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Flyers Look to Advance from Home Base

Monday, 05.24.2010 / 3:09 PM / News
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com
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Flyers Look to Advance from Home Base
Sensing a frenzied crowd at the Wachovia Center Monday, the Flyers want to take advantage and move on to the Stanley Cup Final.
(Philadelphia, PA) - One more victory against the Montreal Canadiens and the Philadelphia Flyers will earn the eighth Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history.

And unlike the previous two playoff rounds, when they closed out their opponent on the road, the Flyers would like nothing more than to finish off the Canadiens in five games with a victory in front of what is sure to be a loud and boisterous crowd at Wachovia Center.

The Flyers and Canadiens will face-off on Monday in Game 5 at 7 p.m. ET (VERSUS, CBC, RDS).
Philadelphia Flyers' Mike Richards crashes into the Montreal Canadiens net as Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak looks on during third period of Game 4 of the NHL Eastern Conference finals Saturday, May 22, 2010, in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

If the Flyers clinch a Stanley Cup Final berth on home ice, it would mark the fifth time they would have done so. The Flyers eliminated the New York Rangers (4-3) at home in the Stanley Cup Semifinals in 1974, the Islanders (4-1) in '75, the Quebec Nordiques in '85 and the Rangers again in '97.

"It'd be nice (to close it out at home) because the fans deserve it for sticking behind us through the whirlwind of a season we just had," Flyers captain Mike Richards said. "It'd be nice to play well enough (Monday) to wrap it up and get that last win to move on. Obviously, Montreal is not a place we want to go back to, but at the same time we know we're going to have to play extremely well to do so and have a start like we did (in Game 4)."

Danny Briere, who is tied with Richards for the team lead with 18 points, expects an electric atmosphere Monday.

"I expect the crowd to be pretty wild," he said. "Knowing the situation that we're in, it's been a while since the Flyers have been in this position. So I expect the fans to help us in that department, definitely."

Briere is also looking forward to another stirring rendition of "God Bless America" given by Lauren Hart and a recording of Kate Smith. The Flyers are 8-1-0 over the last nine games that Hart and Smith have blown the roof off with their collaborative effort. Philadelphia is 85-22-4 when Kate Smith is included in the singing of "God Bless America," a tradition that dates back to 1969 and games at the old Spectrum.

"It's mostly the atmosphere that (God Bless America) builds inside the building," Briere said. "How crazy the fans get and that energy that we're able to build off of is amazing.  It's so much fun to see the crowd go nuts like that and to start screaming. You have chills everywhere on your body. There's no better feeling to start a game."

Flyers forward Ian Laperriere knows the Flyers will need to play their best game against a desperate Montreal team.

For Laperriere, taking the ice in front of the hometown crowd is going to be something special. It was a little over two weeks ago during a second-period stoppage in Game 3 against the Boston Bruins when Laperriere, dressed in civilian clothes and whose season was in doubt, received a standing ovation.

He'll be making his first start at Wachovia Center since that memorable moment. Laperriere missed nine playoff games with a brain contusion after taking a shot to the face in Game 5 against the New Jersey Devils on April 22.

"It was kind of neat and something I'll remember for the rest of my life," Laperriere said. "When they told me I'd have a chance to come back, I thought it would be nice to play in front of our fans at this time of the year with the crowd going nuts. It's been driving me crazy just watching from the press box and watching the games and knowing I couldn't be out there because of my injury. When that great news happened, I was just happy knowing I'd have another chance in front of our fans."

Richards is grateful for the tremendous support he and his teammates have received.
 
"I think (great support) comes with winning," Richards said. "Just walking down the street in Old City, different people come up to you, people you wouldn't expect were hockey fans. When I'm sitting in a restaurant … I'm not paying for a whole lot of meals right now, it's nice to see the support by the city and how everyone is behind you. The words of motivation and good luck are nice. Especially in Philadelphia, where they're not shy about voicing their opinion."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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