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Flyers’ comeback now a thing of the past

Philadelphia finished celebrating; focus is now on Montreal

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VOORHEES, N.J. — After the Philadelphia Flyers finally fell asleep, following a history-making night in Boston, they were relieved to learn upon waking up that their incredible comeback against the Bruins really happened.

No alarm clocks ruined a dream. No jolt of reality spoiled what almost seemed too good to be true for the NHL's latest — and greatest — comeback kids.

Then they put it all behind them. Or so they said.

"We had our celebrations in the locker room," goalie Michael Leighton said Saturday of Friday's Game 7 win. "On the plane it was more just thinking about what we just did. It was kind of quiet, but you knew everybody was happy. I think everyone was just sitting back in their seat reading a book or listening to music or looking up at the ceiling on the plane thinking, 'What did we just do?' That was amazing."

The upstart Montreal Canadiens are all that stand between the Flyers and their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals since 1997. Philadelphia had only one day to shake off the aftereffects of Boston Game 7 before facing the Canadiens Sunday night.

"It's probably the hottest team right now and probably the most dangerous team left in the playoffs," Montreal forward Scott Gomez said Saturday before the Canadiens flew to Philadelphia. "You kind of wish they got a little break there because they're rolling right now."

The Flyers rallied from 3-0 down on Friday in Game 7 to win 4-3 — capping a comeback from 3-0 down in the series against Boston. Philadelphia is the third NHL team to wipe away such a deficit and win, and the fourth overall in major North American sports.

"When I got home (Friday) night, I turned the sports on and they had on a replay of the game," said forward Scott Hartnell, who scored Philadelphia's second goal. "They had 'God Bless America,' and I just kind of got chills watching it because I knew what the outcome of the game was. I didn't watch the whole game, although I probably should have."

Montreal, the NHL leader with 24 Stanley Cup titles, is in the conference finals for the first time since its last championship in 1993.

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: From early on this season, the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks seemed to be on a collision course to meet in the Western Conference final.

With 14 Olympians, seven gold medalists, two silver medal winners and plenty of other talented players, these two teams spent much of the season battling for the top spot in the conference.

The best-of-seven series opens Sunday in San Jose, all because the Sharks beat out the Blackhawks by one point for the top spot in the conference on the final weekend of the regular season.

This is just the sixth time since the current playoff format began in 1994 that the top two seeds reached the conference final.

Eastern Conference Finals

Game 1: Canadiens at Flyers

Today, 5 p.m.

TV: Versus

Western Conference Finals

Game 1: Blackhawks at Sharks

Today, 3 p.m.