Flyers topple Canadiens, 4-2

Benching goalie Carey Price couldn't spark the Montreal Canadiens. Now Danny Briere and the Philadelphia Flyers are one win away from eliminating the Eastern Conference's top-seeded team.

Briere scored the winner on a rebound with 3:38 left to lift host Philadelphia to a 4-2 win last night for a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.


The Flyers, the worst team in the NHL last season, can eliminate the Canadiens in Game 5 on Saturday night in Montreal.

"We have to find a way to get it done," Briere said. "We have to go in there with a mind-set that it's Game 7."


The Canadiens gave Philadelphia a scare when Tomas Plekanec and Saku Koviu tied the score at 2 on goals 37 seconds apart late in the third period. Briere's eighth goal of the postseason was enough to send the Flyers to Montreal with a chance to win the series.

R.J. Umberger scored into an empty net in the final seconds, his second goal of the game.

Martin Biron was strong again in goal for the Flyers except for that one minute in the third period.

While the Canadiens can't settle on a No. 1 goaltender, Biron proved again he's capable of carrying the Flyers into May - and possibly beyond.

Sharks 2, Stars 1 -- Milan Michalek scored visiting San Jose's first power-play goal of the series with 16:34 left and the Sharks beat Dallas to avoid being swept in the Western Conference semifinals. Sharks captain Patrick Marleau had tied the game with another short-handed goal, getting one after a turnover by Sergei Zubov for the second straight game. Game 5 is tomorrow night in San Jose.

Off the ice

Rangers -- Forward Sean Avery has been hospitalized after lacerating his spleen during Tuesday night's 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Avery, whose spleen was not removed and isn't expected to need surgery, likely will be hospitalized for a few days, team spokesman John Rosasco said. Avery, 28, will be out for the rest of the season but is expected to make a full recovery. New York trails Pittsburgh 3-0 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series after Evgeni Malkin scored the winning goal on a power play. The Rangers can be eliminated tonight in Game 4. The Rangers went 33-14-10 with Avery in the lineup this season and 9-13-3 when he was injured.