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Fans scramble for Flyers tickets, gear

It's time to paint the town orange and black.

It's time to paint the town orange and black.

For the first time in 13 years, the Flyers are back in the Stanley Cup Finals, stoking sales of merchandise and tickets, as well as civic spirit.

Last night, thousands of fans across the city hit the streets to express their jubilation after Flyers clinched a matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks by beating the Montreal Canadiens, 4-2, at the Wachovia Center.

This morning, to the delight of merchandisers, T-shirts celebrating the Flyers' Eastern Conference Championship went on sale at stores throughout Philadelphia and the suburbs.

Out buying early was Ray Miles, owner of the Show and Tel adult club in South Philadelphia, buying a couple of dozen shirts for his dancers - and more.

"We're buying what we can for the girls," he said, shopping at the Snyder Plaza Modell's. "Shirts. Hats. Also banners - anything we can hang up."

His prediction: Flyers in six.

Asking prices for tickets online range from about $400 to more than $5,000, with an average about $750, according to, which surveys scores of outlets, such as StubHub, RazorGator and TicketNetwork.

Actual sales have averaged $575 for the three games in Philadelphia, and $700 for the four Chicago games, according to StubHub spokeswoman Joellen Ferrer.

Chances are sales of big screen TVs will be up as well, since no game benefits more from high-def than the one with small speedy pucks.

The games, all at 8 p.m., will be Saturday and Monday at Chicago; Wednesday, June 2; and Friday, June 4; in Philadelphia; and, if necessary, Sunday, June 6 at Chicago; Wednesday, June 9 at Philadelphia; and Friday, June 11 at Chicago.

The region tends to go wild when a team plays for a championship, as happened with the Sixers in 2001, the Eagles in 2005, and the Phillies the last two years.

If the Flyers beat the Chicago Blackhawks and take the title, the city will really erupt. Fans flooded the parade routes in 1975 and '76 in numbers exceeded perhaps only by the Halloween salute to the Phillies after the 2008 World Series win.