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Canadiens, Flyers play pivotal Game 3

by Adam Schwartz

The Montreal Canadiens travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers for game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semi-finals series tonight.
Watch Flyers-Canadiens Game 2 highlights
After a busy weekend in the NHL, Monday night features just one second-round playoff matchup, but it should be an invigorating one.

At 7 p.m., the Montreal Canadiens-Philadelphia Flyers series shifts from Quebec to Pennsylvania where a leader will emerge from the 1-1 series deadlock.

Here's what to keep an eye out for:

* The Canadiens, who gave up just 15 goals in the first round in a seven-game defeat of the Boston Bruins, have allowed seven goals in the first two games. Montreal, which had the best power play in the League with a 24.1 percent success rate, has the worst power play among the eight remaining teams with a 12.8 percent success rate.

* Montreal captain Saku Koivu, who missed the first five games of the first round with a left foot injury, has one goal and five assists for six points this playoff season. Koivu, who has totaled at least 10 points in just two playoff seasons, has never been past the second round of the playoffs.

* Habs right wing Alex Kovalev, who is seven points shy of 100 career playoff points, has four goals and five assists for nine points in six combined regular season and playoff games against Philadelphia. Kovalev, who won the Stanley Cup in his first playoff season with the New York Rangers in 1994, has not been to the Stanley Cup Final since, but went to the Eastern Conference Final with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2001.

* Montreal defenseman Mike Komisarek, who averages 20:41 of ice time per game, has been a minus player in one of just nine playoff games this season. Komisarek, who is playing in the second round for the first time in his career, has a plus-7 rating in 22 career playoff games, including a plus-4 rating this season.

* Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov, who was sixth in the League among defensemen during the regular season with 32 power-play points, has just one power-play assist in Montreal's nine playoff games. Markov, who leads the team with an average of 25:34 of ice time per game, has just one goal and two assists in the playoffs.

* Montreal right wing Tom Kostopoulos, selected in the seventh round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, is playing in the playoffs for the first time after playing 298 regular season games with the Penguins, Canadiens and the Los Angeles Kings. Kostopoulos, who has never scored more than nine goals in the regular season, has three goals in nine playoff games, including the overtime game-winning goal in Game 1 against the Flyers.

* The Flyers, who scored the most goals in the Atlantic Division during the regular season with 248, have scored the most goals in the League in the playoffs with 30 in nine games

* Philadelphia captain Jason Smith, who has an English bulldog named Oscar, has played more than 20 minutes in just two of nine playoff games and has a minus-4 rating. Smith, who went to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final with the Edmonton Oilers, has played more than six games in just two playoff seasons, including this one.

* Flyers center Jim Dowd, who had just one assist in Philadelphia's seven-game defeat of the Washington Capitals, has a goal and an assist in two games in the second round and a plus-3 rating. Dowd, who has played in the playoffs for seven teams, has played more than 12 minutes in just one of the Flyers nine postseason games.

* Philadelphia defenseman Derian Hatcher, who had a minus-4 rating in six games in his last playoff season, has a plus-4 rating in nine playoff games. Hatcher, whose favorite food is Thanksgiving turkey, is fourth on the team with 19 hits.

* Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who is second on the team with 24 blocked shots, leads the team with an average ice time of 25:05 per game. Timonen, who led Philadelphia defensemen with 44 points during the regular season, has just two assists and a minus-3 rating in six combined regular season and playoff games against the Canadiens this season.

* Philadelphia right wing R.J. Umberger, who had just one goal and one assist for two points in the first round against the Washington Capitals, has three goals in the first two games against Montreal. Umberger, who played for Ohio State University, had a minus-32 rating last regular season and had an even plus-minus rating during this regular season and has a plus-2 rating in the playoffs.

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