End of game, Flyers win 4-3: The 2009-10 Boston Bruins just entered the history books for all the wrong reasons. The B's blew a 3-0 lead in Game 7 and in the series, becoming just the third team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 series lead. They also join the 2004 New York Yankees and become only the fourth team in pro sports history to accomplish the dubious feat.
Ironically, the Bruins were on the verge of playing the Habs in the conference finals for the first time since 1979. The Bruins lost that series thanks to a too many men on the ice call late in regulation. Tonight, the Flyers eliminated the Bruins on the same call when Simon Gagne scored with 7:08 left in regulation.
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Third period, :53, Flyers 4-3: The Bruins have called a timeout and pulled Tuukka Rask. This is it. Season on the line. What Bruins team shows up?
Third period, 4:46, 4-3: The Flyers deserve this series and the Bruins don't right now. That could change but you have to give credit where it's due.
Third period, 7:08, 4-3: Kind of at a loss for words here folks. The Bruins are trailing for the first time in Game 7 on a Simon Gagne power-play goal. Mike Richards and Ville Leino had the helpers.
Third period, 8:50, 3-3: Too many men on the ice on the Bruins. For all you Bruins historians, enough said.
Third period, 11:08, 3-3: Something else that is due, is a Bruins power play. Will we see one soon?
Third period, 13:38, 3-3: Mark Recchi has no shots in 11:04 and Patrice Bergeron has one in 13:44. Are they due?
Third period, 14:39, 3-3: Amazing action to start the final stanza here as we went 5:21 without a stoppage in play.
End of second period, 3-3: This Bruins team is just plain out baffling. How else to explain what just happened? The Bruins did everything right for the first 17 minutes of the game and then just stopped playing. The Flyers found their game and we head to the second intermission tied at three.
Where is the hitting, the desire, the hunger and urgency that the B's showed in those first 17 minutes? Just as it disappeared earlier in the series, leading to this Game 7, it vanished after the Bruins went up 3-0. For that reason, it's impossible to figure out how the remaining 20 minutes will go.
Second period, 3:04, 3-3: This game has gone the way of the series for the Bruins and the B's need to dig deep now.
Second period, 5:14, 3-3: The play will stand as no goal.
Second period, 5:14, 3-3: The Bruins survived another Flyers power play and barely made it to the next whistle as the Flyers almost scored on a major scrum in front of Tuukka Rask. Rask continues to fight the puck and doesn't look comfortable. Update: The play is under review.
Second period, 7:26, 3-3: The Bruins will be shorthanded for a second time Johnny Boychuk is in the sin-bin for hooking.
Second period, 9:31, 3-3: The Bruins are on their third power play after a Daniel Carcillo high-sticking call.
Second period, 11:21, 3-3: Daniel Briere's goal counts and this game is tied. Scott Hartnell gets the lone assist. Tuukka Rask is off tonight. That goal wasn't all his fault, but he looks out of position on most shots.
Second period, 11:21, 3-3: This place is suddenly quiet except for the few Flyers fans as the Flyers may have tied the game on a Daniel Briere goal. The play is under review.
Second period, 13:59, Bruins 3-2: Marc Savard just took a bad hooking penalty and the Flyers are going onto their first power play. This is the biggest penalty kill of the season for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask needs to be sharper here.
Second period, 17:11, Bruins 3-2: This game is far from over as Scott Hartnell just made it 3-2 Bruins, roofing one over a out of positioned Tuukka Rask. Ville Leino and Daniel Briere had the helpers.
Second period, 19:28, Bruins 3-1: Underway in the second period and as we originally thought, Mike Richards didn't get the assist on the Flyers' goal. Claude Giroux assisted on James van Riemsdyk's goal.
End of first period, Bruins 3-1: That was the Bruins best period of the playoffs in this scribe's view. They did everything right and everything they needed to in order to set the tempo for a game 7.
They were physical from the get-go, they scored first and they scored two more. The latter is huge because eventually, as they did, it would be natural for that initial burst of energy to wear off. But despite the Flyers getting a late goal, the Bruins have a two-goal cushion as they head to the dressing room and one has to wonder where this hockey has been for the last few games. Right now though, the only thing that matters is that it has arrived just in time to give the Bruins a chance to not become the third team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 series lead.
First period, 2:48, Bruins 3-1: Former UNH star James van Riemsdyk just broke the shutout here beating Tuukka Rask on a goal he might want back. The Bruins got a little sloppy but Rask could've had this one and the Bruins' lead is trimmed to two goals.
Mike Richards had an assist should get another for his two-hand slash on Dennis Wideman that the referee somehow missed.
First period, 5:50, Bruins 3-0: Milan Lucic just scored his second goal of the game (video) and it is delirium here at TD Garden as the Beastie Boys "Fight For Your Right To Party" is kicking on the PA system. The Flyers just took a timeout to settle down.
First period, 10:58, Bruins 2-0: If the Bruins hold on to win this game they should buy beers for Scott Hartnell and Daniel Briere as their bad penalties have helped the Bruins jump out to a 2-0 lead. Milan Lucic just scored the second power-play goal (video) of the game for the Bruins and the TD Garden is the loudest it has been since Game 6 against Montreal in 2008. Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Wideman got the helpers.
First period, 12:19, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins are headed onto their second power play as Daniel Briere is headed to the sin-bin for high-sticking. The Flyers seem rattled early and are losing their composure right now.
First period, 14:33, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins get the first power play of the night and they just made it count. Michael Ryder just made it 1-0 (video) early and the Bruins achieve their goal of using the crowd and getting the first goal. Zdeno Chara and Matt Hunwick, who drew the penalty from Scott Hartnell, get the helpers.
First period, 15:39: Underway here in Game 7 and non-stop action to start the game as the Bruins and Flyers went 3:21 without a stoppage in play. This place is electric!
7:05 p.m.: The TD Garden is starting to get loud and we're moments away from faceoff. Want to say a big hello to everyone reading this blog because they can't watch the game on TV, especially Brian Davis in Denver, CO. Thanks to all of you for reading and be sure to keep reading if the Bruins win Game 7!
7 p.m.: Greetings from TD Garden and Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series between the Flyers and Bruins. The building is filling up and should be rocking any moment. Daniel Paille is in and Brad Marchand out for the Bruins. Here's the lineups for tonight:
Blake Wheeler–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Milan Lucic–Marc Savard–Miroslav Satan
Daniel Paille–Vladimir Sobotka–Michael Ryder
Steve Begin–Trent Whitfield–Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara–Johnny Boychuk
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Andrew Ference–Mark Stuart
Simon Gagne–Mike Richards–Daniel Carcillo
Scott Hartnell–Danny Briere–Ville Leino
James van Riemsdyk–Claude Giroux–Arron Asham
Andreas Nodl–Blair Betts–Darroll Powe
Matt Carle–Chris Pronger
Kimmo Timonen–Braydon Coburn
Ryan Parent–Lukas Krajieck
1:30 p.m.: All was quiet in the Bruins dressing room this morning as Claude Julien told his players to stay home and rest or do whatever they may do to ease the nerves for Game 7.
But Julien addressed the media and said right now it's about his team, stepping up up when it counts. It doesn't have to be just the leaders like Zdeno Chara, everyone must do their part tonight if the Bruins are to welcome the Habs to TD Garden on Sunday for the Eastern Conference Finals.
In the coach's words:
"I don't know if it is even about momentum. For me tonight, it's about winning a hockey game and not regaining momentum. It doesn't matter. If you win, you move on. That's all we think about here, is winning the hockey game. And not worry what has happened in the past. Big players have to play big in the big game. In those kind of games, you go in there and hope someone is going to make a difference. Your best players are your role players. I just care that someone comes up big and does something big and something good for us. That is what you have to try and challenge your whole team. If you put it up just on your key players, then you are telling everyone else to just go out and play. We want everyone to be difference makers."
Who will be the hero for the Bruins in Game 7? Will it be a star like Marc Savard was in Game 1 or a role player like Shawn Thornton? After practice Thursday, Thornton was asked about how role players do seem to step up in Game 7 and become heroes like then rookie fourth liner Mike Rupp did for the Devils in Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup finals, scoring the Cup-clinching goal.
"Oh yeah, Mike Rupp, scored the game-winner … I would never take my equipment off again or may just hang it up then if I was him and had the money!" Thornton joked. "But yeah, our line is trying and sooner or later they're going to go in."
One of the heroes on the Flyers side in this series has been Simon Gagne and despite not skating Thursday and Friday, Gagne said he is fine and will play in Game 7.
"I'm OK. I didn't practice yesterday because it's just a practice," Gagne told CSNPhilly.com. "It gave me time between games to heal and get better. I will play tonight, and that's what I'm here for. Since I'm back it's getting better and I'm getting better every day and that's the way it is. You're going to have to play through pain in the playoffs. And I'm not the only one, and that's part of it. But for me now, like I said, the longer we're going to go in the playoffs, the better I'm going to feel."
8 a.m.: It all comes down to this. One game. Winner takes all. A Game 7. That is where, despite once leading this series 3-0, the Bruins find themselves as they head into Game 7 against the Flyers in this Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Boston's archrivals, the Montreal Canadiens, await in the Eastern Conference finals after knocking off the reigning two-time Hart Trophy champion Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, then Sidney Crosby and the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. All of a sudden, the Bruins are in a shockingly dubious position to become only the third team in NHL history — and the fourth in pro sports history — to lose a best-of-seven series after leading 3-0.
If the Bruins want to avoid that fate, they must dig deep and find what got them that 3-0 lead to begin with. They must remember how they overcame a season of ups and downs, adversity and heavy scrutiny from the media and fans. Now is the time to show that the last month-plus was not some fantasy but reality. Is this team for real? Can it stare down history and make its own, becoming the first Bruins team since 1992 to make the conference finals? Can it reward the Black and Gold faithful that have stood with the B's through thick and thin?
In the last three games, the Bruins have been beaten at the game they claim to be their identity. When GM Peter Chiarelli took over this team, he said he wanted a team that was "hard to play against." During his tenure, there have been great runs and intervals where that motto has rung true — but in the last three games of this series, the Bruins have been everything but. They need to give the Broad Street Bullies a taste of their own medicine.
To find out if the Bruins "Seize the Moment" or create an infamous moment in history, stay with us here for our live blog — and, of course, you can catch Game 7 live on NESN.
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