Bruins’ Season on the Line in Critical Game 7 Against Flyers

Bruins' Season on the Line in Critical Game 7 Against Flyers The Bruins welcome the Flyers to the TD Garden on Friday for a do-or-die Game 7 Friday night after blowing a 3-0 series lead in this Eastern Conference semifinal series. 

If the Bruins lose, they will become only the third team in NHL history to lose a best-of-seven series after having a three-game lead, joining the 1942 Detroit Red Wings and 1975 Pittsburgh Penguins. While the B's claim they’re not concerned with being on the wrong side of history, they simply don’t want their season to end.

"I don’t know about history and all that, really, but we just don’t want to be golfing after this game," said defenseman Dennis Wideman.

The TD Garden will be rocking on Friday. The question is, will the Bruins be ready to go, or ready to hit the links?

WHEN AND WHERE

Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Game 7, Eastern Conference semifinals
May 14, 2010, 7 p.m. (NESN)
TD Garden, Boston

HEAD TO HEAD

The Bruins and Flyers are tied 3-3 after a monster comeback by the Flyers, who once trailed 3-0.

The Bruins beat the Flyers 2-1 in overtime in the 2010 Winter Classic and were 2-1-1 against them this regular season, their other win coming 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 the 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)

GOALTENDING MATCHUP

Bruins
Tuukka Raskis 7-5 with a 2.49 GAA and a .916 save percentage. Rask made 25 saves in a 2-1 loss in Game 6 and has lost three straight for the first time since since he went 0-4-2 Jan. 4 through Feb. 6. During the regular season, Rask 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 yet played in the playoffs. He was 16-18-8 with a 2.55 GAA, a .915 save percentage and five shutouts this season.

Flyers
Michael Leighton is 1-0-0 with a 0.63 GAA and a .978 save percentage this postseason. Leighton relieved the injured Brian Boucher in Game 5 and made 14 saves. Leighton was 17-9-2 with a 2.83 GAA and a .903 save percentage in the regular season.

Johan Backlund has not played in the playoffs. He was 0-1-0 with a 3.00 GAA and a .917 save percentage this season.

Boucher is 6-4 with a 2.33 GAA and a .915 save percentage in the playoffs. Boucher was 9-18-3 with a 2.76 GAA and a .899 save percentage. He had one shutout.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Bruins
Forwards
Blake Wheeler–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Milan Lucic–Marc Savard–Miroslav Satan
Daniel Paille/Brad Marchand–Vladimir Sobotka–Michael Ryder
Steve Begin–Trent Whitfield–Shawn Thornton

Defensemen
Zdeno Chara–Johnny Boychuk
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Andrew Ference–Mark Stuart

Goaltenders
Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas

Flyers
Forwards
Simon Gagne–Mike Richards–Daniel Carcillo
Scott Hartnell–Danny Briere–Ville Leino
James van Riemsdyk–Claude Giroux–Arron Asham
Daroll Powe–Blair Betts–Andreas Nodl

Defensemen
Matt Carle–Chris Pronger
Kimmo Timonen–Braydon Coburn
Ryan Parent–Lukas Krajieck/p>

Goaltenders
Michael Leighton
Johan Backlund

STAT SHEET

Bruins

  • Dennis Wideman had an assist in Game 6, giving him assists in six of his last eight games. He is now tied with Patrice Bergeron for the team lead in postseason points with 11, which is the most by a Bruins defenseman in one playoff year since Ray Bourque led the club in postseason scoring with 25 points in 1991.
  • Milan Lucic had the Bruins’ lone goal in Game 6. He has four points in his last five games.
  • Zdeno Chara had an assist in Game 6 and now has four helpers in the playoffs. That was his first point since Game 3.

Flyers

  • Mike Richards had a goal and an assist in Game 6, extending his assist and point streaks to three games. He has a goal and three helpers during that span.
  • Simon Gagne had an assist in Game 6, extending his point streak to three games. He has three goals and an assist during that span.
  • Danny Briere had a goal in Game 6, extending his point streak to three games. He has four points during that span.

BLACK AND BLUE

Bruins

  • David Krejci is out for the playoffs with a dislocated right wrist suffered in Game 3.
  • Adam McQuaid suffered a lower-body injury in Game 3, and according to Claude Julien, he is day-to-day. He has skated the last three days.
  • Dennis Seidenberg had surgery for a lacerated flexor carpi radialis tendon in his left forearm in early April and is out for three to four more weeks. Seidenberg has skated recently but his timetable is still the same.
  • Marco Sturm suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee 21 seconds into Game 1 and will miss the remainder of the playoffs.

Flyers

  • Brian Boucher is out indefinitely after suffering a sprained left MCL in Game 5.
  • Jeff Carter is out indefinitely after foot surgery.
  • Mike Rathje is out for the season with hip and back injuries.
  • Ian Laperriere is out for the playoffs with a brain contusion and concussion.
  • Ray Emery is out for the season after hip surgery.

OUTLOOK

The Bruins played a much better Game 6 than Game 5, showing more heart and effort in their 2-1 loss. The problem is that this isn’t the time of year to be correcting your game. But, if the Bruins can build off their Game 6 effort, they should at least give themselves a chance to win.

Anything can happen in a Game 7, and right now — more than ever — the Bruins need a team-wide commitment to being at their best.

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