If the regular-season game is any indication, this series is going to be a good one.

The Flyers used a furious rally and beat the Blackhawks in their only meeting this season, 3-2, on March 13.

A deflating loss seemed inevitable before Scott Hartnell scored with just more than 2 minutes remaining to force a tie.

Then, in the waning seconds, Claude Giroux calmly hit Chris Pronger with a hockey equivalent of a backdoor pass. The defenseman directed the puck past Chicago goaltender Cristobal Huet and, with 2.1 seconds left, the Wachovia Center erupted.

"It was the never-say-die attitude we need to have and we need to learn," Pronger said. "Desperation was in our game. We need to play with that kind of fire and edge."

The following day the Flyers lost to the Rangers to start a 2-7-2 slump that nearly kept them out of the playoffs.

- Ed Barkowitz

Chicago 0 0 2 - 2

Flyers 0 0 3 - 3

FIRST PERIOD

Penalties - Carter, Flyers (cross checking), 11:48; Hossa, Chicago (holding the stick), 16:47.

SECOND PERIOD

Penalties - Chicago team (too many men), 0:57; Richards, Flyers (high sticking), 3:54; Johnsson, Chi (hooking), 7:28; Leino, Flyers (hooking), 12:02; Briere, Flyers (roughing), 17:58; Huet, Chi (roughing), 17:58.

THIRD PERIOD

1. Flyers, Gagne 13 (Carcillo). . . 1:18

2. Chi, Versteeg 16 (Hossa). . . *3:01

3. Chi, Hossa 20 (Brouwer, Keith). . . 12:51

4, Flyers, Hartnell 13 (Timonen, Leighton). . . 17:56

4. Flyers, Pronger 9 (Giroux, Hartnell). . . 19:57

Penalty - Briere, Flyers (goalie interference), 1:42.

SHOTS ON GOAL

Chicago 15 12 14 - 41

Flyers 12 9 13 - 34

*Power Plays: Chicago 1-4 (7:19), Flyers 0-3 (6:00). Goalies: Chicago, Huet (34 shots-31 saves, 59:48). Flyers, Leighton (41-39, 60:00). A: 19,858 (19,537). T: 2:13. Referees: Stephane Auger, Paul Devorski. Linesmen: Scott Driscoll, Ryan Galloway.