Michael Leighton has pitched a couple of shutouts on the ice to help the Flyers to a 2-0 lead over the Habs. Montreal will try to cut that deficit in half at the Bell Centre tonight.
The Philadelphia Flyers and their hot goaltender Michael Leighton shut out the Montreal Canadiens for a second straight game with Tuesday’s 3-0 victory. Leighton and Company cashed as 160 home favorites to lead the best-of-seven series, 2-0, and have been installed as 110 road underdogs for Thursday’s Game 3.
Flyers center Daniel Briere led off his squad’s scoring with his ninth goal of the postseason at 4:16 of the first period. The former All-Star Game MVP leads Philadelphia’s postseason scoring with 18 points.
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Assisting Briere on the Flyers’ first of two power play goals were Claude Giroux and Kimmo Timonen. Giroux extended his streak of games with one assist to four.
Simon Gagne notched Philadelphia’s second goal at 15:49 of the second period. The left winger scored on a man-advantage for his sixth straight game with at least one point.
Ville Leino and Mike Richards assisted Gagne in his only shot on goal to make the Flyers 2-for-4 on the power play. Leino went on to score the Flyers’ third goal at 10:24 in the third period with assists from Lukas Krajicek and Chris Pronger.
The game’s three goals ducked below the ‘total’ of five, which ended 2-0 and 3-0 ‘over’ streaks for Philadelphia and Montreal, respectively. Canadiens netminder Jaroslav Halak (8-7, 2.66 GAA) had 20 saves, while the Flyers’ Leighton (4-0, 0.87 GAA) stopped all 30 of Montreal’s shots.
Montreal outdrew Philadelphia in faceoffs won, 30-24. Canadiens centerman Scott Gomez garnered a team-high 12 draws out of his 16 trips to the faceoff circle.
Gomez’s group is 3-3 in its six home playoff dates, with the ‘under’ 3-2-1. The Flyers are 4-3 in their seven postseason road games with the ‘total’ splitting 3-3-1.
Eighth-seeded Montreal has yet to be favored in any of its 16 playoff games. Jacques Martin’s club was 0-3 as a favorite in its final three regular season games.
Seventh-seeded Philadelphia was 1-1 in its two road meetings against Montreal during the regular season. The Flyers were favored in both contests, and the 5 ½-goal ‘total’ in each duel split 1-1.
Philadelphia won the most recent matchup in Montreal between the clubs, 6-2, as a 126 favorite. The Feb. 13 duel was the back end of a home-and-home set on no rest.
Halak gave up five goals for Montreal before being replaced in net by Carey Price, who surrendered the team’s sixth goal. Leighton stopped 26-of-28 shots for the Flyers, as well as 23-of-25 shots the night before in a 3-2 Flyers win.
Most sports books initially set the ‘total’ for Thursday’s 7 p.m. (ET) battle at five ‘over’ (minus 125). Antiguan shop Intertops showed an early ‘lean’ to the ‘under’ by opening its ‘over’ odds at minus 120, according to SBRodds.com.
The rivals will remain in Montreal with one day off before Saturday afternoon’s Game 4.
Odds to win the series list Philadelphia as a 475 favorite, with Montreal at plus 400.
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