Flyers vs. Blackhawks: Game 3 preview
8 o'clock, Wachovia Center TV: Versus. Radio: WIP (610-AM) Frank Seravalli's 3 keys to Game 3 1. First goal. The Flyers have won 78 percent of the time in the playoffs when scoring the first goal, something they did not do in Game 2 in Chicago.
8 o'clock, Wachovia Center
TV: Versus. Radio: WIP (610-AM)
Frank Seravalli's 3 keys to Game 3
1. First goal. The Flyers have won 78 percent of the time in the playoffs when scoring the first goal, something they did not do in Game 2 in Chicago.
2. Big Buff. Top Guns. Despite losing both games in Chicago, the Flyers kept Dustin Byfuglien, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews off the score sheet. That could only help in Game 3.
3. Matchups. Now back on home ice, the Flyers have the right of last line change and will need to minimize the amount of time Lukas Krajicek and Oskars Bartulis are on the ice against Chicago's top players.
Spotlight on: Simon Gagne
Position: Left wing
Height, weight: 6-foot, 195
Birthdate: Feb. 29, 1980
Hometown: Born and raised in Ste-Foy, Quebec
Years pro: 10
How acquired: Selected by Flyers in the first round (No. 22 overall) of the 1998 draft.
This year: Gagne, plagued by a hernia issue that caused him to miss 24 games, managed to record 40 points in 58 games during the regular season. Then, in the first round of the playoffs, Gagne broke his toe against the Devils, forcing him to miss 2 weeks. However, he has been nothing short of brilliant since his return, scoring seven goals in his first nine games. His first goal of that stretch - an overtime game-winner against Boston that got the Flyers on the board in the series - could be considered the defining moment of the team's postseason run.
Career: Injuries and concussions make you wonder what could have been for Gagne, who posted consecutive 40-plus goal seasons in 2005-06 and 2006-07. He has 259 goals and 265 assists in 664 regular-season games.
Longevity: Seems like just yesterday that Gagne was a touted rookie with a knack for putting the puck in the back of the net. Now, he's currently the longest-tenured Flyer. In fact, Gagne and Eagles kicker David Akers are tied as the longest-tenured athletes in Philadelphia, both starting their professional careers here in 1999.
About time: The Flyers' top line of Gagne, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter finally got on the board in the Stanley Cup finals against the Blackhawks when Gagne scored a power-play goal 5 minutes, 20 seconds into the third period of Game 2. That trio - if they play together - must continue to produce if the Flyers are going to get back in the series.
- Mike Mazzeo
FLYERS' Kimmo Timonen: The Flyers defenseman has been a rock and continues to rack up plenty of ice time. Timonen is one reason the Blackhawks' big line of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Dustin Byfuglien is goal-less.
BLACKHAWKS' Marian Hossa: He had a goal and three shots in Game 2 and two assists in Game 1. He leads the playoffs with a plus-11 rating. He has been on the losing team in the last two finals (Pittsburgh and Detroit). If he keeps this up, he won't be on the losing squad this year.
FLYERS' Claude Giroux: He has been outstanding in the playoffs (eight goals, nine assists) but is without a point against Chicago.
BLACKHAWKS' Dustin Byfuglien: The Blackhawks bruising power forward had an assist on Ben Eager's goal in Game 2 (never thought the Flyers would lose a game on an Eager goal, assisted by Byfuglien, did you?). He certainly has jousted with Chris Pronger, but overall he has been relatively quiet.
The Flyers' Michael Leighton is the fourth goaltender in the modern era to advance to the finals after starting the season with another organization. He is the first to be picked up on waivers. The others were acquired in trades - Patrick Roy, Montreal to Colorado in 1996; Miikka Kiprusoff, San Jose to Calgary in 2004; and Dwayne Roloson, Edmonton to Minnesota in 2006.
- Chuck Bausman
Game 1: Blackhawks 6, Flyers 5
Game 2: Blackhawks 2, Flyers 1
Tonight: at Flyers, 8:00
Friday: at Flyers, 8:00
*Sunday: at Chicago, 8:00
*Wednesday, June 9: at Flyers, 8:00
*Friday, June 11: at Chicago, 8:00
TV: Games 3-4, Versus; Others on NBC10. Radio: All games on WIP (610-AM)