Game two is in the books and while the Habs promised to pound back on the Flyers, the result was the same as game one.
The Flyers take the first two at home with a 3-0 lead, scoring two power play goals by Danny Briere in the first period, Simon Gagne in the second period, and Ville Leino puts the dagger into the game near the halfway mark of the final frame with an even strength goal.
Flyers goaltender, Michael Leighton was solid once again in net stopping all 30 shots, but a lot of the credit needs to be given to the Flyers defense who limited the chances on the Canadiens and allowed Leighton to see most of the shots coming in. So far, he has outlasted the Canadiens' tandem of Halak and Price 9-0. The Flyers have not surrendered a goal after the Boston Bruins were up 3-0 in game seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals to which they answered back with four goals of their own. Add that, and the Flyers now have a 12 goal streak and possibly counting.
There are three things that made the difference in this series to date and they all go hand in hand; physical Play, special teams, and the man advantage. Philadelphia has been dominant on the power play for both games so far. The board crashing and grind game, the forechecking, and pinching in on the play that made them so successful with the Boston Bruins has continued to be the formula that allows the Flyers to generate frustration on a smaller Montreal squad. It is this style of game that creates frustration and that takes the Canadiens out of their comfort zone as they are trying to match the physical intensity.
This is clearly not the game that the Bleu, Rouge, et Blanc can keep up against a team that basically made it their bread and butter throughout the regular season. Without saying, this is intensified in the playoffs.
That said, the Montreal Canadiens have a chance to even the series at the Bell Centre. They have proven to come back at hard odds against them in two consecutive series. This series is by no means a choke hold for the Flyers...yet.
Did the physical play pick up for the Habs? Absolutely. They were hitting back and did give the Flyers a harder time than in game one. Did it make a difference? Not much. The Flyers still have the bigger bodies to counter. What the Habs could dish out, the Flyers were giving it back and adding dessert.
This is Cory Ducey saying "Hit Hard But Keep It Clean "