INQUIRER STAFF

The Flyers' 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens sent the team to the Stanley Cup Finals and brought fans spilling out of Wachovia Center - and local watering holes - in celebration.

Philadelphia police were ready in Center City. Police mounted on horseback were stationed in front of the Union League. Others patrolled Broad Street on bicycles.

As of 10:50 p.m., there were not reports of major violence related to celebrating fans.

The Flyers barely qualified for the playoffs, doing so with an overtime shootout victory in the last regular season game. Now, they will face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Cup Finals starting Saturday in Chicago.

The Flyers last won the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 1975.

The biggest crowd immediately after the game seemed to be at the intersection of Frankford and Cottman Avenues in the Northeast section of the city.

What appeared to be thousands of fans clogged the streets, which were blocked off for a couple of blocks around the intersection.

However – as of 10:20 p.m. - the crowd was peaceful, thanks in part to police on bikes and police in riot gear who made their presence known to the swelling crowds.

One police officer at Frankford and Cottman was asked to compare Monday night's crowd to the crowd that poured into the streets after the Phillies won their recent National League Championship series. He said Monday night's Flyers crowd wasn't nearly as disruptive.

Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, who was with officers on Broad Street in Center City, said at 10:23 that he had reports that the crowd in Northeast reached 5,000 people. He estimated the crowd at Broad and Shunk Streets to be about 3,000 people.

"So far, so good," Ramsey said. "A lot of people having a good time. Hopefully it doesn't get out of control. If it does, we'll end it."

At about 10:45 p.m., mounted police, backed by a line of officers on foot, started moving fans from the front of the Union League and around City Hall.

Staff writers Robert Moran, Maria Panaritis and Matt Mullin contributed to this article.