The Flyers look to continue their incredible postseason run and end Philadelphia's 35-year Stanley Cup drought as they face the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final.
Since falling behind the Bruins 3-0 in the Eastern semis, Philadelphia has gone 8-1 to earn a berth in the Final for the first time since 1997.
The Flyers are 7-1 at home and 5-4 on the road while the Hawks are 5-3 at home and 7-1 on the road.
Philadelphia is 7-1 when scoring first and Chicago is 8-1.
Second periods are where the Flyers do the most damage. They have outscored opponents 26-7 in the middle frame, the only period in which they have a positive differential.
Chris Pronger's 28:48 average ice time is the most in the NHL during the playoffs.
Leighton is the fourth goalie to reach the Stanley Cup Final after starting the season with a different team. He joins a list that includes Patrick Roy (1996), Miikka Kiprusoff (2004), and Dwayne Roloson (2006).
Jonathan Toews leads the NHL with 26 playoff points, including a 13-game scoring streak. His run is the longest in the league since Eric Staal's 15-gamer in 2006 with Carolina. Bryan Trottier holds the record with an 18-game streak in 1981.
Mike Richards is second in the league with 21 points and Patrick Kane third with 20.
Chicago has won seven straight road games, matching an NHL record. The Flyers have won five straight at home.
These two teams have combined for an 84-year Cup drought. Chicago has not won since 1961 and the Flyers since '75.
Each team has lost five straight trips to the Stanley Cup Final
The Hawks have won three Cups in their history, but haven't won a Finals game since 1973. Philadelphia hasn't won a game in the final round since 1987, and Friday happens to be the 23-year anniversary of J.J. Daigneault's goal which gave the Flyers a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Oilers in Game Six. Hard to believe that's the last time the Orange and Black won a game in this round.
Patrick Sharp was drafted in the third round (95th overall) by the Flyers in the 2001 NHL Draft. He was ultimately dealt to the Blackhawks on Dec. 5, 2005, with Éric Meloche for Matt Ellison and a 3rd round pick in the 2006 Draft (Later transferred to Montreal who selected Ryan White).
Ben Eager was dealt from the Flyers to Chicago in December 2007 for Jim Vandermeer.
Kim Johnsson is on the Hawks roster but hasn't played since suffering a concussion March 13. The defenseman was acquired from Minnesoata prior to the Olympics along with prospect Nick Leddy for Cam Barker, but is not currently with the team.
Johnsson won two Barry Ashbee Trophies as the team's best defenseman during his time with the Flyers.
If the Blackhawks win the Cup, Johnsson won't get his name on the Cup. The rule is 41 regular-season games or 1 Stanley Cup Final game.
Michael Leighton was selected in the sixth round (165th overall) by the Blackhawks in 1999, and won only eight games in 42 appearances with Chicago until being dealt to the Sabres in October 2005.
Brian Boucher played 15 games with Chicago in 2006-07, finishing 1-10-3 in his Blackhawks career.
Pronger played parts of eight seasons under Joel Quenneville in St. Louis. In 1999-2000, Pronger won both the Hart and Norris trophies, while Quenneville won the Jack Adams as Coach of the Year.
Andrew Ladd played for Peter Laviolette in Carolina and they won the Cup together in 2006.
2007 NHL Draft
Despite having the worst record in 2006-07, the Flyers came in second in the lottery to Chicago who went on to select Patrick Kane No. 1 overall. Philadelphia selected James van Riemsdyk No. 2, making it the first time two American-born players went 1-2 in NHL Draft history.
For the Flyers, Pronger won in 2007 with Anaheim and Laviolette in 2006 with the 'Canes. The Hawks have John Madden, who won two with New Jersey, and Ladd in 2006. Coach Quenneville won one as an assistant with Colorado in 1996.
In his first season with the Oilers in 2006, Pronger led Edmonton to the Finals. The next season he went to Anaheim and the Ducks won the Cup. Now in his first season in Philly, No. 20 has the Flyers on the verge of a Cup for the first time in 13 years.
Marian Hossa appeared in the Final with Pittsburgh in 2008 and lost. He signed with the Red Wings last season and lost in the final round. Now Hossa is back with his third team in three years.
The Flyers are the third straight team to appear in the Winter Classic and then the Final in the same year. Pittsburgh and Detroit went the previous two seasons and were also the road team in the Classic, as the Flyers were this season. What may bode well for the Flyers is that the Pens and Wings won the Winter Classic but lost in the Final. The Flyers lost on New Year's Day, so maybe they'll walk away with the Cup.
Richards and Pronger won a Gold Medal with Team Canada at the Olympics in February. They were joined on that team by Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Toews of the Hawks.
Whichever group of players wins this series, they will join a small and select group of guys to win Olympic Gold and the Cup in the same season.
Ken Morrow in 1980 with the Islanders and Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan of the Wings in 2002 are the only three to accomplish the feat.
NHL Playoff Ranks
Goals Per Game
Chicago 3.31 (3rd)
Phila 3.18 (5th)
Goals Allowed Per Game
Phila 2.12 (1st)
Chicago 2.50 (2nd)
Chicago 22.6% (5th)
Phila 20.7% (8th)
Phila 87.0% (2nd)
Chicago 86.6% (3rd)
Flyers killed off 21 of 22 power plays vs Montreal
Chicago 32.0 (6th)
Phila 27.5 (13th)
Phila 28.5 (4th)
Chicago 29.6 (6th)
Chicago 49.6% (8th)
Phila 48.4% (10th)
In what was arguably the most exciting game of the season, the Flyers beat the Hawks 3-2 on March 13 in their only meeting this year and 126th overall in the regular season.
The teams scored all five goals in the third period and the Flyers rallied from a 2-1 deficit with two goals in the final 2:04, including Chris Pronger's winner with 2.1 seconds left.
It was the Flyers' eighth consecutive victory over the Blackhawks at the Wachovia Center and the 13th in their last 15 overall, giving Philadelphia an all-time record of 53-43-30 against Chicago.
The Hawks have not won in Philadelphia since November 9, 1996. Eric Daze scored the winning goal for Chicago and Jeff Hackett picked up the win just to give you an idea how long ago that was.
The Flyers are 37-16-11 all-time in Philly vs Chicago.
It didn't start out well for the Flyers at home against the Hawks. Chicago was 7-1-2 in their first 10 visits to Philadelphia, highlighted by a 12-0 victory at the Spectrum on Feb. 15, 1969. More than 40 years later, it's still the worst loss in Flyers history.
Philadelphia is 5-3-1 in its nine visits to the United Center, while Chicago won its first visit to the Flyers' new building in 1996, but have lost the next eight.
Leighton's recent run of shutouts brings to mind the fact that the teams have combined for 11 shutouts against one another -- six by the Hawks, five by the Flyers. Chicago hasn't had one since a 2-0 win at Chicago Stadium on Jan. 18, 1976. The Flyers have had the last three in the series, the most recent a 3-0 win at home on Oct. 30, 2006 -- a victory that ended a 27-year run without a shutout by either team. Boucher was the losing goalie that night for Chicago.
The teams haven't played a game that was decided in overtime in more than 20 years. Of the 32 meetings that were tied at the end of regulation, 30 finished as ties and Chicago won the other two in overtime -- both in a four-day span (March 13 and 17) late in the 1987-88 season. The last 16 games have been decided in regulation since a 2-2 tie at Chicago on Dec. 22, 1996.
The lone playoff meeting between the Flyers and Hawks came in a 1971 quarterfinal series. Chicago allowed only two goals in each game and outscored the Flyers 20-8 in a four game sweep.
These two teams also can boast probably the two best anthem atmospheres in the entire NHL. Everyone knows about Lauren Hart and Kate Smith, but Chicago's Jim Cornelison also gets the crowd going at the United Center.
The Hawks crowd screams and claps through the entire rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. It's something the fans started doing before a 1985 Campbell Conference playoff game against the Oilers, and have continued it ever since.
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