NHL Playoff Roundup
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 30, 2008
NHL playoff roundup …
PHILADELPHIA ó Benching goalie Carey Price couldn’t spark Montreal. Now Danny Briere and the Flyers are one win from ending the Canadiens’ season.
Briere scored the winner on a rebound with 3:38 left to lift Philadelphia to a 4-2 win over the Canadiens on Wednesday night and a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Flyers, the worst team in the NHL last season, can eliminate the top-seeded Canadiens in Game 5 on Saturday night in Montreal.
The Canadiens gave Philadelphia a scare when Tomas Plekanec and Saku Koviu tied the score at 2-all on goals 37 seconds apart late in the third period.
Briere’s eighth goal of the postseason was enough to send to Flyers to Montreal with a chance to win the series.
R.J. Umberger scored into an empty net in the final seconds, his second goal of the game.
Martin Biron was strong again in goal for the Flyers except for that one minute in the third period and had 36 saves. While the Canadiens can’t settle on a No. 1 goaltender, Biron proved again he’s capable of carrying the Flyers into May ó and possibly beyond.
The Canadiens, though, gave him a scare late in the game. Plekanec spoiled the shutout with a deflection into the net and Koivu knocked in a rebound that tied the score and silenced the rowdy crowd.
Briere saved them again, this time on the power play.
He found an opening in the corner against Jaroslav Halak and slid the rebound past the rookie for the winner.
The Flyers want to avoid a repeat of their first-round series against Washington, when they took a 3-1 lead and didn’t clinch until a Game 7 overtime victory.
Sharks 2, Stars 1
DALLAS ó Milan Michalek scored San Jose’s first power-play goal of the series with 16:34 left and the Sharks beat Dallas 2-1 on Wednesday night to avoid being swept in the Western Conference semifinals.
Sharks captain Patrick Marleau had tied the game with another short-handed goal, getting one after a turnover by Sergei Zubov for the second straight game.
Game 5 is Friday night in San Jose, where the Stars won the first two games of the series. The visiting team has won 14 of the past 18 games between the Pacific Division rivals, dating to last season.
The Stars missed a chance for their first postseason series sweep since 1999.