Stars will be key for Flyers, Canadiens

Here is the latest installment of Ken Hitchcock's "What's the Hitch" analysis of the Eastern Conference Final, as the Flyers and Canadiens get ready for Game 3 Thursday in Montreal:

Philadelphia's "Hitch": Play a strong first period, continue tenacity on the forecheck.

First shift: "The first period will be key for the Flyers. They will want a strong push right away to offset the Canadiens and the Montreal fans. Philly hasn't played its best hockey in the first periods of this series. That will be important to tonight; you want to take the energy out of the Canadiens and the building."

Coach's eye for details: The Flyers' special teams have been terrific in Games 1 and 2. "You watch the game and you almost feel like you know when they will score on the power play."

Philly is paying more attention to Michael Cammalleri than either the Capitals or the Penguins in earlier rounds. Cammalleri got his shots in Game 2 but they were from the outside, nothing inside the faceoff circles.

Cammalleri is seeing a lot of Chris Pronger and Matt Carle. "This is best I've seen Carle play, ever. And Pronger discourages lots of good players every night."

Final period: "The Flyers scoring the first goal will raise the level of discouragement for the Canadiens. Along with that, Philadelphia needs to continue the tenacity of the forecheck. It has been effective in the first two games."

Montreal's "Hitch": Succeed on the power play.

First shift: "The Canadiens need to see rewards for their hard work. They need to score. It would be good to have success on the power play. They need to find a way to put even a seed of doubt into anything Philly is doing.

Coach's eye for details: Montreal played better minutes in the second game. They played well for 20 minutes in Game 1 and for about 35-40 minutes in Game 2.

Montreal needs to score first. If not, the energy of the team and the fans will go down.

Final period: "The next 30 minutes of play (the first half of Game 3) is going to determine the outcome of this series."