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Not the way Boucher envisioned the Final

by Shawn P. Roarke
CHICAGO -- Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Boucher wanted desperately to play in the Stanley Cup Final -- but not under the circumstances in which he has seen action in this series.

Sunday night in Game 5, Boucher was called upon for the second time in the Final to spell starter Michael Leighton. In Game 5, Boucher entered to start the second period after Leighton allowed three goals in the first to put the Flyers in a hole that proved to be insurmountable.

Boucher allowed three goals on 14 shots in 40 minutes of action as Philadelphia dropped a 7-4 decision at the United Center that puts the Flyers one game from elimination. Philadelphia must now win Wednesday's Game 6 at the Wachovia Center (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) to force a winner-take-all Game 7 back here Friday night.

Boucher, who took the loss in Game 5, also played in Game 1 of this series, relieving Leighton late in the second period and getting the "L" in a 6-5 loss.

Sunday night, Boucher talked about his play, the play of Leighton and what Philadelphia must do to stay alive in this Stanley Cup Final.

Q: You have played a lot of games this season with your back against the wall. Now you face another one.

Boucher: This was not the start we were looking for in the first period. After that, I think we played better, but the start hurt us. Now we are going back to our place, a place we have played well and we feel comfortable playing. This is a big game for us to keep the season alive and try to get it back here.

Q: Before the game, Michael Leighton left warm-ups early after getting hit with a puck. Was he hurt at all?

Boucher: Not that I know of.

: How tough to come into a Game 5 in this building and have the avalanche like that in first period?

Boucher: We didn't have the start that we wanted. Obviously, there is a lot of energy on their side. They had lost two in a row and it was the first time they had lost two in a row since November and they responded well. Now, it is up to us to respond and try to get back here for Game 7.

Q: How huge in this series has home ice been?

Boucher: The talk was that they were a pretty good road team and I think we are a pretty good home team. They have played pretty darn well at home and you have to give them credit. We want to keep our home play the same in game 6 and try to get it back here for Game 7.

Q: Is there confidence because of the way you have played all year like this?

Boucher: I don't know why we wouldn't have confidence; we have had our backs against the wall for 2 1/2 months. It's a big game on Wednesday, and we will be ready for it.

Q: Is this a game that didn't matter who was in goal for you guys?

Boucher: Yeah, they got a couple of big breaks there in the first period. The first one goes off Prongs and then the second one, he deflects it off the backboards and Bolland happens to be right there. It was another one of those crazy nights, and we just have to have a short-term memory and get ready for Game 6.

Q: Do you have an idea who will start Game 6?

Boucher: I don't and I don't know that there is any issue here. You would have to ask coach about that.

Q: How do you feel your play was in those two periods?

: I needed to go and shut the door to give us a chance to win and it didn't happen. Physically, I felt fine, but like I said, three-goal leads are tough to come back from.

Q: What did they do to put your D under so much pressure?

Boucher: I thought they brought their desperation level up and I think they sensed this was a big game. They had lost two in a row and had had a big commanding lead and lost it and they were desperate tonight and we didn't match their desperation level tonight.

Q: That was a completely uncharacteristic game from Chris Pronger. Does he change at all as a game like that is going on?

: No, the guy is a true pro. Everybody has nights that don't go their way. If anyone is worried about Chris Pronger, then they have a problem. This guy, he'll be fine.

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