8 o'clock, United Center, Chicago
TV: NBC. Radio: WIP (610-AM)
Frank Seravalli's keys to Game 1
1. Battling Byfuglien. What kind of impact will Dustin Byfuglien have in Game 1? Will Joel Quenneville match him up against Chris Pronger?
2. Neutralize speed. The Montreal Canadiens were the Flyers' quickest opponent in the playoffs thus far. Chicago's speed is a different animal.
3. Lights-out Leighton. Goalie Michael Leighton cannot afford a slow start against the Blackhawks, who will likely pound the Flyers in shots.
Spotlight on Michael Leighton
Height, weight: 6-3, 186
Age: 29 Birthdate: May 19, 1981
Hometown: Born in Petrolia, Ontario, grew up in LaSalle, Ontario
Years pro: 6
How acquired: Claimed off waivers on Dec. 15, 2009
This year: Leighton's roller-coaster 2009-10 season is at its peak right now as he posted three shutouts against Montreal to lead the Flyers into the Stanley Cup finals. Leighton (6-1) leads all playoff netminders with a 1.45 goals-against average and a .948 save percentage since he replaced Brian Boucher in net in Game 5 against Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Hard to fathom he's in this position when you consider he didn't even have a team midway through December and he has had to overcome a high ankle sprain injury as well. During the regular season, he went a combined 17-9-2 in 34 games.
Career: Leighton has never had any stability. During his career, he has made stops with seven NHL organizations and played for five AHL teams. His career NHL record is 34-40-4 with a 2.94 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage.
Defying the odds: It's not like he isn't used to it. Leighton was a sixth-round draft pick of the Blackhawks - the same team he will face in the finals - in 1999. The journeyman will be seeking revenge against the team for which he began his career. He played 42 games with Chicago over parts of three seasons.
Pay the man: Leighton made $600,000 this season and he will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. "I think we certainly have to talk to him about being a part of our future plans," Comcast-Spectator chief operating officer Peter Luukko said Wednesday. "He has done an incredible job."
- Mike Mazzeo
FLYERS' Mike Richards: The captain is second in playoff scoring with 21 points (six goals, 15 assists). Richards got the Flyers rolling in the clinching Game 5 against Montreal with a shorthanded goal that tied the score at 1-1.
BLACKHAWKS' Jonathan Toews: The captain is the leading scorer in the playoffs with 26 points (7 goals and 19 assists). He has scored in a club record 13 straight games. Toews, like Richards, is having quite a 2010. Both won gold medals for Team Canada at the Vancouver Olympics by beating the United States in the gold-medal game.
- Chuck Bausman
FLYERS' Ryan Parent and Lukas Krajicek: The third defensive pair isn't seeing much ice-time in the playoffs. Parent is averaging 11.6 shifts per game and 7:53 of ice-time. Krajicek is averaging 15.6 shifts and 10:32 of ice-time.
BLACKHAWKS' Brian Campbell: The $7.1 million defenseman has zero goals and three assists in 13 games. He might still be recovering from a vicious hit into the boards by the Capitals' Alex Ovechkin on March 13. Campbell missed the last 14 games of the regular season and three games of the first round with a broken collarbone from that hit.
- Chuck Bausman
In their previous seven Stanley Cup finals, the Flyers are 2-5 in Game 1. They also are 2-5 in Cup finals. In 1974, they lost Game 1 to Boston but won the series in six games. In 1985, they beat Edmonton but lost the series in five games.
- Chuck Bausman