team in 35 years to rally from an 0-3 series deficit.

A victory over Montreal was secured in large part by holding the Habs to a total of seven goals in five games, including three shutouts by Michael Leighton.

Leighton stopped 25-of-27 shots for the victory, running his record this postseason to 6-1.

Now, Chicago stands in the way. The Blackhawks, who eliminated the Sharks with a Game 4 victory on Sunday in the Western final, haven't taken home the championship since 1961, the longest drought in the league. The Flyers have not won since the second of back-to-back triumphs in 1975.

Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who managed to topple top-ranked Washington and defending Cup champion Pittsburgh in seven- game triumphs before bowing in their first conference finals since winning it all in 1993.

Jaroslav Halak allowed three goals on 25 shots for Montreal, which had won all five of its previous elimination games before Monday's season-ending defeat.

With the setback, it marks the first time since the club joined the NHL that it failed to win a Stanley Cup at least once in a decade.

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