x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Blackhawks snatch victory as Flyers thrash Canadiens

The Philadelphia Flyers continue their amazing run of form with a 6-0 victory and the Blackhawks seal a sixth win out of seven road games.

The Philadelphia Flyers continued their amazing run of form with a 6-0 thrashing of the Montreal Canadiens in the first game of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday. After becoming just the third team in NHL history to overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series against the Boston Bruins, the Flyers ensured they will not have to repeat that feat against the Canadiens. Just 48 hours after coming back from 3-0 down in game seven in Boston, the Flyers were always in charge after taking the lead in the opening period. Braydon Coburn put the home side ahead with just under four minutes gone in the first, before James van Riemsdyk, Danny Briere and Simon Gagne all scored in a 9:23 spell in the second period to end the game as a contest. Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux wrapped up the scoring in the third period and the Flyers have now won five straight games, with a 5-1 home record in the play-offs. Game two, the NHL's first in the final four between the number seven and eight seeds, will take place on Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Dustin Byfuglien scored the winner with under seven minutes remaining as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the San Jose Sharks in the first game of the Western Conference final on Sunday. Jason Demers put the home side in front in the opening period on a powerplay, but Chicago hit back and levelled in the second though Patrick Sharp. The visitors had goalkeeper Antti Niemi to thank for making 44 saves in the contest and such defensive resilience paid off when Byfuglien grabbed the vital score in the final period. It was the Blackhawks' sixth win out of seven road games in the post-season, while the Sharks have now lost all four home games in two trips to the conference final. Game two also takes place in San Jose on Tuesday. * PA