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Flyers reach final: 'It's been great so far'

at Flyers 1 2 1 4
Canadiens 1 0 1 2

PHILADELPHIA — The Flyers have rekindled their old "Broad Street Bullies" championship days and are in the Stanley Cup final for the first time in 13 years.

Mike Richards had a highlight-reel goal early, Arron Asham and Jeff Carter scored 84 seconds apart in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final, and the Flyers beat the Canadiens 4-2 on Monday night.

The Flyers visit the Western Conference champion Blackhawks in Game 1 on Saturday.

The Flyers have not won the Stanley Cup since titles in 1974 and 1975.

Michael Leighton allowed a goal 59 seconds into the game then shut down the Canadiens.

The Flyers took a 3-1 lead into the third period, leaving the final 20 minutes as a raucous coronation party. Nearly 20,000 fans wearing orange giveaway T-shirts chanted "Let's Go Flyers!"

"I was counting down the clock the last two minutes; I couldn't wait for it to wind down," Leighton said. "Last couple of minutes we did a great job."

Once Carter scored an empty-netter in the final seconds, the crowd exploded.

"It feels good, especially for the fans," Richards said. "It's been great so far. Hopefully we have a Cinderella story in the end."

"It's a great feeling. We got a great team here, a great bunch of guys; I'm proud of every one of them," Leighton said. "I said right from the beginning of the year, we just got to get in the playoffs and anything can happen. That's a tough team over there, and we just played great."

Based on Chicago's 112-point regular season and its sweep of San Jose in the Western Conference final, the Blackhawks (52-22-8) likely will be favored. But the Flyers (41-35-6) have won eight of their past nine playoff games.

Chicago swept the Flyers in a 1971 series that was the only time the teams met in the playoffs.

The Flyers scored two late goals to rally past the Blackhawks, 3-2, on March 13, their only meeting this season.

"The Flyers played a great series," Montreal's Scott Gomez said. "They got us."

First Period1, Montreal, Gionta 9 (Gomez, Hamrlik), :59. 2, Philadelphia, Richards 6 (Giroux), 4:25 (sh). PenaltiesTimonen, Phi (roughing), 3:11; Carter, Phi (tripping), 6:34; Bergeron, Mon (tripping), 7:41; Gorges, Mon (interference), 11:20; Philadelphia bench, served by Asham (too many men), 16:03.

Second Period3, Philadelphia, Asham 3 (M.Carle), 3:07. 4, Philadelphia, Carter 3 (Richards, Timonen), 4:31. PenaltiesMontreal bench, served by Darche (too many men), 8:48; M.Carle, Phi (interference), 11:03; Hamrlik, Mon (slashing), 15:02; Gionta, Mon (high-sticking), 16:14.

Third Period5, Montreal, Gomez 2 (Subban, Gionta), 6:53. 6, Philadelphia, Carter 4 (Richards), 19:37 (en). PenaltiesPronger, Phi, double minor (high-sticking), 9:12; Metropolit, Mon (tripping), 11:49. Shots on GoalMontreal 9-6-12—27. Philadelphia 6-12-8—26. Power-play opportunitiesMontreal 0 of 6; Philadelphia 0 of 6. GoaliesMontreal, Halak 9-9-0 (25 shots-22 saves). Philadelphia, Leighton 6-1-0 (27-25). A19,986 (19,537). T2:25. Referees—Bill McCreary, Dan O'Rourke. LinesmenDerek Amell, Shane Heyer.

Blackhawks: The team had no update on its top defenseman, Duncan Keith, who continued playing after losing seven teeth when he was hit by a puck during Sunday's clinching victory over the Sharks. Keith lost four bottom teeth and three on top.

"You've got leave it all on the ice," Keith said after the game when he was headed for dental work. "I saw some teeth falling out when I skated off and coughed one up. It sounds gross, but it happens all the time to guys. It could have been a lot worse. I could have got it in the jawbone."

Lou Graham, a Blackhawks dentist, spoke generally about traumatic dental injuries.

"In a case of severe trauma, you just want to make sure his jaw is not fractured, and if you've lost teeth, then how do you stabilize the area long term so that you can actually restore these players to full function 10 or 15 years later, once their playing careers are over," Graham said. "You don't want someone to be a dental cripple. You want to restore them."

He said most players will get temporary, removable bridges or dentures. The risk of another, similar injury would be too high to do a full repair.

Coyotes: Phoenix signed defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, a first-round pick in 2009, to an entry-level deal. Ekman-Larsson, 18, played this past season with Leksand, a professional team in Sweden.

Hurricanes: Owner Peter Karmanos Jr. hired an investment bank to help him find a minority partner but said "the intent is in no way to sell the team."

Islanders: A planned nine-day trip to China for training camp in September is off. The trip had initial approval from the league and the NHL Players' Association but recently hit a snag regarding procedural requirements.

pocklington plea: Federal prosecutors said former Oilers owner Peter Pocklington, 68, agreed to plead guilty to perjury in a bankruptcy fraud case. He faces probation, including six months of home detention.

East final

FLYERS 4, CANADIENS 1

Game 1: Flyers 6, Canadiens 0

Game 2: Flyers 3,

Canadiens 0

Game 3: Canadiens 5, Flyers 1

Game 4: Flyers 3,

Canadiens 0

Monday: Flyers 4, Canadiens 2

West final

BLACKHAWKS 4, SHARKS 0

Game 1: Hawks 2, Sharks 1

Game 2: Hawks 4, Sharks 2

Game 3: Hawks 3, Sharks 2 OT

Game 4: Hawks 4, Sharks 2

Stanley Cup final

Game 1: Saturday, at Blackhawks, 8 p.m., Ch. 8

Game 2: Monday, at Blackhawks, 8 p.m., Ch. 8

Game 3: June 2, at Flyers, 8 p.m., Versus

Game 4: June 4, at Flyers, 8 p.m., Versus

Game 5: June 6, at Blackhawks, 8 p.m., Ch. 8*

Game 6: June 9, at Flyers, 8 p.m., Ch. 8*

Game 7: June 11, at Blackhawks, 8 p.m., Ch. 8 * * If necessary

Flyers reach final: 'It's been great so far' 05/24/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 11:11pm]
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