Saturday, April 26, 2008

Thanks to Martin Biron, Flyers even up series

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Paul Chiasson)
This time the Flyers made sure the referees couldn't affect the outcome of the game. The Flyers once again jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but this time they never let the Canadiens come back, winning the game by a score of 4-2.

Martin Biron was the story of this game, playing his best game of the playoffs. He made a number of spectacular saves that left the Canadiens forwards frustrated. Biron made 34 saves in all, none more exciting than the Tomas Plekanec breakaway chance that he snuffed out in the second period. Plekanec skated in all alone after a bad turnover by the Flyers, but Biron snatched his shot attempt right out of the air. Without Biron playing his best game, the Flyers could have easily blown another 2 goal lead.

The Flyers got a pair of goals by R.J. Umberger, including one in the final minutes of play that sealed the victory. Jeff Carter and Danny Briere also scored for the Flyers, with Carter's goal coming on the power play. The Canadiens got a powerplay goal from Saku Koivu in the first period and Andrei Markov later added a goal in the third period. They would have scored several more, especially on their potent power play, if Biron hadn't been so on his game.

Montreal goaltender Carey Price, a 20 year old rookie, failed to raise his level of play to match Martin Biron. He looked shaky in net all night, making several strange plays and showing a total lack of effort on the last goal of the game by Umberger. The Flyers clearly know how to get pucks past Price despite getting limited opportunities, scoring on 4 of their 23 shots.

The series now turns to Philadelphia all tied up at one win apiece. Regardless of what happened in Game One, the Flyers should feel good about splitting the games in Montreal, they have effectively taken away the home ice advantage. The Flyers have been the better team in this series, taking the best offensive punch the Canadiens have and repeatedly turning it aside. The number of shots they are giving up is somewhat alarming, but if you have followed the Flyers at all this season you know that they have a tendency to allow the other team to pepper shots on goal. Many of the shots are easy saves for Biron, but they still need to find a way to limit the Canadiens' chances if they hope to move on to the next round.

Highlights of Martin Biron's stellar game via Comcast SportsNet:

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