Peter Laviolette played a hunch by putting Michael Leighton back in goal for Game 2. And for almost two full periods last night, the Flyers bench boss looked like a genius.
But with 2 minutes, 51 seconds left in the second period, Marian Hossa flipped a puck by Leighton and everything changed. Twenty-eight seconds later, Ben Eager, a former Flyer, found the back of the net and suddenly the Blackhawks had a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup finals.
Leighton, who was drafted by the Blackhawks in 1999, was standing on his head early on. The Flyers goaltender stopped nine shots in the first period and survived two aggressive Chicago power plays. For the game, Leighton stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced.
On the other side of the rink, Antti Niemi was masterful. The Blackhawks goaltender robbed Arron Asham and Mike Richards on point-blank chances. The only shot that got by Niemi (32 saves) was Simon Gagne’s third-period power-play goal.