End of game, Flyers win 2-1: Usually they say, "Seventh Heaven," but for the Bruins, this could easily be Seventh Hell! The Bruins have failed to eliminate the Flyers for a third straight time, losing 2-1 in Game 6. They will host the Flyers in Game 7 on Friday at 7 p.m. at the TD Garden.
Michael Leighton made 29 saves in his first ever playoff start and his first start since March 16, while Mike Richards and Daniel Briere lit the lamp to give the Flyers a chance at history in Game 3. Milan Lucic had the lone goal for the Bruins, who now have only that goal to show since Mark Recchi tied Game 4 with 31 seconds left in regulation.
Tuukka Rask had a great bounce back game making 27 saves but his teammates couldn't get it going in front of him. The B's played better but not good enough and now they just seem down and out. They need to find some way to dig deep and do what they did to get to that 3-0 series lead. They've proven they have heart and resilience, but now they must combine that with their skill and talent — or whatever is left in that department with Marco Sturm and David Krejci out.
The TD Garden will be rocking on Friday, but the Bruins need to keep it rocking into the next round. If they can, their archrivals, the Montreal Canadiens await and the Bruins would have home advantage in the Eastern Conference finals. But that's far from reality right now as the Bruins could become only the third team to blow a 3-0 series lead and the Flyers would host the Habs instead.
Third period, 1:00, Flyers 2-1: Milan Lucic just cut the Flyers' lead in half giving the Bruins their first goal in 134:12. Dennis Wideman and Zdeno Chara get the helpers. The Bruins have some life, at least.
Third period, 1:59, Flyers 2-0: The Bruins have called a timeout and probably wish they could go back in time right now. They look dumbfounded right now as they are about to find themselves in a do-or-die Game 7 at the TD Garden on Friday.
Third period, 7:21, Flyers 2-0: Tuukka Rask just kept the Bruins in the game, stopping Ville Leino on a penalty shot. Rask and Leino are actually from the same town in Finland, Savonlinna. Rask got the best of him this time, but right now the Flyers are getting the best of the Bruins and are about to force Game 7.
Third period, 7:21, Flyers 2-0: Ville Leino was just awarded a penalty shot.
Third period, 8:21, Flyers 2-0: The Bruins are on the verge of playing a Game 7 on Friday, and if they lose, it would put them in the unwanted company of the 1942 Detroit Red Wings and 1975 Pittsburgh Penguins, the only other NHL teams to blow a 3-0 series lead.
Third period, 11:35, Flyers 2-0: The Bruins failed to convert on that last power play but just after it ended, Michael Ryder hit the post. The Bruins have hot two posts tonight and just can't buy a goal.
Third period, 14:45, Flyers 2-0: Matt Carle is off to the sin bin for tripping and the Bruins have their fourth power play. They're 0-for-3.
Third period, 17:02, Flyers 2-0: The Bruins need another Mark Recchi miracle here. But this time they need to finish it off.
Third period, 19:27, Flyers 2-0: Daniel Briere just got called for hooking as the final period began and that nullifies the Flyers' power play.
End of second period, Flyers 2-0: The Bruins have now been held scoreless since the third period of Game 4 and trail 2-0 as we head to the final frame. If the Flyers hold on, they will be on the verge of history, having the chance to become only the third team to comeback from a 3-0 series deficit. If the Bruins don't want to be on the wrong end of history, they better start finding the twine very soon.
The Bruins actually matched the Flyers' intensity in that period and really had some great chances. But they unraveled in the final five minutes, taking some bad penalties and the Flyers made them pay on the Daniel Briere power-play goal.
What's scary right now is that the majority of the Bruins' veteran leaders are playing well and doing what they have to. But one leader that isn't leading right now is Marc Savard, as he continues to get distracted by the Flyers' instigating tactics. He needs to just play his game and ignore them.
Second period, 26.6, Flyers 2-0: The Flyers fans are cheering in response to the Habs just eliminating the Penguins and now their team has another power-play to close out the second period.
Second period, 3:40, Flyers 2-0: The Flyers just got closer to a Game 7 as Daniel Briere scored a power-play goal, roofing it glove side on Tuukka Rask. Mike Richards gets his second point of the night with the primary assist and Claude Giroux gets the other helper.
Second period, 3:59, Flyers 1-0: Chris Pronger just took a penalty and made it a bit easier on the Bruins.
Second period, 4:11, Flyers 1-0: Just when the Bruins looked like they had settled into the game, they are unraveling late in the second period. Daniel Paille just joined Marc Savard in the sin bin and it's 5-on-3.
Second period, 4:45, Flyers 1-0: Just a brutal power play by the Bruins, and Marc Savard ends up in the box for high-sticking.
Second period, 6:34, Flyers 1-0: The Bruins are going on their first power play and it's thanks to a great shift by the fourth line. Trent Whitfield beat Michael Leighton but hit the post. Still, the Bruins are really wearing down the Flyers now.
Second period, 9:30, Flyers 1-0: The Bruins have to be much happier with their effort tonight as opposed to Game 5. They are forechecking and they are taking it to the net, pressuring the rusty Michael Leighton. Speaking of pressure, the Penguins are under tons of it right now as the Habs lead 5-2 with under 10 minutes left in the game. Wow!
Second period, 10:01, Flyers 1-0: That was some great pressure by the Milan Lucic-Marc Savard-Miro Satan line, and the Bruins are starting to take it to the net.
Second period, 13:51, Flyers 1-0: The Flyers haven't let down their guard at all and they're still bringing their best, but the Bruins are now matching that intensity. Tuukka Rask is on his game and the B's are now feeding off the confidence he exudes out there. We could be in for a classic here folks. Buckle up!
Second period, 16:05, Flyers 1-0: The Bruins just got caught in a line change and the the Flyers brought it back quickly with Mike Richards getting a great shot off. But Tuukka Rask was there once again and the Bruins still trail by only one.
Second period, 17:46, Flyers 1-0: The Bruins have carried that momentum from the end of the first period into the second with some great shifts and scoring chances as we start the second period.
End of first period, Flyers 1-0: The Bruins played a great final three minutes of the opening frame after being dominated through the first 17. They trail 1-0 after one period but they appear to have found their game again and bring some momentum into the intermission.
With just under three minutes to go, Zdeno Chara brought the puck deep into the zone and showed some nifty stick-handling to keep the puck in the Flyers' zone. The Bruins cycled it around for a while creating some chances, and while they were unable to score, they showed that they can control the play and need to do it more in the second period.
The majority of that period looked like the Bruins were just trying to weather the storm, and while trailing 1-0 isn't bad, they have to stop sitting back and must attack. They need to bring the energy the other way and stop letting the Flyers get scoring chances at will. If not for Tuukka Rask, the Bruins could be down 3-0 and the tickets could be sold for Game 7 already. But Rask was stellar once again and his teammates need to return the favor now.
First period, 4:58, Flyers 1-0: The Bruins killed off that last Flyers power play, but they can't keep depending on the penalty kill, nor can they just hope Tuukka Rask saves the day. The B's have only four shots on net and have basically made this easy for Michael Leighton, who is starting his first game since March 16 and faced only 14 shots after relieving Brian Boucher in Game 5.
First period, 8:58, Flyers 1-0: The Bruins are going to be shorthanded thanks to a Mark Stuart elbowing penalty. This could get ugly really fast. The Bruins look like they are nervous again and are just trying to keep up with the buzzing Flyers.
First period, 13:02, Flyers 1-0: Mike Richards just buried the puck into an empty net with a sprawled-out Tuukka Rask on the ice. The Bruins were scrambling around and Rask couldn't bail them out (nor should he have to) as the Flyers just peppered him with chances.
Simon Gagne and Daniel Carcillo got the helpers. The Bruins better get it together quickly here and maintain composure.
First period, 16:14: Tuukka Rask looks very sharp early, but the Bruins need to pick it up in front of him.
First period, 18:07: Under way in the first period of Game 6, and the Wachovia Center is rocking! The Bruins need to quiet the fans with a quick goal.
8 p.m.: For all those that have been at the TD Garden throughout the playoffs, you may have noticed that the Bruins have come out onto the ice to "Cochise" by Audioslave. So let's start off the night right. Game 6 up next!
7:55: Almost ready for faceoff at the Wachovia Center, where the Bruins will try for the third time to finish off the Flyers and not put themselves in the position to be only the third team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 series lead. If they can do that, they may find themselves in a hockey traditionalist's dream matchup, as the Habs are leading the Penguins 2-0 after one in Game 7 of that series. Here are the lineups for Game 6:
Milan Lucic–Marc Savard–Miroslav Satan
Wheeler–Vladimir Sobotka–Michael Ryder
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Gagne–Mike Richards–Daniel Carcillo
James van Riemsdyk–Claude Giroux–Arron Asham
Powe–Blair Betts–Andreas Nodl
Kimmo Timonen–Braydon Coburn
6:20 p.m.: Thanks to NESN Bruins rink side reporter Naoko Funayama for pointing out that it is Johnny Bucyk's birthday today. Therefore, the Bruins should win Game 6 for "The Chief," who is their traveling secretary and, of course, a Hall of Famer both on and off the ice!
6 p.m.: If you're a hockey fan and you have a way to watch both the Bruins-Flyers Game 6 and Habs-Penguins Game 7, you're in for a treat. This scribe is definitely pulling for the Habs and Bruins because there is nothing like Habs-Bruins, and seeing those two compete for the right to play for the Stanley Cup would be amazing! But first, the Bruins must get by the Flyers, and if they want to do it tonight, then — as NESN's Kathryn Tappen pointed out — they have to stop feeling like they are the ones trailing the series.
"Hard to explain, or to find the words for it," captain Zdeno Chara said after Game 5. "We are not playing with the composure that we did in the first round. All of a sudden, it’s tough for us to make plays."
But Mark Recchi probably put it best when he said the following:
"Good lesson for us. They came in, they slapped us in the face. Now we have to go there and realize this is a series now."
1:40 p.m.: The Bruins and Flyers had optional skates at the Wachovia Center today in advance of Game 6 tonight (8 p.m., NESN). The Bruins were very businesslike, according to good friend and colleague Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com and Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.
As we pointed out below, a good start is imperative for the B's in Game 6. Defenseman Mark Stuart said as much after the skate on Wednesday.
"We need to come out hard," Stuart told the media "We need to establish our game right away. I think the first goal is going to be important. If we get that it will be nice. We're obviously not happy with our last game. We're going to be a lot better tonight. There's some things that we talked about that we can remedy for sure."
Over in the Flyers' dressing room, defenseman Chris Pronger was marveling and joking about how the Flyers have got this far with a revolving door between the pipes.
"Well, I've never seen this type of situation where you have a starter and have another starter, then another," Pronger joked with the media. "Then you go back to the other starter and go back to your third guy, who's now the second guy, who became your first guy, who was your cousin's brother's sister's friend."
Mike Morreale of NHL.com tells the rest of Pronger's take on that and the team's resilience here. Also in that great series blog by Morreale and fellow NHL.com scribe John McGourty is a piece on the 1942 Maple Leafs, who are one of only two teams to come back from a 3-0 series deficit when they beat the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Flyers, of course, are trying to become the third team to accomplish the feat.
Also of note, CSNPhilly.com is reporting that Flyers forward Claude Giroux, who suffered an upper body injury when he was hit from behind by Steve Begin, will play in Game 6. Be sure to checkout a great piece on Michael Leighton by my friend Sarah Baicker.
8 a.m.: Instead of sitting at home and watching to find out who they're playing in the Eastern Conference finals, the Bruins are now entrenched in a desperate battle to get to the next round of the playoffs as they try to close out the series once more and put to rest a confident Flyers team.
The Wachovia Center will be rocking, but the Bruins need to just block it out or channel that energy to their advantage. They have proven to be a good road team, and there's no better time than now to take that raw energy from the crowd and counter it with a strong start. The Flyers fans voice their opinions openly and vocally, and if the Bruins give them something to be unhappy about, maybe things will spiral downward for the Flyers on the ice.
The B's do not want to go back to TD Garden in a Game 7, where anything can happen. The next time they play in front of their fans, they want it to be in the Eastern Conference finals against either the Penguins or the Habs.
"We didn't want a Game 6, so we don't want a Game 7 either," said defenseman Dennis Wideman. "We need to go out and get the job done."