Final, Bruins 5-1: The Bruins have done it. No miracle comeback for the Flyers this time, as Boston completes the sweep it dramatic fashion, scoring four goals in the third period to roll into the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1992.
There was one negative on the night with the loss of Patrice Bergeron to an undisclosed injury early in the third period. No update on his condition was given after the game.
The Bruins will have some time to rest now before facing Tampa Bay in the conference final.
Third Period, 19:35, Bruins 5-1: Daniel Paille adds another empty-netter to stretch the lead further.
Third Period, 18:04, Bruins 4-1: Just as the "We Want Tampa" chants start up at the Garden, Brad Marchand provides the exclamation point with an empty-net goal to push the lead to three goals.
Third Period, 16:52, Bruins 3-1: The Garden is about as loud as it's ever been as the Bruins close in on closing out this series with a two-goal lead and just over three minutes to play.
Third Period, 15:03, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins add a huge insurance goal, as Nathan Horton makes a steal at the Flyers blue line and sends Milan Lucic in alone for his second goal of the playoffs.
Lucic had Chris Kelly with him, but took the shot himself at buried it from the top of the crease for the two-goal lead.
Third Period, 13:48, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins trying to hold on here to this one-goal lead with less than seven minutes to play and a short bench. The Flyers are spending a lot of time in the Bruins zone, but haven't had too many quality chances. They've managed just 19 shots all night.
Third Period, 12:00, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins have also shorted their bench on defense, going with a four-man rotation with Chara, Seidenberg, Ference and Boychuk basically playing the entire third period.
Third Period, 10:55, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins are basically rolling three lines now without Bergeron. Kelly has replaced him between Marchand and Recchi and the top line remains Krejci between Lucic and Horton. Campbell has moved up to the third line with Ryder and Peverley, with Paille getting slotted in for the occasional shift.
Third Period, 6:11, Bruins 2-1: Still no sign of Bergeron on the Bruins bench. Kelly is taking this shift with Marchand and Recchi as Claude Julien has been forced to shuffle all his lines.
Third Period, 2:42, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins like that sight a whole lot better, as they retake the lead on a blast from the right point by Johnny Boychuk.
Boychuk teed it up off a faceoff win in the Flyers end, with Rich Peverley providing the traffic in front. Michael Ryder gets the assist on the tally.
Third Period, 2:37, 1-1: Not the sight the Bruins wanted to see, as Patrice Bergeron is shaken up on a hit in the Boston zone. He heads straight to the locker room.
Third Period, 1:37, 1-1: The Bruins can't convert that power play and the sides are back at even strength deadlocked at 1-1.
Third Period, 0:00, 1-1: The final (?) frame is under way, with the Bruins looking to close out this series in four games. Detroit has already avoid a sweep with a 4-3 win over San Jose tonight, and the Bruins don't want to let the Flyers do the same.
Boston opens the third with 1:37 left on the power play, which would be huge to convert to retake the lead.
Brick Breaks Down the Game: Just spent a few minutes with NESN analyst Andy Brickley to get his take on what we've seen so far and what the Bruins need to do to pull out this victory and end the series in the third period.
Here's Brick's breakdown:
"The Flyers have been hanging around. [Sergei] Bobrovsky is actually competing tonight and the Bruins made two or three poor decisions and those mistakes finally cost them. [Johnny] Boychuk with that kick play at the blue line leads to a 2 on 1 and [Tim] Thomas came up with a big stop on [Mike] Richards, but then another turnover [by Brad Marchand] in that danger area around the blue line leads to another chance that they do cash in.
"That gave the Flyers believability. I don't think they had it until that point [when they scored]. The missed opportunities Boston had, especially [Rich] Peverley's chance, getting a second goal there could have been the dagger.
"But I like where the Bruins are. It's all about imposing their will in the third period. They have to play to win. They've been playing to win all series, all playoffs. So play to win here in the third period."
End Second Period, 1-1: The first 40 minutes are in the books, and this one will have to be settled in the third – or later – as the Bruins and Flyers will head to the third period tied 1-1.
Second Period, 19:36, 1-1: The Bruins get another chance on the man-advantage, as Chris Kelly draws a holding call on Danny Briere by driving hard to the net.
Second Period, 18:55, 1-1: The Bruins can't convert on that power-play chance, and the sides are even again late in the second.
Second Period, 16:55, 1-1: The Bruins mount some pressure and are rewarded with a power play, as Dan Carcillo is sent off for cross-checking, with Ville Leino serving it.
Second Period, 15:54, 1-1: The Bruins are able to kill that penalty off, and will now look to regain some momentum back at even strength.
Second Period, 13:54, 1-1: The Flyers now go on the power play as Nathan Horton is called for holding.
Second Period, 13:22, 1-1: The Flyers tie it up after a brutal giveaway at the Flyers blue line by Brad Marchand, which sends Philadelphia in on a 2 on 1.
Mike Richards gets it up to Kris Versteeg, who cuts across the front of the net and beats Thomas with a backhander top shelf.
Second Period, 11:39, Bruins 1-0: The sides will be playing 4 on 4 again as Scott Hartnell starts another scrum, this time with a late hit on Krejci that brings Lucic over to regulate. Lucic and Hartnell each get two minutes, Hartnell for charging and Lucic for cross-checking.
Second Period, 9:42, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins with heavy pressure on the Flyers, but can't get that second goal in. Rich Peverley had the best chance, nearly stuffing it home at the left post. Shots are 18-9 in favor of Boston midway through the game.
Second Period, 5:47, Bruins 1-0: The Flyers now with some sustained pressure in the Bruins end, but Thomas comes up with a big save on Danny Briere after he came out from behind the net for a bid from the left side.
Second Period, 3:44, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins threaten again as first Tomas Kaberle tees up a shot from the left circle, then Daniel Paille gets a chance in front after a turnover.
Second Period, 1:53, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins have killed that penalty off. That was one they really needed to kill to support the statement delivered by their captain by finally taking Hartnell to task.
Second Period, 0:00, Bruins 1-0: The middle frame is under way, with the Bruins looking to build on their one-goal lead, but they'll have to start by killing off the final 1:53 of the Flyers' power play.
First Intermission Notes: The Bruins didn't get the quick strike like they did in Games 1 and 3, but they did eventually get the first goal and take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
That goal was important for a number of reasons. It keeps the Flyers down and doesn't give them any momentum as they try to find a way to rally again this year. It also came on the power play, which is finally showing signs of life. And it came from Milan Lucic, who gets his first goal of the postseason at long last.
The Bruins had a 13-6 edge in shots, controlling play for long stretches after it was 5-5 early in the period. Zdeno Chara logged 9:38 of ice time in the first with two shots and two blocked shots, but will get a chance to rest as he picked up a double minor for roughing for going after Scott Hartnell in the closing seconds of the period. Dennis Seidenberg played 9:28 with two hits. SHane Hnidy played just two shifts for 38 seconds, and may not see much more ice time as he took a bad penalty slashing Jody Shelley.
End First Period, Bruins 1-0: The first 20 minutes are in the books, with the Bruins holding a one-goal lead after striking on the power play.
First Period, 19:52, Bruins 1-0: Zdeno Chara goes after Scott Hartnell in front of the Bruins net, firing a series of punches with the goves on as Hartnell turtles. That leads to a bigger scrum with Chara almost going with Braydon Coburn as well. Hartnell gets two for roughing, while CHara gets four minutes to give the Flyers a power play.
First Period, 17:59, Bruins 1-0: Marchand with a pair of chances, as Bobrovsky denies him with a blocker save on a bid from the high slot, then he sails a shot wide from the slot after a Flyers turnover.
First Period, 17:03, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins can't cash in on that chance with the man-advantage, as the sides are back at even strength.
First Period, 15:03, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins will get a chance to build even more momentum on the power play, as Claude Giroux is now sent off for tripping.
First Period, 12:02, Bruins 1-0: Forget those power-play struggles, as the Bruins get the all-important first goal of the game on the man-advantage.
And it came from Milan Lucic too, as he snaps his scoring slump by banging home a shot in front off a feed from Nathan Horton, who sent the pass out from the left side of the net. David Krejci adds yet another point with the secondary assist.
First Period, 11:31, 0-0: The Bruins will go on another power play, as Dan Carcillo heads to the box for cross-checking Gregory Campbell in the back in front of the Philly net.
First Period, 9:28, 0-0: The sides will play 4 on 4 for the next two minutes as Kris Versteeg picks up an interference penalty for the Flyers and Brad Marchand is called for unsportsmanlike conduct for the Bruins.
First Period, 8:55, 0-0: The Bruins come close to that crucial first goal as Johnny Boychuk's point shot is tipped in front by Bergeron, but Bobrovsky makes the save.
First Period, 7:44, 0-0: The Bruins can't convert on their power play either, but did have much better movement and possession time in the offensive zone than they've had for most of the postseason.
First Period, 5:44, 0-0: The Bruins now get their fist power-play chance as James van Riemsdyk is sent off for hooking.
First Period, 5:23, 0-0: The Flyers nearly score just after the penalty as Braydon Coburn sends a shot in and Carcillo backhands a shot through his legs with his back to the net that hits the left post and Thomas is able to cover it.
First Period, 5:10, 0-0: The Bruins kill off that penalty without any real threats from the Flyers.
First Period, 3:10, 0-0: The Bruins take the first penalty of the night as Shane Hnidy is called for slashing the stick of Jody Shelley. Shelley gives Hnidy a shove afterward, which brings in Shawn Thornton and then Dan Carcillo for a scrum, but Hnidy's slash is the only penalty called.
First Period, 0:30, 0-0: The Bruins nearly strike in the opening minute again, but Bergeron can't tip home a pass in front on the first shift of the game.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: After Stan Jonathan gets the crowd going by starting the Bruins flag's circuit around the stands and Rene Rancourt keeps them fired up with the national anthem, action is under way here at the Garden.
The Bruins will look to close out the Flyers in four games and punch their ticket to the conference finals for the first time since 1992.
8 p.m.: The Bruins will once again start the game with Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi up front. That line has started every game this series. Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk get the start on defense. They started the first two games before giving way to Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg in Game 3. Tim Thomas remains in goal.
The Flyers counter with Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Kris Versteeg up front, Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen on the blue line and Sergei Bobrovsky in net.
7:50 p.m.: Chris Pronger is out again for the Flyers, who also scratch Nikolay Zherdev for the first time in the series. Zac Rinaldo, Matt Walker and Michael Leighton among the other scratches. Enforcer Jody Shelley replaces Zherdev in lineup, while Danny Syvret remains in on defense for Pronger.
Tyler Seguin, Adam McQuaid and the Black Aces all remain out for Boston.
7:45 p.m.: There were no changes in the Bruins line combinations during the warm-ups. Tyler Seguin was on the ice as usual, but did not participate in the line drills. He'll remain a healthy scratch, while Adam McQuaid, who was not on the ice, remains out on defense with his neck injury.
Here are the line combinations from the warm-up:
7:30 p.m.: As expected, Tim Thomas and Sergei Bobrovsky lead the teams out for warm-ups. That's the goalie matchup for this one.
No sign of Chris Pronger in the warm-up, but Jeff Carter is out there again. Jody Shelley is also on the ice for Philadelphia, while Nikolay Zherdev is not.
7:15 p.m.: The Bruins aren't expected to make any lineup changes for this one. Adam McQuaid remains out with a sprained neck, so Shane Hnidy will play again on defense. The forward lines should remain the same as they've been all series and Tim Thomas will again be in goal.
The Flyers, however, will change goalies. Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start in place of Brian Boucher.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was tight-lipped about any other changes though, offering no update on the status of injured defenseman Chris Pronger, who has missed the last two games and did not practice on Thursday.
6:45 p.m.: The Bruins will look to close out their second-round series with the Flyers in Game 4 at the Garden.
While squandering a similar 3-0 lead to this same team a year ago has weighed on the club, the Bruins have taken a very businesslike approach to the rematch, and they plan to maintain that approach as they try to finish the sweep.
"Obviously that first series [against Montreal] was an emotional series," Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference said. "This one, there's no shortage of incentive for us to do well and to prove ourselves. If anything, the first series was more emotional and this series is almost businesslike. The guys are very focused on getting the job done. It's the most focused I've seen us all year."
8 a.m.: It had to play out this way.
The Bruins had to meet the Flyers again in the playoffs. And the Bruins had to build another 3-0 series lead. But that's where the parallels to last season need to end for Boston.
The Bruins couldn't close out that series last spring, losing four straight to become just the third team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 series lead. Now they have the chance to complete their redemption by closing out the Flyers this time around and reach the conference finals for the first time since 1992 as they host Philadelphia in Game 4 at Garden on Friday.
The comparisons to last year are inevitable, but the Bruins have stressed all series that this is a completely different team, and they've looked like one through the first three games. Boston built its 3-0 lead last year by barely squeaking out the first two games, winning Game 1 in overtime and Game 2 on a Milan Lucic goal with less than three minutes left in regulation. This year, they've routed the Flyers twice and outscored them 15-6 through three games.
After dropping the first two games of the postseason at home in the opening round against Montreal, the Bruins have won seven of their last eight games. They've done it with Tim Thomas providing spectacular play in goal, a stout defense led by Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg and a balanced offense with contributions from all four lines.
This isn't last year's Bruins, and Boston will try to end any doubt about that in this one.
"Well as I said you got to move on in life," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "And we've moved on as far as this is a different group. This is obviously a different feeling. This is a group that feels like it has to continue playing the way it has been. And we're a determined group right now. We're certainly not sitting comfortable by any means. We never have, whether it was the last round or whatever. So we have the right mind-set I think as we speak. And we know the importancy of [Friday's] game and what it means and we'll be prepared for that."
Game 4 is an important one. The Bruins can't afford to give the Flyers any reason for hope. Even one victory will spark the Flyers as the series would head back to Philadelphia for Game 5. It would bring back all the comparisons to last year and maybe even let some doubt creep into the Bruins' minds.
It's also imperative for the Bruins to close this one out quickly because Tampa Bay has already swept Washington, and Boston doesn't want to give the Lightning the advantage of too much extra rest before a potential showdown in the Eastern Conference finals.
They can avoid all that with a win on Friday.
The will have to wait a little while, though. Because of Northeastern University's graduation earlier in the day at the Garden, the puck won't drop until 8 p.m. But the game will air on NESN, so tune in for the call by Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley and check back here throughout the day for updates on all the action from the Garden.
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