It seems like home court advantage is just what the Blackhawks needed in order to come up with outstanding results at the current battle for the Stanley Cup as they beat the Flyers last night by 6-5 and took a 2-0 advantage in the series that is now heading to Philadelphia for the two following games.
Part of the success of Chicago on game two had a lot to do with the performance from goaltender Antti Niemi, who ended up the game with 32 saves and who said that he feels proud about the tough defense applied by his team.
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Niemi was just outstanding at the final moments of the game when the Flyers pulled Michael Leighton off the field in order to bring an extra attacker, but Philly could not pass the veteran goalie, and failed to come up with a road victory that could have given them a lot of peace of mind. And his name was chanted time and time again all over United Center arena, as everybody was just impressed at how well he defended.
One thing that was very similar to game one was the fact that top players such as Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews failed to score once again, but in despite of that, the Blackhawks still managed to come up with the win.
A scoreless tie came to an end when Ben Eager and Marian Hossa scored with only 28 seconds of different in the final moments of the 2nd period against Leighton. After that, Simon Gagne scored for the Flyers, but not long after that, Niemi was able to prevent a sudden offensive attack from Philly, allowing Chicago to come up with their 7th straight victory.
Even Flyers Coach Peter Laviolette said that he felt impressed about the performance from Niemi, as he said that he was glad to see such a great goaltender playing so well, especially in the 3rd period. The superstar goalie is currently 14-4 in the postseason, with Monday’s night being one of his toughest yet.
In fact, he has played so good that his teammates even have a nickname for him: the octopus.
Out of 33 Stanley Cup finals, only 2 times has a team made a comeback from a 2-0 deficit, with Chicago losing their series against Montreal in 7 games back in 1971, and Detroit losing to Pittsburgh back in 2009 after winning the first 2 games of that series.
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