TORONTO (AP) _ When coach Ken Hitchcock told the Philadelphia Flyers to go
for it in overtime, Jeremy Roenick pictured how he'd score the winning goal.
It happened just how he planned.
Roenick beat goaltender Ed Belfour on the short side during a two-on-one
break 7:39 into overtime Tuesday night, giving the Flyers a 3-2 victory over
the Toronto Maple Leafs and sending Philadelphia into the Eastern Conference
``My eyes went wide,'' Roenick said. ``It was unbelievable that I got the
opportunity, so I knew exactly what I was going to do right from the start.''
Roenick scored his 50th career playoff goal earlier in the game.
``People tell me to shoot, shoot, shoot,'' he said. ``Every time I get into
a position like that I pass. I wasn't passing tonight.''
The goal gave the Flyers a six-game victory over the Leafs in their
best-of-seven series, and came after Toronto rallied from a two-goal deficit in
the third period.
Radovan Somik also scored and Robert Esche stopped 34 shots, setting the
Flyers up for a matchup with the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning beginning
Philadelphia is in the conference finals for the 14th time, tying Montreal
for the most appearances since expansion. The Flyers went 0-4 in the regular
season against the Lightning, who swept Montreal and have been off since last
``It's a big effort by our club and a huge stepping stone for the group in
this locker room,'' Flyers captain Keith Primeau said. ``We're really proud of
what we accomplished here.''
The home team won the first five games of this series, but the Flyers broke
through and snapped Toronto's five-game winning streak at home.
Mats Sundin, with a goal and assist, and Karel Pilar rallied Toronto by
scoring in the final 11 minutes of regulation to force overtime.
Sensing that his team was sagging after being outshot 24-7 in the second and
third periods, Hitchcock told his players to start taking chances in overtime.
``We had to go back and get them,'' Hitchcock said. ``We had to take some
risks to get them on their heels.''
The Flyers responded in the wild overtime period.
With teammate Tony Amonte racing up the middle and defender Bryan McCabe the
only Leafs player back, Roenick broke up the right side on a two-on-one, and
snapped a 15-footer that popped the water bottle off the top of the Toronto
The goal came 14 seconds after Belfour foiled Mark Recchi on another
two-on-one. And it came about 40 seconds after Toronto's Darcy Tucker slammed
Sami Kapanen into the boards. Play continued even though Kapanen had difficulty
getting up and staggered to the Flyers bench.
Tucker was not penalized.
Kapanen is fine, Hitchcock said, although he wasn't impressed by Tucker's
``It was a terrible hit. It was a head shot,'' said Hitchcock, noting that
Tucker also delivered a similar check in Game 5 that prevented defenseman
Vladimir Malakhov from playing Tuesday. ``I thought those were two cheap shots.
They were deliberate attempts to hurt people.''
Tucker didn't make himself available to reporters.
The Maple Leafs' season ended abruptly, dashing the hopes for a
veteran-laden team that believed it had the capacity of making a deep playoff
``I was convinced we were going to find a way to advance,'' Leafs coach Pat
Quinn said. ``When you have those hopes and dreams, it seems to be devastating
The Leafs, coming off a 7-2 drubbing at Philadelphia in Game 5 on Sunday,
came out flat, falling behind when Somik and Roenick scored less than six
minutes apart to put the Flyers ahead 2-0 with 4:30 left in the first.
Toronto finally began gaining momentum, taking advantage of a Flyers team
that appeared content to sit on their lead.
``We woke up too late,'' said Sundin, whose team was eliminated by
Philadelphia for the second straight year. ``It would've been nice to have that
effort at the start.''
Esche was sharp, showing no signs of the flu symptoms that forced him to
miss the final two periods of Philadelphia's 7-2 win in Game 5. His best saves
came when he stopped Tie Domi on the doorstep with 70 seconds left in
``We were a confident bunch of guys even after they tied it up,'' Esche
said. ``A lot of guys were excited to get into overtime. We weren't scared, we
Roenick is the 48th player to score 50 playoff goals.