2010 NHL Playoffs: Eastern Conference Finals Set with Philly Moving on!

Eric WarrenCorrespondent IIMay 15, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 02: Andrei Kostitsyn #46 of the Montreal Canadiens tangles with Chris Pronger #20 of the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on April 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Canadiens shut out the Flyers 1-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Eastern Conference final is set and both finalists come as a surpise to most of the hockey world.

Both the Montreal Canadiens and the Philadelphia Flyers have defied the odds quite literally to have gotten this far in the 2010 NHL Playoffs as the Flyers defeat the Bruins 4-3 in regulation to advance.

The Flyers become only the third team in the history of the NHL to come back from a three games to none deficit and win a series. The New York Islanders were the last team to rally from an 0-3 deficit to win a series in 1975 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs were the only other team to do so.

Philly also became only the fourth team in history to rally form a three goal deficet and win in a game seven.

There were other side note to the game as well for example Boston defense man Zdeno Chara is now 0-5 in games sevens.

It was an entertaining game to say the least, one that Boston fans' all thought was over at the end of the first period thanks to a 3-0 Boston lead.

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Hold up there 'pardner'.

"I don't know what happened in the second period -- we just stopped playing aggressive," Chara said. "They started to be really, really aggressive on us. In the third it was basically an even game -- it came down to special teams and they got a power-play goal."

Cue the comeback. The Flyers scored three unanswered of their own with Simon Gagne scoring the winning goal at 12:52 of the third period.

"We fought back, took it one goal at a time. JVR got a big goal for us and gave us some momentum at the end of the first period," said Philadelphia's Brad Richards. "Then we started to relax and play hockey -- we felt a little more comfortable on the ice. We had a couple of bounces and they ended up in the net."

In an ironic twist of fate for the Bruins, the winning gaol was scored by on a Flyers power play.

The Boston penalty?, too many men on the ice. The reason it's ironic is because in the 1978/79 NHL playoffs Boston faced Montreal in a game seven of the semi finals and lost in almost the exact same fashion.

That game seven of the Montreal-Boston semifinal is perhaps one of the most memorable in the history of the NHL.

About a minute and a half after Boston's Rick Middleton scored with four minutes remaining in the third period to give the Bruins a 4–3 lead, linesman John D'Amico called a bench minor for too many men on the ice against the Bruins.

Montreal's Guy Lafluer scored on the ensuing power play, sending the game to overtime where Yvon Lambert gave the Canadiens the win and a trip to their  fourth straight Stanley Cup final win, and their eleventh in a twenty year span.

I may be wrong, but during the intro to Coaches Corner with Don Cherry on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, the scene in which an obviously much younger Cherry is seen standing with his arms outstreched towards the crowd with his hands waving, is that game.

This promises to be one of the most watched and evenly contested Eastern Conference finals in the history of the NHL.

With the Montreal Canadiens completing not one but two of the most stunning upsets in NHL Playoff history, we will see for the first time that I can remember a 7th and 8th seed competing for the conference crown.

When Montreal and Philadelphia square off in Philly on Sunday you can bet I'll be watching!