Maybe it was the weather, but the atmosphere wasn’t nearly as charged as it was for Game One on Sunday, and neither were the Flyers. Despite being outplayed for the majority of the first period, Danny Briere’s power play goal sent the Orange and Black to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead despite being outshot 16-5.
The second period seemed to be in slow motion, as the teams traded icing calls and conservative play, which forced 22 faceoffs alone in the middle period. The Flyers did strike again when the red-hot Simon Gagne cashed in from the doorstep for a power play goal with Brian Gionta off for holding.
Despite being down 2-0 entering the third, Montreal played like they were the team with a lead. The Habs managed only four shots on goal, and showed no sense of urgency to stage any type of rally.
Game Two Notes
- The Flyers have won six straight playoff games overall for the first time since 1995, and also six straight against Montreal dating back to Game One in 2008. They also won a Game Two first the first time this playoff season.
- Philadelphia has scored a franchise-record 13 unanswered goals since the first period of Game Seven in Boston and Michael Leighton has a shutout streak going of 165:50.
- Philadelphia was 1-9 in playoff games against Montreal at The Spectrum, but are now 4-0 against them at the Wachovia Center.
- The Flyers are 16-0 in series when up two games to none.
- Montreal fell to 14-2 in Game 2’s played in the third round.
- David Laliberte and Riley Cote once again skated in the warmup with the Flyers.
- Michael Cammalleri led the NHL with 12 goals through the first two rounds of the playoffs, but has been held to five total shots through two games in this series.
- Gionta tallied a game-high eight shots on goal.
- Jacques Martin made one lineup change, with Sergei Kostitsyn replacing Benoit Pouliot, but was limited to less than five minutes of ice time and no shots on goal.
- There were more Montreal fans in the house Tuesday than there were in Game One, but not really enough to even mention.
- The announcement that the Sixers had been awarded the #2 pick in the draft was met with only mild cheers during the third period.
- The Habs haven’t suffered two consecutive shutout loses in the playoffs since 1961. Once again, the Flyers making history.
- Vince Papale was spotted at the game with his kids.
Leighton racked up 30 saves for the shutout, and was in complete control all night. Leighton seemed very calm and confident, and was always square to the shooter. His best flurry of saves came on Montreal’s second power play of the first period when they tested him with six shots, including many quality chances.
He has allowed goals in only two of the 14 periods he’s played since replacing Brian Boucher in Game Five at Boston. Leighton has stopped 70 consecutive shots since he allowed a goal to Boston’s Milan Lucic 14:10 into the first period of Game Seven.
The streak of 165:50 minutes is the second-longest in franchise history behind Brian Boucher. Leighton is the first Flyer goalie since Bernie Parent in 1975 against Toronto to post consecutive playoff shutouts.
After making a point-blank save on Cammalleri in the second period, Leighton lifted his mask and did a quick lap along the goal line at the next stoppage, and the entire crowd down at his end rose to salute him with a standing ovation. At one point, the crowd started chanting Mich-ael Leigh-ton. Who’d have thunk it?
On a side note, today is Leighton’s 29th birthday.
Briere and Gagne Stay Hot
Briere’s first period power play goal was his only shot of the night, but gave the forward goals in nine of his last 11 games. He extended his points streak to six games and goal streak to four straight.
It was also Briere’s fourth game-winner of these playoffs and seventh all-time as a Flyer. He is now tied with Bobby Clarke and Brian Propp for fourth on the franchise’s postseason GWG's list. In 37 playoff games with the Flyers, Briere has 38 points (19-19-38).
Gagne’s second period goal gave him a point in all six games he’s played since returning from injury (6-1-7). It just so happens that the Flyers are 6-0 in those games. Last night’s goal was also Gagne’s only shot of the game.
Big Ville Style
Ville Leino led the Flyers with a goal and an assist in only 13:43 of ice time. Leino also led the team with six shots, no other Flyers had more than two.
Playoff Bad Blood
After Ed Hospodar was given a nice ovation in Game One after the Flyers showed the pre-game brawl between the Flyers and Canadiens from Game Six of the ‘87 Wales Conference Finals, it was no match for the ovation Game Two’s video clip received.
During a break in the second period, a clip was shown of Chris Chelios’ cheap shot elbow delivered to Brian Propp in Game One of the ‘89 Wales Finals. As soon as the video switched to Ron Hextall’s retaliation on Chelios in Game Six of that series, the crowd was deafening.
Hextall even delivered a video message from his office in L.A., which I’m guessing was a good luck wish to the Flyers, but the building was so loud I couldn’t hear a word he said.
Trevor Michalak, of Cinnaminson, N.J. an E-4 Army specialist serving in Afghanistan, started his 2-week break from combat action by taking in the game and got a loud ovation when introduced on the big screen.
Playoff time always brings out some great jerseys and Tuesday night was no exception. Spotted throughout the arena, fans were sporting Bob Froese, Mike Ricci, Dave Poulin, Ron Sutter, Moose Dupont, Brad McCrimmon, Dave Brown and even a Gord Murphy jersey.
Pronger’s first time a charm?