What happened: The Flyers beat the Canadiens in five games to advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1997.

Series star: Michael Leighton allowed seven goals in five games. Honorable mention: Claude Giroux had three goals and three assists, and was a plus-7.

Series goats: Tomas Plekanec led Montreal with 70 points in the regular season and registered no points in this series after scoring 11 points in Habs' first 13 postseason games. Montreal defensemen Hal Gill was a minus-5. Josh Gorges was a minus-4.

Sandy clause: As bizarre as Marc Savard's alleged biting of Dan Carcillo was in Round 2, the Flyers' problems with a foreign substance fouling up their skates in Game 4 of this series was wilder. No one from the Philadelphia side ever accused Montreal of anything sinister, but that might have been helped by the fact that the Flyers won the game. But don't be surprised if, in years to come, the story morphs into some Canadiens equipment guy sneaking behind the scenes with a bag of sand.

Most unfortunate incident: When idiot Flyers fans vandalized vehicles with Canadian license plates in the Wachovia Center parking lot.

Win, win: The night the Flyers romped to a win in Game 2 also will be remembered for the night the Sixers got the No. 2 pick in the lottery. Here's hoping they don't trade it for Roy Hinson.

Up next: The Flyers will play the Blackhawks, the second seed in the West, who swept top-seeded San Jose. Chicago is 12-4 in these playoffs. The Flyers are 12-5.

Season series: The Flyers beat visiting Chicago, 3-2 on March 13, when Chris Pronger converted a beautiful backdoor pass from Claude Giroux with 2.1 seconds left. The Flyers had trailed, 2-1, until Scott Hartnell scored with 2:04 left to tie it.

The Flyers' drought: The Flyers are 0-5 in the finals since capturing their second consecutive title in 1975. They lost to the Canadiens in 1976, the Islanders in 1980, Edmonton in 1985 and 1987, and Detroit, in a sweep, 13 years ago.

The Blackhawks' drought: Chicago last won the Stanley Cup in 1961, when Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita were studding up for the 'Hawks. Chicago also is 0-5 in finals appearances since, most recently in 1992, when Mario Lemieux and the Penguins beat them in four straight.