1. Sixth Man --
The Bell Centre was rocking for Game 3; it was so loud inside the building that players had trouble hearing whistles to stop plays. Not surprisingly, the Flyers admitted that the decibel level caused some trouble with communication between the players during the game. It will be interesting to see how the Flyers deal with the wall of sound in Game 4 on Saturday (3 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).
2. The Invisible Man --
Montreal coach Jacques Martin dressed Ryan O'Byrne
as a seventh defenseman for Game 3, but used him for only one shift after O'Byrne took an early delay of game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass in the defensive zone. After the game, Martin suggested O'Byrne would play in Game 4 and likely see more time.
"I'm sure that he'll get more ice time next game," Martin said Thursday night. But where will O'Byrne fit in a Montreal rotation that played its best game in recent memory in Game 3?
3. Chase Is On --
Part of the reason Montreal had so much offensive success in Game 3 was because they were able to get pucks deep and make the Philadelphia defensemen turn and chase. The result was a number of turnovers in the Philadelphia zone that turned into scoring opportunities. In fact, Montreal scored its first two goals directly off turnovers. In Game 4, Philadelphia will have to find a way to counter that strategy.
"I don't know if it is just us as D-men, I think we have to do it as groups of five," said Philadelphia defenseman Matt Carle
. "The biggest key is playing together and keeping pucks along the wall and out of danger zones and not turning pucks over. That's the biggest thing."
4. Depth Charge --
Montreal hasn't received much scoring from outside its top six forwards throughout this playoff run, but on Thursday night the third line was all over the scoreboard. As a result, Montreal scored more than four goals for just the third time in 17 postseason games. Tom Pyatt
and Dominic Moore
each had a goal and Maxime Lapierre added an assist in Game 3.
"We've said it all along -- for us to get where we want to go, we're going to need contributions through our lineup, not only defensively, but offensively," leading scorer Michael Cammalleri
said. "I don't think any team's probably ever won a championship without contributions throughout the lineup."
5. Running Laps --
The Flyers remain pretty tight-lipped about the availability of Ian Laperriere
for Game 4, but the forward has been skating with the team since last Thursday and was cleared for contact Monday. He skated with his usual linemates -- Darroll Powe
and Blair Betts
-- at Friday's practice and seems likely to make his return on Saturday.
"If you're asking me if I would have liked to have had a healthy Ian Laperriere
in the lineup last night, yeah, I would have," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette
said. "He's an excellent player, does a lot of things for us. He's an inspirational guy, and he looked good in practice."