Sunday, April 27, 2008

Biron Steals Game #2 In Montreal

R.J. Umberger had 2 goals and goalie Martin Biron made 34 saves en route to a 4-2 Flyers win over the Canadiens in game #2 of their 2nd round series, evening the series at 1 game apiece.

Umberger scored the first goal of the game just 5:53 in as he spun to face the net from well out int he offensive zone and released a wrist shot that beat a screened Carey Price over the shoulder.

The Flyers would add insurance shortly after as on Jeff Carter found the top shelf short-side on Carey Price, converting a late solo rush down the wing on the tail-end of a powerplay for the powerplay marker.

Saku Koivu would score his 1st of the playoffs before the 1st period finished, as he scooped up a loose puck behind the net and came out on the opposite side of where Biron was anticipating, coraling the puck short side between the post and the late-reacting Biron's skate.

Daniel Briere scred just past the midway mark of the 2nd, as he deked out Price and released a backhander from in close setup by Vinny Prospal that was partially - but not entirely - saved by Carey Price's inner pad. The puck JUST barely crossed the line, but as the play continued, Prospal potted the puck past a downed Price to ensure that a goal would result from the play.

Just a buck 26 into the 3rd, Andrei Markov would make the game a game again, taking a Higgins pass as he pinched in from his position and redirecting the pass past Biron for his 1st of the playoffs.

Umberger restored the Flyers 2-goal lead with just over 2 minutes to play in regulation, swatting at a puck which seemed to be en route to being caught in midair by Price. Umbergers stick connected with Price's glove, allowing the puck to land on the ice, and Umberger took a shot off the post, back off Price's skate blade and in for the controversial put-away goal.

The Habs had their fair share of chances gone missed, notably those by Plekanec (breakaway) and Kostitsyn (missed backhander in close). Also huge were the saves on Tomas Plekanec on the powerplay, as he snagged a shot out of midair from Plekanec who stood on the doorstep, and a save on Bryan Smolinski who elected shot on a 2-on-1 with Steve Begin early in the 1st.

Chris Higgins, who still cannot BUY a goal, had Biron beaten, but the puck rang off the far post and stayed out.

Martin Biron absolutely stole the show as he made key save after save to keep Philly in the game, and counterpart Carey Price had another sub-par game between the pipes, missing out on saves he should have been able to make.

Ryan O'Byrne played in place of Patrice Brisebois, who is reportedly suffering from an undsiclosed injury and elected to sit out before the game got underway. O'Byrne held his own in the defensive end, but could not help the Habs earn a win for a possible 2-0 series lead.

Game 3 goes Monday night in Philadelphia.


kev said...

loving that koivu kovalev higgins line, just need some more finish. Speaking of finishing though, plekanec has to start potting some of those chances.. looks like he's lacking confidence, especially on that iffy breakaway attempt.

x-ine said...

Well ... shall we say that the Flyers got even with us for stealing Game 1 from them?

I think the Habs played well and the PP is getting some good chances.

They just need to get the puck INTO the net. I'm not worried. Game 3 will be ours!

sasabainga said...

I'm with you X-ine, game 3 should be a nice commanding win as we enter Philly and try to get them on their heels in their own town.

Plaky's definitely nervous in the postseason, and he seems to be trying to do too much now that Kovy is off his line, so I'm not entirley sure it's a good thing.

The PP is improving, but Mark Streit (as much as I hate to admit) is not providing quality output on the backend. His shots rarely get through, and if they do, they even more rarely hit the net. A little too much stick gripping going on for guys like Plaky and Streit, they need to settle down.

As game one could have been theirs, game 2 could have been ours, so BOTH teams had the potential to be up 2-0 at this point...let's just call it even and look for the W tonight in G3