Flyers-Blackhawks: Stanley Cup final: Game 4 preview
When: 8 o'clock. Where: Wachovia Center. TV: Versus. Radio: WIP (610-AM). Chuck Bausman's 3 keys to Game 4 1. Momentum. The Flyers are coming off a thrilling overtime victory. They are back in the series. They will have the home crowd urging them on. They have plenty in their favor, despite being down, 2-1.
When: 8 o'clock. Where: Wachovia Center. TV: Versus. Radio: WIP (610-AM).
Chuck Bausman's 3 keys to Game 4
1. Momentum. The Flyers are coming off a thrilling overtime victory. They are back in the series. They will have the home crowd urging them on. They have plenty in their favor, despite being down, 2-1.
2. Special teams. The Flyers were 2-for-3 on the power play in Game 3 and killed all three Blackhawks power plays. Winner of the special-teams battle usually is the winner of the hockey game.
3. Top guns. Does the Mike Richards-Jeff Carter-Simon Gagne unit finally have a big game, or does Chicago's Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane-Dustin Byfuglien break the Flyers' hearts?
Spotlight on ... Claude Giroux
Height, weight: 5-11, 180
Birthdate: Jan. 12, 1988
Hometown: Born and raised in Hearst, Ontario
Years pro: 2
How acquired: Selected by Flyers in the first round (No. 22 overall) of the 2006 draft
This year: Giroux didn't have the breakout sophomore regular-season campaign many hoped he would, notching 16 goals and 31 assists; he had a minus-9 rating in 82 games. But like many of his teammates, the playmaking puck wizard has far exceeded expectations in the playoffs, collecting nine goals and 11 assists in 20 games. He has three power-play goals in the playoffs.
Career: Not much of a sample size here. In 126 regular-season games, Giroux has 25 goals and 49 assists. Granted, he has been nearly a point-per-game performer in the playoffs (25 points in 26 games).
Incredible: It's the perfect adjective to describe Giroux's postseason while he was playing in juniors in 2008. In 19 games for the Gatineau Olympiques, of the QMJHL, he had an absurd 51 points and was a plus-33.
Rising to the occasion: Giroux was a minus-3 and held scoreless through the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals. However, in a must-win Game 3, he erupted for two assists and eventually netted the winning goal in overtime, deflecting a perfect Matt Carle pass through Chicago goalie Antti Niemi. "I don't think the guys wanted to come back again from 3-0," Giroux said after the game.
- Mike Mazzeo
FLYERS' Chris Pronger: The defenseman logged another 32 minutes of ice time in Game 3. He had an assist and was a plus-2. And again, his intimidating presence was a factor in front of the Flyers' net. Wonder why the Hawks' top line has only one goal in the series? Wonder no more.
BLACKHAWKS' Duncan Keith: The Chicago defenseman scored a goal in Game 3 and played more than 30 minutes. He uses his speed and quickness to disrupt rushes and to get the Hawks' offense in high gear. The Norris Trophy finalist makes good decisions with the puck and puts passes right on the stick.
FLYERS' Dan Carcillo: The forward added energy, spirit and theatrics to the lineup in Game 2 but took a bad penalty in Game 3, jeopardizing a hard-fought, 1-0 Flyers lead. Wouldn't be stunned to see Carcillo sit out tonight and James van Riemsdyk return to the lineup.
BLACKHAWKS' Antti Niemi: The goalie came into the finals all but unbeatable. He was outstanding in allowing only one goal in Game 2, but the Flyers touched him for five goals in Game 1 and four goals in Game 3. Nine goals in two games is not Cup-winning goaltending.
The Flyers and Blackhawks are each 0-5 in the finals since winning their last Stanley Cup. The Flyers last won the Cup in 1975 and the Hawks won in 1961.
Since then, the Flyers lost in the finals in 1976 (Montreal), 1980 (NY Islanders), 1985 and '87 (Edmonton) and 1997 (Detroit). Chicago lost in the finals in 1962 (Toronto), 1965, '71 and '73 (Montreal) and 1992 (Pittsburgh).
- Chuck Bausman
Chicago leads best-of-seven series, 2-1
Saturday: Chicago, 6-5
Monday: Chicago, 2-1
Wednesday: Flyers, 4-3 (ot)
Tonight at Flyers 8:00
Sunday: at Chicago 8:00
*Wednesday, June 9: at Flyers 8:00
*Friday, June 11: at Chicago 8:00
TV: Game 4 on Versus; Others on NBC10.