Michael Leighton has three shutouts to his credit in the Eastern Conference Final as the Flyers look to finish off the Montreal Canadiens tonight at home in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Flyers and their goalie Michael Leighton returned to their shutout ways with Saturday’s 3-0 blitzing of the Montreal Canadiens. Leighton’s third shutout of the series cashed tickets for his team as a 122 road dog and brought the Flyers to a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Monday’s Game 5 has the rivals back in Philly, and will give the Flyers their first chance to close out the series. Sports books have installed Leighton and company as 180 favorites, with the ‘total’ set at five ‘over’ (minus 125). Early action on the Flyers pushed the price on them as big as minus 200 on some boards.
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Leighton (5-1, 1.37 GAA) faced a series-low 17 shots in Saturday’s win, and survived two Canadiens power play chances in the third period. The netminder leads the league in postseason saves, stopping 95.1 percent.
Philly’s scoring started with a goal at 5:41 of the second period from Claude Giroux. The center was set up by Kimmo Timonen, who logged his second assist in three games.
Giroux added an unassisted empty-netter with 1:13 remaining in the game for his eighth goal of the playoffs.
Ville Leino thrusted the Flyers only other goal at 14:53 of the second period for the left winger’s fifth point of the series. Defenseman Chris Pronger assisted Leino, and extended his streak of games with at least one point to three.
The contest’s three goals ducked below the ‘total’ of five, bringing the ‘under’ to 2-2 for the series.
Philadelphia outdrew Montreal, 38-18, in faceoffs won. Giroux went 11-for-16 in his faceoffs, and teammate Daniel Briere went a perfect 5-for-5 in the circles.
Canadiens netminder Jaroslav Halak (9-8, 2.52 GAA) stopped 22-of-24 shots. The Slovakian has had some clutch performances when facing elimination, such as fending off 37-of-38 shots when Montreal was down 3-1 in its series with the Washington Capitals.
Philadelphia is 2-0 in its two closeout games faced during the playoffs. The “Broad Street Bullies” mustered a 3-0 series-clinching win at New Jersey in Game 5 of their opening playoff round, and a thrilling 4-3 comeback victory at Boston in a deciding Game 7 of the conference semifinals.
Montreal is 5-5 in its 10 postseason road games, with the ‘under’ 6-4. The Flyers are 6-1 at home in the playoffs, with the ‘total’ an even 2-2-3.
Sports books opened the “puck line” for Monday’s 7 p.m. (ET) clash with Philadelphia laying 1 ½ goals at plus 185 odds. Early Flyers action reduced Philadelphia’s price to as low as plus 170.
If Montreal is victorious, Jacques Martin’s club would host Wednesday’s Game 6.
5Dimes has Philadelphia as an adjusted 1333 favorite to win the series, while Montreal is at plus 875.
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