Flyers
Canadiens
3 - 4 Final - OT
  for this game

Kostopoulos caps Canadiens' comeback

Apr 25, 2008 - 5:53 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- The Philadelphia Flyers found a new way to lose after holding a two-goal lead.

Alexei Kovalev scored his second goal of the game with 29 seconds remaining in the third period and Tom Kostopoulos tallied 48 seconds into overtime, lifting the top-seeded Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 triumph over the sixth-seeded Flyers on Thursday in Game One of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Andrei Kostitsyn also scored and rookie Carey Price made 30 saves for the Canadiens, who host Game Two on Saturday.

"There was a couple of good bounces for both teams tonight, but that's what the playoffs are about," Price said. "You get a good bounce here and there and it kind of determines the winner. They got a couple of good bounces tonight, but so did we, and we came out on top."

R.J. Umberger, Jim Dowd and Joffrey Lupul tallied for Philadelphia, which played its second overtime game in three days and third overall this postseason.

"It was tough, but our team hasn't done things the easy way," Flyers center Jeff Carter said of the heartbreaking loss. "We always seem to make things hard on ourselves, but we'll be ready to go in Game Two."

"There were a lot of weird goals tonight all over the place," Philadelphia's Daniel Briere added. "We got some lucky bounces going our way, they got some lucky bounces going their way. ... We're disappointed with the result, but at the same time, we started 0-1 in the first round against Washington and we found a way to come back."

Kovalev was impressed with the Flyers' effort, considering the club was playing for the third time in four days, with all three games being in different cities.

"They played three games in four nights, and they tried to steal one," Kovalev said. "You have to give them credit for the good effort they put in tonight."

The Canadiens, who swept the four-game series against the Flyers during the regular season, were trailing by a goal before Philadelphia's Mike Richards received a questionable kneeing penalty with 69 seconds remaining in the third. With Price on the bench for an extra attacker, Montreal took advantage to forge a 3-3 tie.

"If it was a knee, I obviously didn't mean to," said Richards, who did not appear to make contact with Kovalev with his knee. "I thought it was my shoulder, but I haven't seen the video."

Carter broke his stick on the faceoff in the right circle, allowing Canadiens captain Saku Koivu to get the puck back to Kovalev. The Russian snapped a shot past goaltender Martin Biron and into the top right corner of the net for his 41st career postseason goal, sending the game to overtime.

"That's what hockey is all about - shoot the puck and score," Kovalev said. "I almost went to the net, but as soon as I saw Saku putting that second effort, I was just hoping that the puck would come out somewhere. It came out in perfect timing and I was able to put the shot in."

"It was a tough play," Biron said. "Carter broke his stick and it's a scramble, but (Kovalev's) a good player and he's going to get those loose pucks."

Less than a minute after the opening faceoff in overtime, All-Star defenseman Andrei Markov blasted a shot from the left point that was stopped by Biron, who finished with 30 saves. After Kostopoulos grabbed the rebound and was denied, he got a second chance and deposited the puck into the net as Biron's momentum did not allow him to get back into position in time.

"It was incredible to come back after being down a couple of times," Kostopoulos said. "He made a huge save on my first shot, and I was lucky enough to get the second rebound. ... (Steve) Begin and (Bryan) Smolinski did a great job tying up their men in front of the net and I was able to get two whacks at it."

"I was kind of expecting it, but I didn't know if it was going to be deflected," Biron said of Kostopoulos' initial shot. "I actually made the save, but the rebound sort of stayed out there. Sometimes that's just the way it happens."

Richards, who was on the ice when the goal was scored, was disappointed with Philadelphia's effort defensively on the play.

"The puck just kind of went to the defense and I tried to block it, and I think they had one or two chances in front of the net to score," Richards said. "We've just got to be better in our defensive zone next game."

Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau could not have asked for a more deserving player to score the winning tally.

"He's the type of player who doesn't receive the credit he deserves," Carbonneau said. "It's nice to see him playing out of the shadows. I'm really happy for him tonight."

"It was really exciting to score a goal like that," Kostopoulos said. "It's definitely the biggest one I've ever scored in my life. But if Saku doesn't win that crucial faceoff with (32) seconds left and Kovy doesn't score that huge goal to bail us out, I'd be sitting here telling you about how on Saturday we need to bounce back from being down 1-0 in this series."

Philadelphia, which suffered two of its three losses to Washington in the conference quarterfinals after owning two-goal leads, opened the scoring thanks to a miscue by Montreal defenseman Patrice Brisebois.

Carrying the puck down the right wing, Umberger attempted a backhand pass to a teammate on the doorstep. But in an attempt to knock away the puck, Brisebois inadvertently tipped it into his own net with 6:45 remaining in the first period, giving the Flyers a 1-0 edge.

"It was like two heavyweight fighters checking each other out, looking to see who would make the first mistake, and it was us," Carbonneau said.

Dowd gave Philadelphia another dreaded two-goal bulge with 3:11 to go, one-timing Steve Downie's backhand pass from behind the net past Price and into the top left corner from the slot.

Briere, who was jeered every time he possessed the puck, had a chance to make it 3-0 but fired a shot over the net during a breakaway with 81 seconds left. Last summer, Briere elected to sign as a free agent with Philadelphia after being courted by Montreal.

Biron maintained the two-goal advantage by making a right pad save on Kostitsyn's penalty-shot attempt at 6:32 of the second period. Kostitsyn was awarded the chance after being knocked down from behind by Philadelphia defenseman Lasse Kukkonen during a breakaway.

Kostitsyn managed to get Montreal on the board just over three minutes later with his fourth goal of the postseason.

Brother Sergei Kostitsyn skated down the right wing and cut to the slot before losing control of the puck. However, it went right to Andrei, who beat Biron from the inner edge of the left faceoff circle at 9:44 to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Tomas Plekanec nearly knotted the contest with eight minutes remaining, but Biron managed to poke-check the puck away from the Czech after he breezed past defenseman Derian Hatcher for a solo rush.

The Canadiens pulled even on a controversial shorthanded goal by Kovalev with less than four minutes to go in the second.

"He's been huge," Kostopoulos said. "He's gotten big goals for us all year round."

Plekanec led a rush down the right wing and unleashed a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle that Biron stopped. The rebound popped into the air, and Kovalev batted it into the net with his stick near the crossbar at 16:03.

The referee ruled it a goal, and after a lengthy video review, Kovalev was awarded his third tally of the playoffs.

"You're definitely hoping that they're going to count it, but it's not my decision to make," Kovalev said. "If it didn't count, we'd go back and try to get another one, but they counted it."

"I just thought that his stick hit the top of the net after it hit the puck," Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. "Logically, you think it's a high stick, but they got a break there."

The Flyers cashed in on a power play early in the third to take a 3-2 lead.

Defenseman Braydon Coburn ripped a slapper from the right point that Price got a piece of with his glove. While falling to the ice, the puck hit the right shin of Lupul and entered the net just 19 seconds into the period.

"Sometimes (the puck) doesn't stick to you," Price said. "It hit my glove a couple of times and was spinning out. Sometimes that happens - it doesn't stick to you like it normally does."






  • SuketoKetchi What a sorry display of officiating. The NHL should be embarassed, because that was the kind of BS I expect from the NBA. They gave the game to the Canadiens.

    Flyers 3, Canadiens 4  Final - OTApr 24 10:20 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 2 0 1 0 3
    MONTREAL 0 2 1 1 4 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - R.J. UMBERGER 2 (BRAYDON COBURN, DERIAN HATCHER) 13:15
    PHI - JIM DOWD 1 (STEVE DOWNIE, PATRICK THORESEN) 16:49
    2ND PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 4 (SERGEI KOS

    Apr 24 10:03 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PHILADELPHIA 3
    MONTREAL 4
    OT: MON - TOM KOSTOPOULOS 3 (ANDREI MARKOV) 0:48

    Flyers 3, Canadiens 4  End of OTApr 24 10:03 PM
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    dawger Added 5 roots

    Flyers 3, Canadiens 3  End of Reg.Apr 24 9:50 PM
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    Flyers 3, Canadiens 3  End of Reg.Apr 24 9:50 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 2 0 1 3
    MONTREAL 0 2 1 3 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - R.J. UMBERGER 2 (BRAYDON COBURN, DERIAN HATCHER) 13:15
    PHI - JIM DOWD 1 (STEVE DOWNIE, PATRICK THORESEN) 16:49
    2ND PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 4 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN) 9:44
    MON - (SH) ALEXE

    Apr 24 9:47 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PHILADELPHIA 3
    MONTREAL 3
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 4 (SAKU KOIVU) 19:31

    Flyers 3, Canadiens 3  3rd - 0:29Apr 24 9:45 PM
  • 77
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    RUWTbot Added 55 roots (Close Finish)

    Flyers 3, Canadiens 3  3rd - 0:29Apr 24 9:45 PM
  • 22
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    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Flyers 3, Canadiens 2  3rd - 1:14Apr 24 9:40 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PHILADELPHIA 3
    MONTREAL 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) JOFFREY LUPUL 2 (BRAYDON COBURN, MIKE RICHARDS)
    0:19

    Flyers 3, Canadiens 2  3rd - 19:41Apr 24 9:11 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 2 0 2
    MONTREAL 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - R.J. UMBERGER 2 (BRAYDON COBURN, DERIAN HATCHER) 13:15
    PHI - JIM DOWD 1 (STEVE DOWNIE, PATRICK THORESEN) 16:49
    2ND PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 4 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN) 9:44
    MON - (SH) ALEXEI

    Apr 24 8:49 PM
  • 5
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    bouch Added 5 roots

    Flyers 2, Canadiens 2  2nd - 3:29Apr 24 8:46 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PHILADELPHIA 2
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: MON - (SH) ALEXEI KOVALEV 3 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 16:03

    Flyers 2, Canadiens 2  2nd - 3:57Apr 24 8:41 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PHILADELPHIA 2
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 4 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN) 9:44

    Flyers 2, Canadiens 1  2nd - 10:16Apr 24 8:23 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 2 2
    MONTREAL 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - R.J. UMBERGER 2 (BRAYDON COBURN, DERIAN HATCHER) 13:15
    PHI - JIM DOWD 1 (STEVE DOWNIE, PATRICK THORESEN) 16:49
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 10

    Apr 24 7:47 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PHILADELPHIA 2
    MONTREAL 0
    1ST PRD: PHI - JIM DOWD 1 (STEVE DOWNIE, PATRICK THORESEN) 16:49

    Flyers 2, Canadiens 0  1st - 3:11Apr 24 7:44 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL PHILADELPHIA 1
    MONTREAL 0
    1ST PRD: PHI - R.J. UMBERGER 2 (BRAYDON COBURN, DERIAN HATCHER) 13:15

    Flyers 1, Canadiens 0  1st - 6:45Apr 24 7:37 PM