Once down three games in this series, the Philadelphia Flyers are one game away from having the Boston Bruins face elimination. The Flyers have stared adversity in the eye all series long, whether it was the deficit they were in or the injuries they took on. Heading back to Philadelphia for game six, the Flyers were halfway through completing the best NHL comeback in history. Five teams have come back from being down three games to none to force a game seven. Resiliency was the strongest trait for Philadelphia.
This is the third time the Philadelphia Flyers would face elimination. In game five, Brian Boucher left the playoffs after his leg bent backward. Claude Giroux was injured too but was ready to play in game six. Important Flyers players were not completely healthy for game six. Game six denotes Michael Leighton’s first NHL Stanley Cup playoff start in place of Boucher.
A legend in the city of Philadelphia, Mike Richards, scored the all-important first goal of game six. If the frustration didn’t get to the Boston Bruins in game five, they were feeling the pressure now. Michael Leighton proved that he was ready to take on the task of being the starting goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers, making a huge breakaway save on Trent Whitfield. A player that didn’t get enough credit during this 2010 NHL Stanley Cup playoff run was Dan Carcillo. His brand of physicality truly disrupted the Bruins’ timing on the attack.
By the end of this period, the Montreal Canadiens sent the Pittsburgh Penguins packing. Daniel Briere scored a powerplay goal, putting the Philadelphia Flyers up by two goals. Briere was an example of a player who had better postseason numbers than regular-season numbers. It’s good that he was clutch on the powerplay because the Flyers lost a clutch forward in the faceoff circle when Blair Betts reinjured his shoulder. Betts wouldn’t return to the game.
In this period, Ville Leino had the chance to add an insurance goal against his friend, Tuukka Rask. Just before his penalty shot, Leino took a questionable hit into the boards from Zdeno Chara after the whistle was blown. Rask did deny Leino on the penalty shot with his glove. With a minute remaining, Milan Lucic scored to spoil Michael Leighton’s shutout. The series was now tied at three games apiece and the Philadelphia Flyers had a game seven scheduled in Boston.
What Happened Next?
Michael Leighton and the Philadelphia Flyers seemed more than comfortable against the Boston Bruins in game six. The Flyers played a disciplined style of hockey while the Bruins frequented the penalty box. All a sudden, any momentum that Boston had when up three games to none had completely been washed away. The only thing that the Bruins had going for them is that game seven was at their home. To complete “The Comeback,” the Flyers had to finish their own sweep away from their home ice.
The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in a game seven. After this upcoming game seven between the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins, the stage is set for the 2010 NHL Eastern Conference Finals. As the eighth seed, the Canadiens were not “supposed” to be where they are. The Flyers were just as big of an underdog in their own right. All that is required is one more win.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports