The story of this game was simple – Michael Leighton. Leighton, much like in Game 1, kept the Flyers in the game when they were outplayed in the first period for the 2nd straight game. In Game 1, Leighton had to make 13 saves in the first period, as the Flyers went into the locker room with a 1-0 lead. In Game 2, Leighton was even better, making 16 saves in the opening period, again allowing the Flyers to take a 1-0 lead into the break. Leighton made 3 point blank saves in a row on Andrei Kostitsyn in the first period right out in front of the net. Leighton put himself in a great position all night in order to make the necessary saves. Leighton’s positioning has been nothing short of spectacular, allowing him to make nice saves, and not get out of position.
On the offensive end, I would have liked to see the Flyers get more chances and opportunities. The Flyers need to get better at 5-on-5 hockey going forward in this series, especially on the road. The Flyers power play is what has propelled them to this 2-0 series lead, along with Leighton. The Flyers were 2-6 on the power play in Game 1, and 2-4 in Game 2. The 4 power play goals in the first two games of the series has been solid, and obviously I would like the Flyers to continue to score power play goals, but also want to see the Flyers play better 5-on-5 hockey the rest of the series.
Also, the Flyers have technically been outshot in both games so far, so that is something to look at going forward. Actually in each game, the Canadiens have come out and really controlled the first period, but the Flyers have scored a goal in the first period each game. The 2nd period seems to be fairly even both games, and the Flyers outshot the Canadiens in both 3rd periods thus far. Shots on net is a somewhat overrated statistic, as you can have plenty of scoring chances and not get a shot on net, and put a weak shot on net which isn’t a scoring chance.
Any way you look at it, taking a 2-0 series lead is a very good thing, but it doesn’t get any easier having to go to Montreal for Games 3 and 4. Montreal is one of those teams who has a very good home ice advantage, and always seem to play better on their home ice than on the road. The Flyers need to continue to play good defense in front of Michael Leighton, as we cannot rely on Leighton to shut out the Canadiens the entire series. The Flyers defense I think has done a good job shutting down Mike Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec. The Flyers need to take at least one in Montreal, as you don’t want let the Canadiens back in this series by winning 2 in a row and tying the series at 2, and having all the momentum. Game 3 will be Thursday night in Montreal.