Just in time for an opportunity to deal Montreal a series death blow, the Philadelphia Flyers will get back one of their more productive post-season forwards as Mike Knuble returns to the lineup for game four against the Canadians.
After going down with a minor hamstring tear in game five against the Washington Capitals, Knuble will return in full capacity and hopefully kick start what has become a frantic power play in his absence.
It wasn’t a work of art, but Marty Biron and the Philadelphia Flyers overcame a scary third period slowdown to defeat the visiting Montreal Canadians, 3-2, at the Wachovia Center, to take the 2-1 lead in the series.
Gliding safely in the third period with a three-goal lead, Philadelphia’s shrek-like defenseman Darian Hatcher hit Montreal’s Francis Bouillion in the numbers only five minutes into the period, mushing his head against the boards. Boullion was not seriously injured on the play but Hatcher received a questionable five-minute major and a game misconduct. The five minute man advantage was good enough to get the Canadians within one, as they tallied two power play goals from Saku Koivu (2) and Tomas Plekanec (2). Despite the comeback effort, the white flag would wave for the Habs who’s offense have shown to be anemic five-on-five.
Marty Biron shined with 34 saves and R.J. Umberger finally made his post season presence felt with two goals, as the Flyers took down the Canadians, 4-2, Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
In what was almost an exact repeat of game one, the Flyers jumped to two-goal lead early in the first, only to allow the Habs to climb back into the contest. Both of the Flyers’ goals came high glove on Carey Price, who looked as mediocre as any goalie has this season and has had a problem with his catching hand.
Shrouded by the after effects of questionable game-changing referee decisions, a simple fact breathes hope for the future of the Flyers in their uphill battle against the top-seeded Canadians: They outplayed Montreal on the road with little to no rest.
Aside from the almost laughable — physics bending — decision to allow Alexei Kovalev’s high stick goal to count, and the kneeless kneeing call on Mike Richards with less than a minute to play, the Flyers skated with, bashed on and proved that flawless supertender Carey Price is by far not impenetrable.