Bruins-Flyers Live: B’s Clinch Eastern Conference’s Top Spot With 5-2 Win

BruinsFinal, Bruins 5-2: That’s it, and that’s all. The Bruins cruise to the 5-2 win and wrap up the first seed in the Eastern Conference in the process.

 Third period, 19:40, Bruins 5-2: Chris Kelly scores the empty-net goal.

Third period, 19:00, Bruins 4-2: The Philly net is empty.

Third period, 17:24, Bruins 4-2: The Bruins had multiple chances on the power play, but they just couldn’t bury the goal. David Krejci had the best chance, but his shot from the left wing rang the post.

Third period, 15:24, Bruins 4-2: The Bruins are getting their first power play of the game.

Claude Giroux just got called for slashing, and the Bruins get a crack on the power play.

Third period, 14:25, Bruins 4-2: Just like that, the Bruins have opened the lead to two goals.

The B’s just did a terrific job of entering the entering the offensive zone with speed and spacing, and David Krejci ends up with his second goal of the afternoon. He was able to tip a puck in front to give Boston the two-goal lead.

Third period, 13:54, Bruins 3-2: The Bruins are back in front.

Johnny Boychuk just hammered an absolute missile from the point after Patrice Bergeron won an offensive zone facoeff. Reilly Smith created traffic in front, and Boychuk’s blast beat Ray Emery gloveside.

Third period, 11:52, 2-2: The Bruins’ third line has been on its game so far in this one, and they almost found the back of the net for the third time.

Milan Lucic weaved with the puck into the Philly zone before hitting David Krejci with a centering pass. Krejci got a shot on goal, but Ray Emery made a nice save. That earned Emery some praise from his bench in the form of some stick taps on the boards in front of the bench.

Third period, 10:54, 2-2: Reilly Smith is going to get hot again at some point, but he continues to struggle to find the back of the net. Smith had a chance to score in front of the net with a loose puck in the crease, but he couldn’t quite get to the puck in order to shovel it by Ray Emery.

Third period, 8:00, 2-2: The Boston third line had a great chance right in the middle of the slot where Carl Soderberg was able to jump on a loose puck. He quickly put it back on net, but Ray Emery was able to get a leg on it.

Third period, 3:22, 2-2: The Bruins have come out firing here in the third period. They’ve already put four shots on goal in the opening minutes of the period.

Boston also had a real good scoring chance on a 4-on-2 that turned into a shot from Matt Bartkowski who took a pass from Johnny Boychuk.

Third period, 0:01, 2-2: The third period is underway, and it should be a good one.

End second period, 2-2: The second period has come to a close with the game tied 2-2.

The Bruins are now outshooting the Flyers 20-18 through the first two periods.

Second period, 16:21, 2-2: The game is once again tied.

Jay Rosehill just scored a nifty goal — perhaps the first time that’s been said — as he spun off of the goal line and then sneaked the puck around Tuukka Rask for the equalizer.

Second period, 14:55, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins have the lead again.

Milan Lucic just blasted a hellacious slap shot from the top of the slot that was hit so hard it almost went through the back of the net.

All it took was 19 seconds for the B’s to answer.

Second period, 14:36, 1-1: The Flyers have finally broken through. Philadelphia just scored its first goal in almost a week, as Wayne Simmonds got himself a power-play goal.

Simmonds snuck a backhander underneath Tuukka Rask to tie the game.

Second period, 12:43, Bruins 1-0: The Flyers just had a golden chance to score their first goal of the game, but Tuukka Rask was having none of that. Torey Krug’s stick broke as he tried to move the puck up the ice. The puck went right to Jakub Voracek, and Rask made a point-blank save on the Flyers forward.

However, the Flyers are going to get a power play out of it. Krug went back and tried to break up the play while doing so with a broken stick. That’s a penalty, so the Flyers will get another power play here in the second.

Second period, 10:44, Bruins 1-0: Shawn Thornton almost had his second fight of the game, but Scott Hartnell said no. The two got tangled in the corner with some pushing and shoving. Thornton went as far as to drop the gloves, but Hartnell just skated away.

Second period 8:23, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins just got a nice round of applause the game goes to a TV timeout, and it’s certainly deserved. That’s because the B’s first line just had a lengthy shift in the Philly zone.

Loui Eriksson is having a fine day up on that Bruins’ top line. The B’s have 11 shots on goal as a team, and Eriksson has five of them.

Second period, 6:18, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins have killed off the penalty to Patrice Bergeron and are back to even strength. The Flyers didn’t get much at all in terms of chances.

Second period, 4:11, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins will have to kill off another penalty. Patrice Bergeron was just called for interference after setting a pick on Kimmo Timonen in the Philadelphia zone.

Second period, 0:01, Bruins 1-0: The second period is underway.

End first period, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins will take the 1-0 lead to the dressing room as the siren just sounded on the first period at TD Garden.

The Flyers outshot the Bruins 9-8 in the first 20 minutes.

First period, 15:56, Bruins 1-0: Flyers goalie Ray Emery just got caught flopping around his crease, and the Bruins made him pay. Emery made a save on a couple of chances, but he and the Flyers couldn’t control the rebound.

That’s where David Krejci jumped in and wristed home the second-chance opportunity into a pretty open net.

First period, 14:58, 0-0: This has been a boring hockey game so far. That is all.

First period, 10:46, 0-0: Shawn Thornton just tried to spark the Bruins the best way he knows how, and that’s with his fists.

Thornton and Jay Rosehill just dropped the mitts in the neutral zone, and the two traded some big right hands with Rosehill probably getting the better of the fight.

First period, 10:43, 0-0: The Flyers have had the better of the chances so far, but Tuukka Rask looks sharp so far.

He’s stopped all five shots he’s seen including a couple of really nice pad saves. The B’s have done a good job of jumping on the rebounds off of those shots and making sure there were no second-chance opportunities in the slot.

First period, 8:00, 0-0: It took 7:21, but the Bruins have a shot on goal.

Milan Lucic entered the zone with speed and flipped a backhanded pass to a charging David Krejci. The puck was gathered by Krejci who put a shot on goal, but Ray Emery made the relatively easy save.

First period, 3:00, 0-0: The Bruins have killed off the Milan Lucic roughing penalty.

First period, 0:51, 0-0: The Flyers are getting an early power play.

Milan Lucic took exception to what he thought was a questionable hit from Zac Rinaldo. Lucic challenged Rinaldo to a fight, but Rinaldo declined, which led Lucic to do a little rough-housing. So much, in fact, that Lucic was handed a roughing penalty.

First period, 0:01, 0-0: The game is underway.

1:05 p.m.: Reilly Smith was named the 7th Player Award winner.

12:35 p.m.: The Bruins will be without Jarome Iginla and Kevan Miller, apparently. Neither player is on the ice for pregame warmups.

12:30 p.m.: Pregame warmups are underway, and Tuukka Rask will start of the Bruins opposite Ray Emery and the Flyers.

12:10 p.m.: Not a whole lot to gain from Claude Julien’s pregame media session. Julien did reveal, however, that Carl Soderberg will be back in the lineup. Not a huge surprise there, though.

Jordan Caron was walking around doing some work on a stick as well, which could mean he’s in the lineup today. Or it means nothing at all. We shall see.

11:35 a.m.: Bruins coach Claude Julien will meet with the media in about 15 minutes. Hopefully we’ll get some answers on what he plans to do with the lineup and whether anyone will sit down for a rest.

One player who’s back in the fold is winger Carl Soderberg. The Swedish forward returned to Boston on Thursday as his wife went into labor. The Soderbergs welcomed a baby girl into the world, Sophia. According to the proud father, everyone is healthy and doing well.

10:15 a.m.: With Saturday being one of the final home games of the season, the Bruins will continue a longstanding tradition before the game begins.

The 7th Player Award will be handed out prior to the game to the player who exceeded expectations this season. There are plenty of options, too. Here’s a look at a few.

Chad Johnson — The Bruins’ backup goaltender had a fine season, which was even more important given the jam-packed schedule, as well as the fact that starter Tuukka Rask played in the Olympics. Johnson is 17-3-2 with a .923 save percentage, 2.12 goals against average and a career-high two shutouts.

Carl Soderberg — Everyone knew that Soderberg could be a good player. He’s got size, strength and impressive offensive skill, but with only six regular-season games uner his belt entering the season, you weren’t sure what you would get. Soderberg has been splendid, though, especially after moving to the third-line center position. He’s played in 68 games this season and has 16 goals to go along with 30 assists. He’s been really good on the power play, too, as an anchor of the team’s second unit. He’s totaled five goals and nine assists on the man-advantage this year.

Reilly Smith — Just about everyone’s pick midway through the season would be Smith. The young forward hit the ground running after coming over from Dallas in the Tyler Seguin trade last summer. Smith has 19 goals and 30 assists in his first full NHL season despite the fact that he’s only scored twice in his last 24 games.

Jarome Iginla — It’s hard to imagine that a player who entered the season with 530 career goals could end up “exceeding expectations,” but Iginla may have done that in his first season with the Bruins. He has a team-high 30 goals to go along with 31 assists, and that came after he was held without a goal until the team’s ninth game. The first star of the Bruins’ month of March, Iginla might benefit from a late push as voting came to an end.

9 a.m.: This is, quite truly, the home stretch.

The NHL regular season ends one week from Sunday, and the Boston Bruins will play five games in the season’s final eight days. That stretch begins Saturday afternoon where the Bruins will take on the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden.

The rivalry matchup marks Philly’s first and only trip to Boston this season. The two teams have met twice in Philadelphia, which includes the Bruins’ 4-3 shootout win last Sunday. The B’s also beat the Flyers 6-1 way back on Jan. 25.

The win Sunday wrapped up a dominant month of March for the Bruins in which they went 15-1-1, including a 12-game winning streak. They’ve equaled those two losses in April already, as the B’s have lost twice since the calendar flipped. Boston dropped a regulation decision to Detroit on Wednesday and then fell to Toronto in overtime on Thursday. Those two losses haven’t done much to affect anything standings-wise for the Bruins. They’re still in line to clinch the top spot in the Eastern Conference, and they are tied with St. Louis for the most points in the league, although the Blues do have a game in hand.

The upstart Flyers are also pretty much locked into the playoffs. They’re currently sitting in third place in the Metropolitan Division, but a strong finish could catapult them into second place. They trail the Rangers by just four points, with two games in hand. If Philly is able to overtake the Rangers for the second spot, the Flyers would earn home-ice advantage in that series. Of course, the Flyers could still fall into a wild card spot — or even miss the playoffs — should they collapse in the season’s final week, so every game is still really important to Craig Berube’s bunch.

The Flyers have struggled lately, too. They’re just 1-3-2 in their last six games and have been shut out in their last two games. The Flyers haven’t scored since Vincent Lecavalier scored the game-tying goal in the final minute against the Bruins last weekend.

Puck drop is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Garden.

Yardbarker

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