While the Montreal Canadiens were busy causing the Penguins no shortage of trouble in Montreal, the Philadelphia Flyers did some damage of their own, shutting out the Boston Bruins on the road to cut their series lead to 3-2 and send it back to the Wachovia Center. Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton combined to make 23 saves and shutout Boston, who failed to eliminate the Flyers for the 2nd straight game after taking a 3-0 series lead.
Brian Boucher was knocked out of the game early in the 2nd period when Ryan Parent and Miro Satan fell on top of him, and he left the game after making just 9 saves. Michael Leighton was a big reason the Flyers were able to make the playoffs, going 16-5-2 after being picked up midway through the year, but had not played since being injured himself in the middle of March. The rust didn’t show, though, as he made 14 saves over the last two periods to preserve the shutout and the Flyers’ playoff hopes. >
In the other net, Tuuka Rask still made 27 saves, despite being under pretty consistent offensive pressure from a Flyers club that is looking more and more confident that they can pull off one of the biggest comebacks in NHL playoff history. Ville Leino opened the scoring in the first, slapping in a rebound as he fell to the ice, and he added an assist on Simon Gagne’s powerplay goal late in the 2nd. Scott Hartnell scored Philly’s 2nd goal of the game a few minutes for Gagne, batting in a bouncing puck that kicked up off a sprawling Tuuka Rask.
Gagne scored a beauty of a goal early in the 3rd, taking advantage of Dennis Wideman’s broken stick at the Philly blueline and streaking to the loose puck before freezing Tuuka Rask and ripping it into the bottom corner.
Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and 1975 New York Islanders have come back from being down 3-0 in a playoff series to win, but the Flyers look like they are more than capable of completing the rare feat. The three losses they sustained early in the series were all close games, and could have gone either way. They thoroughly dominated this one, and if Boston doesn’t get their act together quickly, they will be in grave danger of becoming an unflattering footnote in the pages of NHL history.