Canadiens serve up tasty win to ravenous fans

MONTREAL (Reuters) - The Montreal Canadiens served up a tasty win and a free heap of chicken wings for their fans with a 5-1 rout of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Three of their Eastern conference final.

After opening the best-of-seven series with back-to-back shutout wins on home ice, the burly Flyers stormed into Montreal looking ready to deliver a knockout punch.

But the Flyers hardly laid a glove on the Montrealers, who have found new life back home in La Belle Province where they can level the series at 2-2 with a Game Four win on Saturday.

Blanked in the first two contests, the speedy Canadiens pumped five goals past the Flyers' Michael Leighton to the delight of a ravenous sell-out crowd at the Bell Center.

The game ended with fans chanting "we want chicken wings, we want chicken wings" because a local restaurant chain dishes out free wings when Montreal scores five or more times.

"That's one game and we've got to turn the page and we know that we're going to have to be better on Saturday," Canadiens coach Jacques Martin told reporters following Thursday's win.

"You always have to analyze your team and look at what the strength of your hockey club is.

"You need to finish your check when the opportunity's there but at the same time you have to play within your strength.

"Speed and quickness is something that we have and we have to use."

Both Montreal and Philadelphia waited until the final day of the regular season to secure playoff spots and have scripted Cinderella runs through the postseason.

Montreal's march, however, has been particularly magical.

The eighth seeds rallied from 3-1 down to knock off the top seeded Washington Capitals in the opening round then pushed aside the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

But the two series decided in seven-game thrillers appeared to leave the Canadiens with little left in the tank for the Flyers, who won the opener 6-0 and then 3-0 in Game Two.

The timely scoring and spectacular goaltending of Jaroslav Halak -- the keys to the Canadiens' playoff success -- went missing in Philadelphia only to suddenly reappear Thursday.

Having failed to put a puck past Leighton in Philadelphia, the Canadiens drew first blood in Game Three, Michael Cammalleri scoring seven minutes into the opening period to end the journeyman netminder's shutout streak at 172 minutes.

"We needed to score, we needed to score to win," said Cammalleri. "But I think the result really drives the talk.

"But for us, we liked the way we played and we thought the goals were going to come."

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto; editing by Steve Ginsburg)