Philadelphia holds serve at home; Chicago owns road
Dustin Byfuglien and Jonathan Toews scored on deflections 90 seconds apart in the second period and the Chicago Blackhawks rolled to their record-tying seventh straight road win in the playoffs, 4-2 over the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of the Western Conference final Tuesday night in San Jose, Calif.
Andrew Ladd and Troy Brouwer also scored and Antti Niemi made 25 saves for the Blackhawks, who have a 2-0 series lead. This is the closest Chicago has been to making the Stanley Cup final since getting there in 1992.
The series moves to Chicago for Game 3 on Friday night and Game 4 on Sunday. That may not be the best thing for the Blackhawks, who are only 3-3 at home this postseason.
Chicago has had its most success on the road, clinching the first two series in Nashville and Vancouver before taking the first two against the top-seeded Sharks in a heavyweight conference final.
The Blackhawks are the fifth team to win seven straight road games in a postseason, joining Colorado (1999), New Jersey (1995), and the New York Islanders (1980 and ’82), according to STATS LLC.
Patrick Marleau scored both goals for the Sharks, who dropped to 0-5 at home in two trips to the conference final. They also lost the first two at home to Calgary in 2004 before tying the series with two road wins. They lost Game 5 at home and were eliminated the following game – the closest they’ve been to the Stanley Cup.
Flyers 3, Canadiens 0: Michael Leighton stopped 30 shots and recorded his second straight shutout, and Philadelphia beat visiting Montreal to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference final.
Danny Briere and Simon Gagne scored power-play goals, and Ville Leino scored for the Flyers.
Game 3 is Thursday in Montreal.
The Flyers have scored 13 straight goals in the postseason since trailing 3-0 in Game 7 against Boston in the East semifinal. Leighton has been impeccable since taking over for an injured Brian Boucher in Game 5.
His season was considered over once he went down with an ankle injury in mid-March. The Flyers are two wins away from their first Stanley Cup final appearance since 1997.
Leighton is the first Flyers goalie to record consecutive playoff shutouts since Bernie Parent in 1975.
The Flyers haven’t won the Stanley Cup since the second of their consecutive championships in 1975.
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