Flyers bound for Cup finals

FLYERS 4, CANADIENS 2

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PHILADELPHIA --- The Philadelphia Flyers have rekindled some of their old "Broad Street Bullies" championship days and are back in the Stanley Cup finals for the first in 13 years.

Philadelphia's Jeff Carter celebrates after scoring during the second period Monday night. The Flyers are headed to their eighth Stanley Cup finals, and their first in 13 years.   Matt Slocum/Associated Press
Matt Slocum/Associated Press
Philadelphia's Jeff Carter celebrates after scoring during the second period Monday night. The Flyers are headed to their eighth Stanley Cup finals, and their first in 13 years.

Mike Richards had a highlight-reel goal early, Arron Asham and Jeff Carter scored 84 seconds apart in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals and the Flyers beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 on Monday night.

The Flyers, who needed a shootout win in the last game of the regular season to clinch a playoff spot, will play the Western Conference champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 on Saturday.

The Flyers have not won the Stanley Cup since consecutive titles in 1974 and 1975.

Michael Leighton allowed a goal 59 seconds into the game, then shut down the Canadiens, who showed a resilient comeback spirit in the first two rounds.

The Flyers took a 3-1 lead into the third period, leaving the final 20 minutes as one raucous coronation party.

Nearly 20,000 giddy fans dressed in pumpkin-orange giveaway T-shirts chanted "Let's Go Flyers!" but couldn't exhale until the end.

"I was counting down the clock the last two minutes, I couldn't wait for it to wind down," Leighton said. "Last couple of minutes we did a great job."

Once Carter scored an empty-netter in the final seconds, the crowd exploded in a championship frenzy.

The finals seem a fitting result for a Flyers organization that still has some "Broad Street Bullies" in their bloodlines.

Forget dropping the gloves: This year's Flyers have shown an awesome ability to fight back on guts alone. Down 3-0 in the conference semifinals vs. Boston and trailing 3-0 in Game 7, the Flyers rallied to win in one of the sport's all-time great comebacks.

"We kept going and didn't quit. Down 0-3, we didn't quit all year -- that has been our motto. It feels good, especially for the fans," Richards said. "It's been great so far. It's been great along the way. The journey hasn't ended. Hopefully we have a Cinderella story in the end, but we need to prepare for Chicago."

The Flyers are in their eighth Stanley Cup finals.


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