College of Sports Media Game of the Night:
Coming into the Eastern Conference Finals all the talk was about Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak and how hard it would be for the Philadelphia Flyers to get pucks past him. Two games into the series and the Flyers have had no issues with scoring goals. They’ve taken 48 shots on Halak and have scored nine goals en route to a 2-0 series lead. Initially in this postseason Halak was stealing wins and the headlines, but now the real story in this series is about the guy between the pipes for Philadelphia. Michael Leighton has faced 58 Montreal shots and has yet to surrender a goal. In four and roughly a half games Leighton has only allowed four goals and has won every one of his starts. Leighton broke into the league back in 2001 and since then he’s played on six teams (Philadelphia twice) with a grand total of 103 starts in net (this year are his first ever postseason starts). Although he’s been a journey man, he’s one of the reasons the Flyers are even playing in the extended season. Leighton came in at a time when Philadelphia goaltenders were dropping like flies. He started in 27 games, posted a 16-5-2 record and had a .918 save percentage. Leighton would have carried the load for the rest of the season, but got injured and Brian Boucher took over for him. Leighton was still unavailable in the postseason so Boucher got the starts. Boucher hurt his knee in game five against Boston and Leighton has been the man ever since. Game three goes tonight in Montreal and if Leighton continues his stellar play Philadelphia will be one game away from making their first return to the Stanley Cup finals since 1997.