After stealing game 2 in Montreal the Flyers have made the best of seven series a best of five and have stolen home ice advantage at the same time. The Canadiens are now forced to win at least 1 in Philadelphia to win the series.
The barbs have been thrown thanks to the Tom Kostopoulos punch that Kimmo Timonen received after he and his fellow teammates had mocked and laughed at the Canadiens.
Flyers head coach John Stevens called the punch “cowardly” .
But Guy Carbonneau seemed to disagree saying “you score, you go to your bench” “You’re happy. Take the two points and go home.”
Guy must have forgot that the regular season was over and teams no longer get 2 points for a win, otherwise the Flyers would lead the series 3-2 in points with the extra they would have picked up for the over time loss in game 1.
Montreal controlled the play for most of the second game and had plenty of opportunities that were either thwarted by Martin Biron, goal posts or just terrible shot selection. Christopher Higgins and Tomas Plekanec had a combined 9 shots, which does not include the inside of the post Higgins hit during a third period Canadiens power play, Biron was down and out after a gorgeous pass from Sergei Kostitsyn but Higgins was unable to finish. Plekanec had an uncontested breakaway in the 2nd but Biron read him like a book and gloved his weak backhand attempt.
Guy Carbonneau hinted that he may tweak his lineup for game three which certainly must have caught the ears or Michael Ryder and Guillaume Latendresse who would be the most likely to return to the line up. Patrice Brisebois is unlikely to play as he remained in Montreal for further testing. Brisebois was a late scratch for game 2 as he had suffered an apparent leg injury; Ryan O’Byrne was inserted in the line up but played just 10 minutes as Mark Streit was eventually moved back to defense when the Canadiens were trying to play catch up.
UPDATE: Guillaume Latendresse will return to the line up in favour of Mathieu Dandenault.
Enjoy tonight’s game on CBC or RDS.
1. The Canadiens are 0-2 all time against the Flyers on Monday night playoff games, both games were the series opener in 1987 and 1989 respectively.
2. Saku Koivu has 6 points in his 4 playoff games to date
3. The Flyers have lost 5 straight Monday night home games in the playoffs.
4. The Flyers have both the top and bottom rated plus minus players left in the playoffs, Randy Jones leads the league with a +7 while Mike Richards, Jason Smith and Jaroslav Modry are at the bottom with a –4 rating.