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Richards, their gritty gold medal-winning captain, scored a goal that will surely be shown over and over during the finals.
Playing short-handed and just trying to clear the puck from along the boards, Claude Giroux fired the puck about 175 feet down the ice and that sent Richards scrambling.
Montreal goalie Jaroslav Halak inexplicably skated toward the top of the circles to try and stop the puck. Richards dived head first and slid perfectly between Halak and Canadiens defenseman Roman Hamrlik. The puck squirted away from the crashing Canadiens and Richards tapped it into an empty net to make it 1-1.
Asham and Carter built the lead from there and gave Leighton all the room he needed.
Asham scored from close range 3:07 into the second and Carter, who made a quick return after breaking his right foot last month, quickly made it 3-1. Richards fed Carter a nice pass, and he fired on one-knee to stun Halak.
The Flyers' run to the Cup finals has been solidified on second-period scoring. The Flyers outscored the opposition 26-7 in the middle period this postseason.
Down 3-1 in the series and 3-1 in the third, Montreal kept playing for one more comeback.
The Canadiens got in as the eighth seed and then knocked off Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington after falling behind 3-1 in the series. Montreal trailed Pittsburgh 3-2 before advancing past the defending Stanley Cup champions in the second round.
Scott Gomez scored 6:53 into the third to give Montreal a sliver of hope. Not this time. Not against these Flyers.
Leighton was perfect from there, and the goalie who wasn't even on the active roster at the start of the playoffs, was in the center of a celebration once the final horn sounded.
The Flyers played the requisite "Rocky" clips and fans erupted when Lauren Hart, the daughter of longtime former Flyers broadcaster Gene Hart, sang "God Bless America," alternating lyrics with Kate Smith, who was on a video image. Smith's rendition of the song has been a rallying anthem for the Flyers since the mid 1970s.
NOTES: The Flyers are in their eighth Stanley Cup final. They have lost five straight series since winning consecutive titles in 1974 and 1975.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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