Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Michael Leighton turned aside 30 shots in his first career playoff start, as the Philadelphia Flyers took another step towards history with a 2-1 victory over Boston in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series at Wachovia Center.
Mike Richards and Danny Briere scored for the Flyers, who became just the sixth team in NHL history to force a seventh and deciding game after being down 0-3. Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders came back to win a playoff series after the losing the first three games.
Philadelphia can complete the improbable journey Friday in Boston.
Leighton made his postseason debut in relief of an injured Brian Boucher during Game 5, stopping all 14 shots he faced to post the second combined shutout in NHL playoff history. It was Leighton’s first appearance between the pipes since March 16, when he suffered a high ankle sprain in Nashville.
Boucher, meanwhile, is expected to miss at least a month with a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee, as well as an injury to his right knee. Boucher was hurt when teammate Ryan Parent fell on him during a goalmouth scrum with the Bruins’ Miroslav Satan early in the second period of Monday’s 4-0 win.
Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask finished with 25 saves.
Milan Lucic spoiled Leighton’s shutout bid with one minute left in regulation, driving the net and banging home the rebound of a Dennis Wideman point shot, but the Bruins squandered another opportunity to put away the Flyers.
Philadelphia joined the 1939 New York Rangers in pushing a series to the limit that Boston once led 3-0. The Bruins, however, did go on to capture their second Stanley Cup that year.