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Round One: Sparks fly, Flyers beat Habs 3-2

They always make things interesting, don't they?

Up three goals and just down right runnin' things through two periods, the Philadelphia Flyers gave up two goals to the Montreal Canadiens in the first minute of the third to make the game a whoooole lot closer than any of us would've liked.

From there, Michael Leighton came up big several times and the Flyers played very strong defensive hockey to squeak out a victory. The Canadiens didn't help themselves much, either, taking a few penalties in the middle portion of the period to keep the Flyers on the power play. As ineffective as those power plays may have been for the Flyers, they still meant that the Habs didn't have a chance to generate any offense during a critical time in the hockey game.

Late in the third, Montreal's Jaroslav Spacek went to pick up a loose puck along the end boards. As he went to play the puck along the dasher, he turned his back to the Flyers' Darroll Powe, who had been sizing him up for a hit. Powe was already too close to Spacek to hold up, and as he delivered his check, Spacek's face went into the boards.

It wasn't Powe's fault, and we sincerely hope Spacek is alright. But that injury is on him. To not turn your back on the play is one of the first things you're taught when you learn to receive a hit as a young hockey player, and to give Powe a penalty at a critical point in a one-goal hockey game  for simply finishing his check -- something else you're taught to do as a young player -- is just down right embarrassing.

When you consider the fact that the hockey-crazed Montreal spot light was on this game, the Powe hit will no doubt be the next episode in the chronicle of how dirty the Philadelphia Flyers are. We're used to that though, right?

Whatever. We win. 6th place is ours. Story lines set for tomorrow at Bell Center (Americanized, that's right). After the jump, questions with answers and the comment of the night.

Questions With Answers

  1. Can the Flyers get back to scoring the first goal? Yes sir or ma'am.
  2. Montreal isn't a wonderful defensive team, and they're one of only two teams currently in the playoff picture with a negative goal differential. Can the Flyers capitalize? They controlled the offense for most of the game, minus a quick lapse in the third. If not for Carey Price, the Flyers could've blown this one wide open.
  3. Can Michael Leighton not give up a softy? He played a solid game tonight. No softies.
  4. The power play has been atrocious lately. Does it pick back up? It looked decent, but not great.
  5. Does Blair Betts have any extra jump after signing a two-year contract extension? Nothing particularly different.

Comment of the Night

At this rate the McDonald’s Power Play Jackpot will be re-named "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."

>> You don't have to be sweet, to be good