Flyers top Bruins to force improbable Game 7

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS/BOSTON

The Flyers' far-fetched comeback is nearly complete.

Michael Leighton stopped 29 shots in his first start in nearly two months to help streaking Philadelphia beat the Bruins 2-1 on Wednesday night and force a seventh game in Boston on Friday night.

"It's not always the easiest route, but we seem to find a way," Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger said.

The Philadelphia Flyers' Ville Leino and the Boston Bruins' Matt Hunwick battle for the puck during Game 6 of the teams' Eastern Conference semifinal in Philly Wednesday. - Photo by The Associated Press

Philadelphia -

The Flyers' far-fetched comeback is nearly complete.

Michael Leighton stopped 29 shots in his first start in nearly two months to help streaking Philadelphia beat the Bruins 2-1 on Wednesday night and force a seventh game in Boston on Friday night.

"It's not always the easiest route, but we seem to find a way," Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger said.

Philadelphia's post-season appeared over after it lost the first three games of the series. Not now. The Flyers are on the brink of history - and a spot in the Eastern Conference finals against the Montreal Canadiens.

The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders are the only NHL teams to come back from 3-0 deficits to win a best-of-seven playoff series. The Flyers are the first team to trail 3-0 and force a Game 7 since the '75 Islanders.

Mike Richards and Danny Briere scored for the Flyers. Milan Lucic scored with a minute left for Boston.

Richards, the Flyers' captain, was stone faced discussing the significance of a Game 7 victory.

"It would mean we move on," he said. "We're not worried about any of the other stuff. We haven't really done much right now."

Leighton was everything the Flyers wanted in his first start since he sprained his ankle March 16. Leighton's injury paved the way for Brian Boucher to take over and all he did was lead the Flyers into the post-season as the No. 7 seed and an upset over New Jersey in the first round.

The Wachovia Center felt at times like the setting for a classic rock concert. Montreal-Pittsburgh served as the opening act, the Canadiens' dominating win over the Flyers' in-state rivals enough to put the crowd on an emotional edge.

Richards sent them over it.

He knocked in a rebound 6:58 into the game for his fifth goal of the playoffs that pushed the crowd into a frenzy.

The Flyers were the aggressors early, putting quick pressure on Rask and keeping the crowd of 19,929 into the game

Leighton showed no early jitters when he took the puck right in his chest on a nice early save off Trent Whitfield's short-handed breakaway shot.

The "Let's Go Flyers!" chant echoed throughout the arena and the team seemed to feed off the energy. Briere, who has been sensational in the post-season, made it 2-0 on a power-play goal that deflected high off Rask's shoulder.

The Bruins just can't get any get any offence going - no matter who's in goal for the Flyers. Boston hadn't scored since Mark Recchi forced Game 4 into overtime on a goal with 31.5 seconds left in regulation until Lucic made it 2-1.

"It probably wasn't the prettiest game for people to watch, but it was effective," Pronger said.

The Flyers had good reason to root for Montreal. Philadelphia would have home-ice advantage with a series win.

Organizations: Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs New York Islanders NHL Wachovia Center

Geographic location: BOSTON, Philadelphia, Montreal New Jersey

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Recent comments

  • Busy Bayman
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    If I were either team I wouldn't worry. They won't beat Montreal anyways.

    GO HABS GO!!!

  • Busy Bayman
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    If I were either team I wouldn't worry. They won't beat Montreal anyways.

    GO HABS GO!!!