Niemi made 14 of his 32 saves in the final period and Chicago beat the
"It's unbelievable feeling how the people react," Niemi said as the crowd cheered him and chanted his name after the game. "Defense was the key."
After a 6-5 Chicago victory in the opener when the teams traded goals, both clubs tightened up their defense. The tone was more physical and chippy from the outset.
The Blackhawks, who for the second straight game got no points from their two young stars
And after the Flyers got a power-play goal from
"I thought their goaltender played extremely well in the third period. We had more than enough looks to tie up that game," Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said.
Games 3 and 4 will be played in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Friday.
Just 28 seconds later with the crowd still abuzz,
Philadelphia broke through with 1 second left on a power play when Gagne scored from the left circle.
Gagne nearly chipped in a tying rebound about 7 minutes later, but was denied by Niemi's pad in close.
Leighton, who was drafted by the Blackhawks and played parts of two seasons for them, got the nod despite being pulled in Game 1 after yielding five goals on 20 shots. He made 24 saves Monday night.
Trying to get more punch, the Flyers inserted forward
Carcillo replaced Gagne to start the game - Gagne later returned to the top line - and immediately began to mix things up. He took a run at Chicago's
The Flyers were called for their first penalty of the series with 5:12 left in the opening period, bringing out a loud roar from the crowd as the Blackhawks went on a power play for the first time in nearly 75 minutes. They couldn't score.
About three minutes later, Chicago went on another power play when there were three penalties called simultaneously - two on the Flyers with Carcillo being sent to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct.
But the Blackhawks couldn't convert, and the first period ended scoreless, quite a contrast from Game 1 when there were five goals in the opening 20 minutes. Outshot 17-9 in the first period of the opener, the Blackhawks had a 9-3 advantage in the rematch.
One of Chicago's best scoring chances came in front of the net as Toews tried to punch the puck in before he was wedged out by defenseman
Niemi used his right pad to stop Richards on a breakaway at 7:35 of the second, preserving the scoreless tie. And moments later, Leighton responded with a nice save on Duncan Keith in the slot after a good pass from Sharp.
Niemi then twice made stops on hard shots from Carcillo and another from Richards, but Leighton did the same against Hossa and Dave Bolland. One of Niemi's best stops came with a stretched-out glove save against
The Flyers had three leads in the opener, weren't called for a penalty, held Chicago's top line scoreless and still lost.