Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Join the Flyer Wire List Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers
 

Leighton Inspires Confidence in Finishing Off Shutout

Tuesday, 05.11.2010 / 9:23 AM ET / News
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Leighton Inspires Confidence in Finishing Off Shutout
Michael Leighton only just returned from injury to back up Brian Boucher when the Flyers goaltender found himself the man between the pipes after Boucher was hurt in Game 5. He finished off a 4-0 shutout of the Bruins that extends the series to a Game 6 on Wednesday.
(Boston, MA) - Philadelphia Flyers goalie Michael Leighton had one thing in mind as he was about to step in for an injured Brian Boucher and make his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut with the entire season on the line.

It was pretty simple, really. All Leighton needed to do was make sure the team maintained the same level of confidence in him as they had in Boucher. In order to do that, he'd have to come up with timely stops -- something he hadn't done in an actual game setting in almost two months. It was March 16, actually, when Leighton last played in a game.

"Those first few minutes, I was pretty nervous knowing the situation, knowing that you're one mistake away from them tying it up and then it's a different ball game," Leighton said.
Philadelphia Flyers goalie Michael Leighton, right, is congratulated by teammate Chris Pronger, left, after the Flyers beat the Boston Bruins4-0 in Game 5 of a second-round NHL playoff hockey series in Boston, Monday, May 10, 2010. Leighton replaced goalie Brian Boucher after an injury in the second period. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

But there he was. The Flyers picked Leighton up on re-entry waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes in December for this exact purpose. He'd step in and do the job after Ray Emery was sidelined for good with a serious is left hip inury in February, and now he was asked to do it again. But this time he was doing it for the first time in 22 games.

"I didn't want to allow a goal early in the game," Leighton said. "We're up, 1-0. If they score when I go in, just when I'm starting to get comfortable, it's a 1-1 game. I didn't want to lose confidence in the team. I was able to make one or two routine stops early when I went in and team played well after that."

It was quite the scene at the 4:35 mark of the second when Boucher was lying on his back after making his ninth save, suddenly in agony after having his left leg bent beneath his body while two players toppled over him. According to CSNPhilly.com, Boucher sprained the MCL in both knees. It certainly wasn't the way Leighton would have scripted his first appearance in a playoff game, but he had no choice.

Neither did his teammates, who played flawless in front of Leighton. The sixth-year goalie would finish with 14 saves to help the Flyers notch their second shutout this postseason and the 27th in their storied playoff history.

The combined shutout by Leighton and Boucher was only the second in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- on March 22, 1955, Montreal's Jacques Plante and Charlie Hodge blanked Boston, 2-0.

"Guys are just doing anything they can; we played great tonight," Leighton said. "As soon as I went in, we played great defensively. We definitely held back their shots and their goal scoring, we stayed out the box, and it gave me the opportunity to get comfortable. If they came in and peppered me right away, it may have been a different outcome. So hats off to the team around me."

Leighton was actually stunned when he saw Boucher on the ice in obvious pain. He, like everyone else on the team, was thinking, "Not again."

"I actually couldn't even believe it happened," he said. "With Ray (Emery) going down earlier, and then Boosh going down earlier this season and then Ray coming back and then I get hurt and then Boosh again (on Monday)," Leighton said. "So it's definitely been a roller coaster for the goalies this year. But the team has done great job playing in front of all of us."

Leighton actually had a moment with Boucher in the locker room while he was getting treated.

"I just asked how he was doing and he said great job to me and I said great job to him," Leighton said. "It was a shared shutout. He was playing great in the first period and early in the second.

Now, the question is can Leighton take over where Boucher left off in the playoffs? Certainly no easy feat considering "Boosh" has a 6-4 mark (he was credited with the win Monday since the Flyers scored the game-winning goal while he was in net) with a 2.33 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in 10 appearances this postseason.

The way Leighton sees it, however, this team has been playing solid hockey and he expects it to continue in Game 6 at the Wachovia Center on Wednesday (8:00 p.m., CSN).

"We know we can (win four straight)," Leighton said. "In my eyes, we've outplayed (Boston) most of the games. The first game we came out slow because we had a long break but we've been there every game -- it's not like they're blowing us out. We're confident as long as we come out and we're ready to play every game that we can win each game. We just have to brush (Game 5) under the rug now and head back home and focus on that game."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 75 21 53 7 74
C. Giroux 74 22 46 1 68
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 75 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 75 13 17 1 30
M. Read 73 7 22 -7 29
M. Del Zotto 57 9 19 -5 28
M. Raffl 60 19 6 6 25
V. Lecavalier 51 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 10 .926 2.25
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.