The Bruins and Flyers are back at it in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Friday, and with the B’s up 3-0 in the series, they have a chance to sweep the Flyers and advance to the conference finals for the first time since 1992.
The Bruins are 16-0 all-time when leading a best-of-seven series 3-0. Of those 16 series, they have closed in a four-game sweep on 12 occasions (including the 1977 semifinals against Philadelphia), they have won in five games twice, they have gone to six games once and they were extended to the full seven games once (in the 1939 semifinals against the New York Rangers).
If history is to repeat itself, it’s time to pull out the brooms, because the Flyers have an 0-6 record when trailing 3-0 in a best-of-seven series.
Boston Bruins (3-0-0) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (0-3-0)
Game 4, Eastern Conference semifinals
May 7, 2010, 7 p.m. (Versus)
Wachovia Center, Philadelphia
The Bruins lead the series 3-0 after a 4-1 win in Game 4 on Wednesday.
The Bruins beat the Flyers 3-2 in overtime in the 2010 Winter Classic and were 2-1-1 against them this season. The Bruins' other win over the Flyers was a 5-1 victory at Philadelphia on March 11. Philadelphia won 4-3 in a shootout at the Wachovia Center on Oct. 22 and 3-1 at the TD Garden on Dec. 14.
The Bruins and Flyers are meeting in the playoffs for just the fifth time in their postseason histories, and for the first time since 1978. Each team has won two of the previous four series, which all took place over a five-year span in the 1970s (1974, 1976, 1977, 1978).
Tuukka Rask is 7-2 with a 2.18 GAA and a .928 save percentage in the postseason. Rask recorded his fourth straight postseason win on Wednesday, a streak that began with Game 6 of the quarterfinals against Buffalo. That matches his longest win streak of the regular season (Nov. 19-25 and Feb. 7-13). Rask has now won seven of his last eight postseason games. During the regular season, he was 22-12-5 with a league-leading 1.97 GAA and a .931 save percentage to go with five shutouts.
Tim Thomas has not played in the playoffs so far. During the regular season, he was 16-18-8 with a 2.55 GAA, a .915 save percentage and five shutouts.
Brian Boucher is 4-4 with a 2.31 GAA and a .916 save percentage in the playoffs. Boucher was 9-18-3 with a 2.76 GAA and a .899 save percentage in the regular season. He had one shutout.
Johan Backlund entered Game 3 for just 1:24, essentially to give Philly an extra timeout in the third period. He was 0-1-0 with a 3.00 GAA and a .917 save percentage in the regular season.
Daniel Paille–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Milan Lucic–Vladimir Sobotka–Miroslav Satan
Blake Wheeler–Marc Savard–Michael Ryder
Steve Begin–Trent Whitfield/Brad Marchand–Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara–Johnny Boychuk
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Andrew Ference–Mark Stuart*
*Stuart has not yet been ruled as a definite, but Claude Julien said Adam McQuaid was "very doubtful" for Game 4.
Dan Carcillo–Mike Richards–Claude Giroux
Scott Hartnell–Danny Briere–Ville Leino
James van Riemsdyk–Darroll Powe–Jared Ross
Andreas Nodl–Blair Betts–Arron Asham
Matt Carle–Chris Pronger
Kimmo Timonen–Braydon Coburn
Ryan Parent–Lukas Krajieck
*Note: Simon Gagne (foot) skated on Thursday and could play on Friday.
The Bruins have done an amazing job of staying within their system and refusing to be rattled by the things they can’t control. After losing David Krejci for the remainder of the playoffs due to a wrist injury, the B’s will need to continue to stay focused.
They will face a desperate Flyers team trying to stave off elimination on Friday, and they must do their best to match the initial wave of attack and momentum. The B's did that in Game 3 and can do it again.