Laviolette coy, but points to Leighton

Updated: June 9, 2010, 3:28 AM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers coach Peter Laviolette did not announce his starting goalie outright, but hinted strongly at going back to Michael Leighton for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"Our goaltender has the best numbers in the playoffs. I didn't think I had to announce it," Laviolette told reporters during media availability Tuesday afternoon after practice.

After the news conference, the Flyers' Twitter page later announced that Leighton would start. However, shortly thereafter, the tweet was pulled and replaced by Laviolette's quote.

Leighton twice has been pulled in the Cup finals, including Sunday's Game 5 in Chicago, when he was blitzed with three goals on 13 shots in the final eight minutes of the first period.

"I talked to Lavie, and he wasn't really disappointed in the way I played. He was disappointed in the way the team played," Leighton said of the Game 5 performance. "He told me, 'We did it to shake up the team.' For me, there are a few things I would change. We went over the video, and there were some good things and some not-so-good things.

"You've just got to take the positives and erase the negatives and go from there," he said.

Brian Boucher stepped in during the loss and didn't do much better, giving up three goals on 14 shots.

"You just try to support each other, and that's it," said Boucher, whose 2.47 goals-against average is second best in the playoffs. "Both of us have to be ready, but in this case just support him and make sure he's feeling good about himself.

"From a personal standpoint, you'd love to be in there, but right now our main goal is worrying about getting a win and getting this thing back to Chicago," Boucher said.

Leighton was pulled in Game 1 of the finals after giving up five goals on 20 shots but started Game 2 and had a strong performance (two goals on 26 shots) despite a 2-1 loss.

Game 6 takes place Wednesday night at Wachovia Center, with the Blackhawks up 3-2 in the series.

"We've seen this story before," top defenseman Chris Pronger said. "I think he's [Leighton] the type of guy that can let things like that roll off him and just go out and be focused and be prepared. I'm not too worried about him. I don't think anybody else is, either."

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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