In the National Hockey League, the Eastern Conference Finals features Goliath against….. Goliath? Yes, that’s right, the bottom two seeds in the Eastern Conference will meet up for the right to head to the Stanley Cup Finals. The 8th seeded Montreal Canadiens will take on the 7th seeded Philadelphia Flyers starting Sunday in Philadelphia.
The Canadiens finished the season with a record of 39-33-10 for 88 points, and lost their last three games of the year to barely hold onto a final position. Philadelphia also finished with 88 points, winning 41, losing 35 and tying in 6 games. Montreal went 20-16-5 at home this season, and 19-17-5 on the road. Philadelphia, who will garner home ice advantage during this series won 24 out of 41 at home and 17 out of 41 on the road.
Montreal has played the maximum games in the postseason. After falling behind 3-1 in the opening series to the top seeded Washington Capitals they won the final three games, allowing just three goals to win the series. In the second round, Montreal split the first four with Pittsburgh, before falling game five. In the elimination game six, the Canadiens beat the Penguins 4-3, and then game 7 Montreal beat Pittsburgh 5-2. The Penguins were the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
Philadelphia made quick work of the second seeded New Jersey Devils. After splitting the first two, the Flyers won the final three games to take a break before round two. The second round came against Boston, and the series started off very poor. Philadelphia lost their first three games, but after game four’s overtime thrilling win, the Flyers became the better team and won the final three games. Game 7 was a comeback, from trailing 3-0 in the game.
After Sunday’s game one in Philadelphia, the second game will take place Tuesday night. The series will shift to Montreal on Thursday for game three, followed by game four on Saturday. Philadelphia will host the Canadiens on Monday May 24th in game five, and Montreal will host game six on Wednesday May 26th. The 7th and final game of the Eastern Conference finals will take place on Friday May 28th in Philadelphia.
The winner of the Eastern Conference will play in the Stanley Cup Finals against the winner of the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks Western Conference Finals.