Taking a look at possible finals foes
The Flyers take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals into Game 5 on Monday.
The Hawks beat the Canadiens but lost to the Flyers in their lone regular season matchups. Both games were close and came down to the wire. And for both of them, Cristobal Huet was in net for the Hawks. Neither the Flyers nor Canadiens faced Antii Niemi.
The Hawks beat Montreal 3-2 in the final game of October. Jonathan Toews missed that contest while recovering from a blow to the head suffered in a game against Vancouver earlier in the month. Patrick Sharp scored the game-winner with under five minutes to play which prompted head coach Joel Quenneville to declare afterwards: "Sharpie scored our biggest goal of the year.” He said that due to the uneven play of the team since their captain had gone down four games previous.
The Hawks lost a heartbreaker to the Flyers, also 3-2, in mid-March when Philadelphia scored the tying and winning goals in the waning minutes. In fact, the winning goal -- scored by Chris Pronger -- came with only 2.1 seconds remaining.
The game was scoreless, through two periods, as Huet and Flyers goalie Michael Leighton put on a show, but in the end Philadelphia took advantage of the Hawks’ nonchalant attitude in the final seconds to score the game-winner. The visitors looked like they thought overtime was coming for sure.
Leighton was the Hawks’ 165th pick in the 1999 draft and regained the postseason goaltending duties when Brian Boucher went down with an injury. Leighton played in 42 games as a Hawk from 2002-2004 compiling an 8-21-10 record for a bad team.
Through four games in the conference finals against Montreal, Leighton has three shutouts.