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Asham delivers some unexpected offense

by Mike G. Morreale / NHL.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Every so often, Arron Asham proves he's much more than a third-line grinder.

Such was the case on Monday when Asham scored his first goal in nine games to spark the Flyers to a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the series-clinching Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals before 19,986 at the Wachovia Center.

In typical Asham fashion, the 5-foot-11, 205-pound veteran skated to the front of the net and took a perfect feed from defenseman Matt Carle before going forward-to-backhand and depositing his third goal of the playoffs past Jaroslav Halak 3:07 into the second. The goal not only atoned for a missed breakaway attempt with 1:42 remaining in the first, it gave the Flyers their first lead of the game.

Asham, 32, logged 8:11 of ice time on 13 shifts, notched four shots on goal and delivered two hits. He was in prime position most of the night and certainly provided a needed boost on the team's third line alongside James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux.

The second-year Flyer spoke to the media following his team's big triumph.

Q: How unbelievable is this right now?

Asham: It's unreal. It (the regular season) came down to a shootout, it's the second time in my career that that's happened, and it's exciting. The boys have been playing great. We came back from a 3-0 deficit (against Boston).

Q: Can you talk about coming so close to scoring and then later scoring?

Asham: It's my only move I know, so it's either do or die with that one. The second one went in and there were a lot of chances. My teammates played well and our team played unbelievable. Leights (goalie Michael Leighton) is stopping the puck for us and we're going to go into the Final with some confidence, so we'll see what happens.

Q: What does it feel like when the buzzer goes off and you’re the team celebrating?

Asham: It's nice. Everyone's dreamed of doing this their whole life and to get the opportunity to do it this year is great. It's a lot of hard work, and we're not done yet. We still have to go to Chicago and hopefully steal a couple of games over there.

Q: How does it feel to be this close to winning a Stanley Cup?

Asham: It's still kind of, you know, can't believe it right now. But I'm sure once we get closer to Game 1 (on Saturday) and everything, you know, it's going to be very exciting.

Q: You mentioned you only have one move and it worked tonight. Explain?

Asham: Yeah, I had four chances, so I'm glad one went in. If I would have gotten shut out I would have gotten razzed by the boys, definitely, but I stuck one in, and it's a big goal for us, and we're just going to keep plugging away here and see what happens.

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