Saturday, May 3, 2008

Habs & Flyers: Game 5 + Lineup Notes

The Montreal Canadiens will have a few key elements in place tonight as they host the Flyers in game 5, trying to avoid an early playoff exit.

Carey Price will be back between the pipes for tonight's contest after Jaroslav Halak got the starting nod in game 4. Carey has confirmed to the media that he indeed isn't hurt - although he did so in sarcastic fashion, saying three of his fingers were broken on each hand while holding them up for various media members to inspect.

Carey feels it important to get a good start under his belt.

"I need to try and get a good go out there," Price said. "It's pretty important right now. (Henrik) Lundqvist did it with New York. I think we all need to play our best or else we'll be playing golf."

Apart from having the future of the franchise back between the pipes, the Canadiens will also have an extra special boost in the form of superstition:


Guy Carbonneau's silk Hermes tie, given to him by wife Line on his birthday, is out for another tour of duty tonight as the Canadiens attempt to stave off elimination. It has made 2 of its 3 appearances in the post-season, once to open up the Boston series, and once to close it out in game 7. Only 1 goal has gotten by the 'tenders these playoffs with the tie around Carbo's neck.

The Habs will revert to their bread-and-butter lines of the regular season tonight, as Alex Kovalev will play alongside Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn, and Sergei Kostitsyn will re-unite with Saku Koivu and Christopher Higgins. Barring any unforseen roster shakeups, Smolinski should center Begin and Kostopoulos, while Lapierre would center Streit and Latendresse.

Koivu and Kovalev are among a group of eight players on the Canadiens who were part of the last NHL team to overcome a 3-1 playoff series deficit.

Montreal came back with three straight wins against Boston in 2004 to win their first round series. No team has since comeback from a 3-1 deficit.

The Canadiens and the Flyers each enjoyed 3-1 series leads in the first round and both lost their next two games to face Game 7.

"Everyone is going to have pressure [tonight], both teams," Carbonneau said. "They are certainly going to want to end it and avoid making the same mistake they did against Washington. For our part, we've got our backs against the wall and it's now up to us to find a way to win."

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