Thursday, May 13, 2010
By Joe McDonald
PHILADELPHIA –- The Flyers' game plan in the last three games of their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup against the Bruins has been a simple one.
Philadelphia knew it needed to completely shut down Boston’s blue-line attack in order to have success and climb back into the series. The Flyers have been successful doing that and they did it again Wednesday night with a 2-1 victory in Game 6 at Wachovia Center.
The Flyers won by blocking shots, getting sticks in passing lanes and not allowing much traffic in front of goaltender Michael Leighton, who was starting his first playoff game. He was thrust into action early of the second period in Game 5 Monday night in Boston when starter Brian Boucher suffered a knee injury; Boucher is lost for the rest of the series.
Leighton responded with a 30-save effort, and his teammates helped with 30 blocked shots.
“We [took] about 61 shots, basically, and 30 of them got blocked” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “They did a great job of fronting our shots and you have to give them credit for doing that.”
Leighton didn’t have to fight through screens and was able to see a lot of the shots, and when he didn’t, the Bruins could not punch them home.
After the victory, Leighton admitted he was nervous before the game.
“He didn’t look it,” said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. “I thought he was really sharp, he got tested. It seemed as the game went on he became more relaxed. He looked like he was in charge of his net.”
“It feels great,” said Leighton. “We can’t look too far ahead of this game. We’ve got to look ahead at the next one and that’s a big one. We battled back in this series and we’ve done a great job preparing for each game.”