MONTREAL - Michael Cammalleri and the Montreal Canadiens finally solved Michael Leighton.
Cammalleri scored in the first period to end Montreal's two-game drought against Leighton, leading the Canadiens to a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals last night.
Tom Pyatt and Dominic Moore each had a goal and an assist as Montreal earned its first win in the series. Brian Gionta and Marc-Andre Bergeron also scored as Leighton's shutout streak was snapped at 172:05. "It's a big deal for us, don't get me wrong," Cammalleri said. "But for us, we like the way we play, and we thought the goals were going to come."
Leighton allowed one more goal than he had given up previously in the entire postseason. "I felt OK. I'm not going to dwell on them scoring that many goals," he said. "We didn't think we were going to win this series 4-0, so we're just going to regroup. They're back in the series and the next game's big for us."
The Flyers had won six straight, dating to their second-round series win over Boston during which they overcame a 3-0 series deficit. It was Leighton's first loss in five starts since taking over after Brian Boucher hurt his knee.
The eighth-seeded Canadiens are proving to be very resilient this postseason. Montreal already has rallied to eliminate top-seeded Washington and Pittsburgh. "We are a much better team when our backs are against the wall," Gionta said. "We've dealt with it all year."
The seventh-seeded Flyers know something about bouncing back, too, after rallying to beat Boston in the second round. Referring to the loss as "a wake-up call," Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger said it's their turn to respond. "I don't think you want to forget it. I think you need to use it and feed off it," he said. "They answered the bell, and now it's our turn to get back at it in Game 4."