"I sat on the bench for a quite a few," smirks the Philadelphia Flyers goalie. "I've seen different arenas for Game 7s, like when I was in Carolina last year. When you're in the net, it's a little bit different."
Leighton, who turns 29 on Wednesday, has emerged as one the of unlikeliest heroes in the Philadelphia Flyers' unexpected comeback, one that grew in proportions here Wednesday when the they forced a Game 7 against the Boston Bruins.
Leighton could join Turk Broda (1942 Toronto Maple Leafs) and Chico Resch (1975 New York Islanders) as the only goalies to win a Game 7 to fully extricate their teams from a 3-0 series deficit.
"We're not even thinking about that," Leighton told CSN Philadelphia. "We just wanted to get back in the series. Now we've got to finish it off."
Leighton's last seventh game appearance came as a member of the Albany River Rats, who faced the Flyers' AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, in first round of the 2008 Calder Cup playoffs. He dropped that game, 2-0.
"That's part of being in a Game 7," Leighton says. "You make one mistake and it can cost you. I think the main thing is that every guy has to his job. Collectively, you have to do it as a team."
He dressed for Game 5 of this second-round series for the first time since he suffered a high-ankle sprain on March 16, although the only shots anybody expected him to face would come in the warm-up.
That all changed when a resurgent Brian Boucher sprained both knees -- his left one severely -- in the second period. In came Leighton, who wasn't tested much en route to a 14-save performance.
Leighton also didn't have to be spectacular in his first career playoff start, as he stopped 30 shots in the Flyers' 2-1 victory. He received plenty of help from his teammates -- who blocked 30 shots -- and even was aided by the post on a Patrice Bergeron volley in the third period.
"I was a little bit [nervous] at the start of the game, at least for the first few minutes," Leighton says. "Then you [make] a couple saves and I saw how great our team was playing, so that kind of calms you down."
Still, Leighton's mind drifted back to his last start in Boston after Milan Lucic scored with a minute left in regulation to break Leighton's shutout streak that had reached 82 minutes, 43 seconds.
"The first thing that popped in my mind was the Winter Classic," says Leighton, who is in his second stint with the Flyers and with his fourth team overall since he broke into the league seven years ago. "We had a shutout going right 'til the end of the game and they scored there, too."
The difference was that outdoor game at Fenway Park on New Year's Day was that the Flyers -- who would lose that contest, 2-1, in overtime -- only had a one-goal cushion.
More than four months later and headed indoors, the stakes are just a bit higher this time as the Flyers seek entry into the Eastern Conference Finals to face the Montreal Canadiens.