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Flyers-Canadiens Game 3: Preview

Monday, April 28, 2008

As the adage goes, it’s not a series until someone loses at home.

The Canadiens did lose in the Bell Centre on Saturday night, primarily because Martin Biron stood on his head and Carey Price did not.  To steal one back at the Wachovia Center, the Habs will require contributions from all four lines in the scoring department as well as a far better performance from the rookie goaltender.  Composure means nothing without solid numbers in the win column.

For the Flyers, tonight is about proving that they are contenders.  We know that this team discovers ways to win with their backs against the wall.  But so far, they’ve had trouble squeezing the offensive life out of their opponent on a consistent basis.  That’s why they’re giving up two goal leads so frequently in the playoffs.  Taking full advantage of the momentum earned in Montreal, home ice and the hometown crowd is absolutely necessary to keep the Flyers in this series.

Key players for tonight:

Martin Biron – He was the key in Montreal, the reason they almost won Game 1 and did win Game 2.  As goes Biron, so goes the team.

Mike Richards – He’s the Flyers best defensive forward.  With Montreal’s power play and their constant barrage of attacking forwards, Richards must bring the intensity and level-headed judgment that earned him a 12 year deal.

Jeff Carter – The Flyers need Carter’s offense combined with Danny Briere and Mike Richards to put stress on the Habs’ defense and on Carey Price.  He responded well in Game 2; he should build on that confidence for Game 3.

The entire defense – In the words of Kimmo Timonen, the feet must keep moving.  Randy Jones was burned several times by the speed of Plekanec and the shifty qualities of Alexei Kovalev.  Apply the same principles that were used against Ovechkin and Green.  Don’t run them; Skate with them.

I’m working tonight, so there won’t be an in-game blog.  I do expect to have postgame coverage tomorrow.

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