Results matter and the Philadelphia Flyers proved after a 6-0 victory on Sunday over the Montreal Canadiens that they are not tired. There was no let down after a historic series win against Boston last week.
Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals Series between the Flyers and Canadiens takes place Tuesday at 7PM ET. TV coverage is provided by Versus.
Odds makers have made the Flyers a -155 opening line favorite. The money line closed at Philadelphia -145. Expect the Flyers to close even more of a favorite on Tuesday.
The Flyers are now on a five game winning streak and are making hockey history. They came back from three games down to defeat Boston in the second round of the NHL finals.
One factor that did not seem to affect the Flyers’ momentum was goalie Brian Boucher’s sprained MCL. It is unclear if he will be back to play for the Stanley Cup, yet reports say he will not make it back for the current series against Montreal.
Philadelphia is relying on Michael Leighton who has played in 34 games this season, 31 of which he started. In Sunday’s 6-0 victory, Leighton had 28 saves on 28 shots on goal. If he can keep up his performance, Philadelphia will have little to worry about in their series against Montreal.
Montreal is troubled by injuries. Andrei Markov made one practice last week after a knee injury, but will not be played this post season. Veteran defenseman, Hal Gill has also been out of play but returned for Game Seven against Pittsburgh.
The Flyers’ struggle against Boston might have been in part to losing Ian Laperriere who is out for the rest of the post season after a brain contusion in Game Five against New Jersey. Laperriere had 20 points and 53 shots on goal this season.
The battle of the seven and eight seeds is a tricky one where Philadelphia statistically has the upper hand in addition to the winning streak momentum. Montreal has the fewest power play chances in the league with just 3.2 per game. Philadelphia allows the third most power plays at 4.1 per game. Montreal is second on the power play in the NHL at 21.8%. Philadelphia is third on the power play in the league at 21.5%. Philadelphia is second best in the league in power play goals with 0.8 per game.
In their last match up in April, Philadelphia lost 0-1 at home to Montreal. The home line closed at -140. Montreal only had 23 shots on goal while Philadelphia had 35.
Tuesday’s game will be a closer game. With Leighton’s Stanley Cup worthy goal tending, a total line of 5 over 130 seems like a fair line. The total has gone over in six of the last 10 Canadiens – Flyers head to head match ups. The Flyers will continue to pass and rely on assists to score goals. They had 10 assists last Sunday. Six different players scored Philadelphia’s six goals on Sunday.