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01-25-2011, 11:48 AM
  #35
Opus
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Habs, Flyers prepare for grudge match
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The Philadelphia Flyers earned a small measure of revenge in their latest game, beating the team that denied them their first Stanley Cup in 35 years in a series where they were decided underdogs.

If they get back to the NHL's biggest stage this spring, they might be heavy favourites.

The Flyers can close January with 10 wins in 12 games and add to their league-best 32 victories Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET against the visiting Montreal Canadiens in both teams' final contest before the all-star break.

Philadelphia (32-12-5) knocked off Montreal in five games in last season's Eastern Conference finals, a most unlikely pairing of the conference's Nos. 7 and 8 seeds.

The Flyers were considered a major underdog against Chicago in the Stanley Cup finals and went on to lose in six games, but on Sunday they gave the Blackhawks a look at perhaps the NHL's most consistent team. Philadelphia bounced back from a 3-1 loss to New Jersey less than 24 hours earlier by winning 4-1 at the United Center behind two goals from Jeff Carter and four assists from Claude Giroux.

"It was obviously a big motivation factor for us," said Carter, who has six goals in his last seven games. "Before the game nothing needed to be said. We all knew what was going on today, so it was nice to come in and get a big win."

The Flyers improved to 9-2-0 this month and have turned a two-point deficit atop the Atlantic Division into a five-point lead over Pittsburgh. They're four ahead of Tampa Bay for the conference lead.

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