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Flyers look to win the East tonight in South Philadelphia

(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will try to secure a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals when they host the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals tonight at Wachovia Center .

After posting a 3-0 victory in Game 4 on Saturday, the seventh-seeded Flyers are now just one win away from winning this best-of-seven series and making their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals since 1997, when they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.

Meanwhile, the eighth-seeded Canadiens will try to stave off elimination, something they were able to do in the first two rounds. Montreal is 5-0 in elimination contests this postseason, having rallied from a 3-1 series deficit against Washington and also coming back from a 3-2 hole against Pittsburgh in Round 2.

The Flyers turned in a dominant performance in Saturday's Game 4 at Montreal, with Claude Giroux and Ville Leino each scoring in the second period to lift Philadelphia to the 3-0 decision. The Flyers rebounded nicely from a 5-1 thrashing in Game 3, a loss that ended a six-game winning streak.

"We've responded all year from disappointing losses, and tonight was no different," said Philadelphia captain Mike Richards. "I had full confidence that we would do that...we cycled, we didn't turn the puck over, and that's something we have to continue."

Giroux also added an empty-net goal in the late stages of regulation and he now has 16 points on eight goals and eight assists in this postseason.

Michael Leighton, coming off his first postseason loss in Game 3, needed to make just 17 saves to post his third shutout of the series. He is the first Flyers goaltender to notch three shutouts in one playoff series.

"It's nice any time you get a shutout, but I'm not really concerned about shutouts right now, I'm concerned about winning," Leighton said.

Philadelphia also welcomed back forwards Jeff Carter and Ian Laperriere to the lineup on Saturday. Carter had been out of action since April 20, when he broke his foot in Game 4 of the quarterfinals against New Jersey, while Laperriere, a fearless shot blocker, missed 10 games with a mild concussion and brain contusion after absorbing a slapshot versus the Devils.

Jaroslav Halak turned away 22 shots for Montreal, which is trying to get back to the Cup Finals for the first time since the Habs won it all in 1993.

"We have to win the next one," said Montreal forward Scott Gomez. "There is nothing else we can say. Good thing is we've got the experience and we're ready to do it, but we're going to have to be at our best to beat these guys, especially (on the road)."

Montreal has come back from 3-1 down to win a series twice in its history and both have come in the last six years. Before pulling off the feat in Round 1 against Washington, the Canadiens also mounted a big comeback in 2004 when it defeated Boston during the first round that year.

The Flyers are 18-2 all-time when leading a series three games to one. The last time they coughed up a 3-1 edge was in the 2000 conference finals against New Jersey.

Philadelphia and the Habs are battling for the East title despite being the bottom two seeds in the conference, marking the first time since the NHL adopted its current playoff format in 1994 that the seventh and eighth seeds in either conference are playing a series with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line.

The Flyers are 6-1 as the host in this year's playoffs after going 24-14-3 in Philadelphia during the regular season. Montreal, which will host Game 6 on Wednesday if it can win tonight, is 5-5 as the guest in this postseason.

The Flyers and Canadiens are meeting in the playoffs for the sixth time. Montreal won three of the previous five encounters, but Philly beat the Habs in five games the last time the franchises met in the 2008 conference semifinals. Prior to that, the previous two encounters were for conference titles, with Montreal earning a trip to the Cup Finals in 1989 -- two years after Philly beat them for the Prince of Wales Trophy in 1987.