Bruins Live Blog: B’s Rally for 2-1 Win in Philadelphia to Clinch Playoff Berth

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March 27, 2011

Bruins Live Blog: B's Rally for 2-1 Win in Philadelphia to Clinch Playoff Berth Final, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins hold on for the win in Philadelphia, bouncing back from Saturday's setback and officially clinching a playoff spot.

The Bruins finish the season 3-0-1 against the Flyers. Doesn't make up for last spring's collapse, but that success against the East's top seed will help restore a little confidence as Boston gets ready to head back to the postseason.

The Bruins will likely be a top three seed themselves, as they now have a seven-point lead over Montreal for the Northeast Division lead, and Boston still has a game in hand on the Habs.

The Bruins return to action back at the Garden on Tuesday when the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks pay their only visit of the season.

Third Period, 18:56, Bruins 2-1: Matt Carle saves a goal behind Boucher, denying Horton as Boucher loses his stick before heading to the bench for the extra attacker.

Third Period, 16:17, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins come through on the man-advantage again, with Brad Marchand giving Boston its first lead of the night.

Marchand banged home a rebound at the top of the crease after Dennis Seidenberg sent in a shot from the right point. Mark Recchi picks up the second assist on the play to tie Paul Coffey for 12th place all-time in career points.

Third Period, 15:33, 1-1: The Bruins with a huge chance here, as Mike Richards goes to the box for betting his stick up on Tomas Kaberle. The Bruins' power play has looked better of late, including producing their only goal in this one, and another conversion here would make up for a lot of past struggles on the man-advantage. 

Third Period, 11:20, 1-1: The Bruins almost with a chance for the go-ahead goal as Horton finds Krejci behind the defense, but he runs out of room at the left post.

Third Period, 8:50, 1-1: The Bruins with a rare odd-man break, but Scott Hartnell gets back to break up Mark Recchi on the 3-on-2 and Boucher gets the whistle in a scramble in front.

Third Period, 6:05, 1-1: The fourth line gets some momentum going back Boston's way, with Shawn Thornton having the chance in front. The Bruins' energy line has been adept all year at giving the club a lift when needed.

Third Period, 4:08, 1-1: Thomas with another big save as Jeff Carter has a bid from the left slot. Thomas makes another stop and gets the whistle as the Flyers continue to press here in the third.

Third Period, 2:27, 1-1: The Bruins are back on their heels with some sloppy play in their own zone, including a bad turnover in deep by Seguin.

Third Period, 0:00, 1-1: The final frame is under way, with the Bruins looking to pull out a key win and clinch a playoff berth.

Second Intermission Notes: The Bruins found their game in the second and started to take it to the Flyers, scoring the equalizer and coming close on several other opportunities.

The Bruins had a 14-7 edge in shots in the second and lead that category 24-17 overall. That could be even higher, but less than half of Boston's shot attempts have found the net with 14 attempts blocked and 12 missing. The Bruins have allowed some odd-man breaks the other way with the chances they've taken offensively, but Tim Thomas has come up big when necessary. he denied Kris Versteeg on a clean breakaway and Andrej Meszaros when the defenseman broke in alone in front.

Tyler Seguin has been much more involved in this one. He is a minus-1 in 9:58, but he's created a few real good chances and has three shots, a takeaway and even a hit. Daniel Paille has been more quiet in his return to the lineup with no shots or hits in 7:56.

End Second Period, 1-1: Forty minutes in the books now. Much better period for the Bruins who pulled even on the power play, while Thomas made some key saves, including one on a 3-on-2 rush in the final seconds of the frame.

Second Period, 17:58, 1-1: The Flyers are now starting to reassert themselves a bit and are creating some chances, most notably Jeff Carter nearly sneaking in for a chance in front.

Second Period, 14:45, 1-1: Just as they did on Saturday, the Bruins have turned up their play after a slow start. the difference in this one is they didn't wait until the third period and have pulled even and are now carrying the play in the second. The shots are 11-5 in Boston's favor this period.

Second Period, 10:41, 1-1: The Bruins stay on the attack with the makeshift line of Tyler Seguin, Daniel Paille and Greg Campbell playing together and creating some chances in low. Best shift of the night so far from Seguin, who continues to show flashes of his skill. He just needs to find a way to add some consistency to his game.

Second Period, 7:40, 1-1: The Bruins need just four seconds on the power play to tie it as Nathan Horton bangs in a rebound from the top of the crease.

Tomas Kaberle had the initial shot from the right point off the faceoff win by David Krejci. They each pick up an assist on Horton's tally.

Second Period, 7:36, Flyers 1-0: Nasty looking hit as Blair Betts upends Chris Kelly with a leg-on-leg check at the Bruins' blue line. The Bruins will go on the power play as Betts is sent off for tripping, but the bigger concern is for Kelly, though he was able to skate off on his own and remained on the bench.

Second Period, 5:44, Flyers 1-0: Thomas with another big stop, this time on Andrej Meszaros. the Flyers defenseman broke in alone after Boychuk stepped up for a big hit, leaving the left side wide open for Meszaros to drive to the net.

Second Period, 3:28, Flyers 1-0: The Bruins come within inches of tying it up, but Zdeno Chara's shot clangs off the crossbar.

Second Period, 1:09, Flyers 1-0: The Flyers nearly make it 2-0 as Versteeg is sent in all alone by a great feed by James van Riemsdyk, but Thomas comes up with the huge save.

Second Period, 0:22, Flyers 1-0: The Bruins successfully kill off the rest of that power play and the sides are back at even strength.

Second Period, 0:00, Flyers 1-0: The middle frame is under way in Philadelphia, with the Flyers holding a one-goal lead and starting this frame with 22 seconds left on their first power-play chance.

First Intermission Notes: The Bruins couldn't afford another slow start after Saturday's loss, but neither Boston nor Philadelphia has exactly come out blazing in this one.

The Flyers did score the game's lone goal though in a surprisingly quiet clash between these usually rambunctious rivals. The shots are even at 10-10 and the Flyers have a slight 10-9 edge in hits. It didn't seem like a game with 19 hits though, although Kris Versteeg did level Mark Recchi late in the period. Versteeg, who was originally drafted by Boston, also had the goal in a strong period for him.

After having 29 shots blocked by the Rangers, the Bruins has six more blocked in the first period of this game.

End First Period, Flyers 1-0: The first period is in the books, with  the Flyers taking a one-goal lead into the break. They'll also have another 22 seconds of power-play time at the start of the second.

First Period, 18:22, Flyers 1-0: The Bruins will be shorthanded for the first time as Bergeron is called for hooking. Brad Marchand stirs the pot after the whistle, creating a bit of a scrum in the first real sign of any emotion in this game so far.

First Period, 17:16, Flyers 1-0: Blair Betts beats Tomas Kaberle to create a 2-on-1 break. Seidenberg cuts off the pass and Thomas makes the save on Betts' shot from the right circle to keep it a one-goal game.

First Period, 15:55, Flyers 1-0: Not much physical play in this one yet, very unusual for the Bruins-Flyers matchup. That may be a reflection of a lack of energy with both teams playing for a second straight night.

First Period, 11:57, Flyers 1-0: The Bruins can't convert that power-play chance. Bergeron had one decent bid from out by the blue line, but Darroll Powe also had a chance shorthanded for the Flyers.

First Period, 9:57, Flyers 1-0: The Bruins get the first power-play chance of the night as Versteeg is sent off for holding Johnny Boychuk deep in the Boston zone.

First Period, 7:36, Flyers 1-0: Bergeron has a chance at the top of the crease off a feed from Marchand behind the net, but even in close he can't get the shot on net as former Bruin Nick Boynton blocks the shot.

The Bruins had 29 shots blocked by Rangers defenders on Saturday. They need to find was to get pucks through to Boucher in this one.

First Period, 4:45, Flyers 1-0: For the second straight day, the Bruins fall behind on an early goal.

This time it was one-time Bruins prospect Kris Versteeg scoring at the left post off a feed from the high slot from Mike Richards to give the Flyers the quick lead.

First Period, 2:10, 0-0: Good back-and-forth action in the first couple of shifts. Bruins look to have more jump out of the gates in this one than they did early against the Rangers on Saturday.

First Period, 0:00, 0-0: And this one is under way, as the Bruins and Flyers meet for the final time this season unless they clash again in the playoffs.

7 p.m.: The Bruins will open this one with the line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi, with Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg on defense ad Tim Thomas in goal.

The Flyers counter with Scott Hartnell, Danny Briere and Ville Leino up front, Andrej Meszaros and Matt Carle on the blue line and Brian Boucher in net.

6:55 p.m.: The scratches are official, and Daniel Paille is back in the lineup, with Michael Ryder taking a seat in the press box along with defensemen Steven Kampfer and Shane Hnidy.

Ryder has just one goal in his last 19 games (0 in his last 11) and only three shots in his last four games. he's struggled in a fourth-line role and hasn't played well enough of late to play on a higher line, leading to this decision.

The Flyers have scratched Nikolay Zherdev again along with injured defensemen Chris Pronger (hand) and Oskars Bartulis (shoulder) and enforcer Jody Shelley (orbital bone).

6:40 p.m.: As expected, it will be Tim Thomas in goal for the Bruins in this one, with Brian Boucher starting for Philly.

Both goalies had Saturday off as Tuukka Rask and Sergei Bobrovsky played, so both starters will be well rested for this matchup.

Daniel Paille also skated in warm-ups for the Bruins. That's no guarantee he'll be back in the lineup as he often took warm-ups on night he was scratched earlier in the season, but he has not participated in warm-ups in recent games so it could be an indication Claude Julien is ready to make a lineup change. Slumping Michael Ryder could be the odd man out if Paille plays.

6:30 p.m.: One key for the Bruins will be how they come out at the start of this one. A slow start coming off Thursday's emotional win over Montreal cost the Bruins against the Rangers on Saturday, as their late push in the third wasn't enough against the Rangers.

Getting up early is important for a couple other reasons as well. The Bruins play much better from ahead and the potential for some questionable ice conditions after a basketball game at the Wells Fargo Center this afternoon might make it difficult to get things going late as the ice deteriorates.

6:20 p.m.: The Bruins aren't in any danger of not qualifying for the postseason, but they can make it official on Sunday. With a win in this game, Boston will clinch a playoff spot.

There's still plenty to be decided as far as seeding, however, and the Bruins will continue to push to lock up the Northeast Division crown and at least the No. 3 spot in the East. They got help Saturday from old friend Marco Sturm, who scored the winner in Washington's 2-0 victory at Montreal that kept the Canadiens five points behind the Bruins in that division race.

6 p.m.: The Bruins will look to bounce back from Saturday's loss to the Rangers when they take on the Flyers in Philadelphia in about an hour.

Both teams will be playing for the second time in as many nights, as the Flyers beat the Islanders 4-1 on Saturday.

How the clubs handle that workload will be something to watch. How the ice holds up after the 76ers played Sacramento at the Wells Fargo Center Sunday afternoon might be a bigger issue.

With the back-to-back games and building in use by the NBA, there was no morning skate and no indication on any lineup changes, but Tim Thomas is likely to be back in net after Tuukka Rask played Saturday.

9:45 a.m.: The Bruins couldn't build off the momentum of Thursday's dominant 7-0 win over Montreal when they were shut out themselves 1-0 by the Rangers on Saturday.

But Boston doesn't have to wait long to get a chance to start a new win streak, and the Bruins shouldn't have any problem summoning the emotion needed for Sunday's clash. They head to Philadelphia to face the team that ended their season in dramatic fashion a year ago.

The Flyers are looking pretty good this year as well, as they beat the Islanders 4-1 on Saturday to improve to 45-19-10 and became the first team in the Eastern Conference to reach 100 points this season.

"That's often a good thing," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of playing right away after Saturday's loss. "We don't have time to dwell on this one here. You got to turn the page. You win the big game [Sunday] in Philadelphia, and you've had a pretty tough week against some pretty good hockey clubs. If you can come out of there 3-1 for the week, it's been a pretty good week. So that's what we've got to focus on. Let's turn the page on this one here and hopefully be a better team tomorrow."

The Flyers won't be an easy team to beat. They've earned points in nine straight games since suffering a 7-0 loss against the Rangers on March 6. The Bruins have had success against them so far this year though, winning 3-0 in their first trip to Philadelphia on Dec. 1, picking up a point in a 2-1 overtime loss at the Garden on Dec. 11 and winning 7-5 in a wide-open affair in Boston on Jan. 13.

Sunday's matchup will be the clubs' final meeting of the year unless they meet up again in the playoffs, but it could serve as a good warmup to help the Bruins get ready for the intensity of the action they will soon face in the postseason.

"I think we just have to look at [Sunday] like we did the last few games," Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said after Saturday's loss. "You have to approach the game like a playoff game. Have the right mind-set, getting pucks deep, sticking to the program. Play a simple game, and most of the time, that's most effective."

The puck drops at 7 p.m., so check back here throughout the day for updates on all the action.

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