Eastern Conference Finals, Game 5
#8 Montreal Canadiens at #7 Philadelphia Flyers
Flyers lead series 3-1
Wachovia Center - 7:00 PM ET - Philadelphia, PA
TV: Versus HD, CBC HD, RDS HD
Radio: 610 WIP (internet stream here), XM 204, SIRIUS 208
Get the Montreal perspective at Habs Eyes On The Prize
The Flyers haven't faced off against a Western Conference team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 13 years. With a win tonight over the Montreal Canadiens, they can make that happen. With a win tonight, the Philadelphia Flyers will be Eastern Conference Champions. They'll be heading to the Stanley Cup Final.
Yes, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly will be in Philadelphia tonight, as will the Prince of Wales Trophy. But before the Flyers start thinking about whether or not they'll touch that trophy, they need to dispatch the Habs one more time. As we've learned in these playoffs, it's not easy to win that final game. Just ask Boston.
It's important that the Flyers don't look ahead tonight. With a loss in Game 5 against a Habs team that has been on the brink five times this postseason, the Flyers would have to travel back north to Montreal for a Game 6 in front of a rejuvenated Bell Centre. Much like in the Flyers semifinal series with the Bruins, a win in Game 5 for the team down 3-1 could be a huge swing in the series.
The Flyers need to avoid it at all costs. They can do that by playing the same way they've played in their wins this series. It's a simple formula, really: solid goaltending from Michael Leighton, stifling defense at the blue line and tons of pressure on the Habs in the neutral zone. It's simple stuff.
On offense, the Flyers need to cycle the puck effectively, get traffic in front of Jaroslav Halak, and play well on the power play. They've done it for three games in this series so far and it hasn't only led to three wins, but it's led to three shutouts. If they can execute the game plan one more time, the Flyers will be heading to Chicago.
Game thread at 5:30. Go Flyers.