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The Match Up

Thursday, 04.28.2011 / 1:00 AM / News
By John Kreiser  - NHL.com
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The Match Up
(2) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (3) Boston Bruins

Call it déjà vu, as this series takes place one year after the Flyers staged one of the great comebacks in playoff history by beating the Bruins after losing the first three games and falling behind 3-0 in Game 7. The one change is that the Flyers have the home-ice advantage – though Philadelphia split its four home games in the opening round and the Bruins won two of three road games.

Right here, right now: It wasn't nearly enough to atone for last spring's failures, but the Bruins did dominate the season series, winning three games and losing once in overtime. Boston won both of its visits to the Wells Fargo Center, including a 2-1 victory in the teams' last meeting on March 27.

Coulda Woulda: Both teams had to go seven games in the opening round, though the Flyers had an easier time in their deciding game – they beat Buffalo 5-2 in a game that was largely over by the end of the second period. Philadelphia also finished its series on Tuesday, giving the Flyers an extra day of rest before starting the series at home. Boston couldn't put Montreal away in six games and blew 2-0 and 3-2 leads in Game 7 before Nathan Horton's goal 5:43 into overtime finally won the series – marking only the ninth time in 33 tries that the B's have beaten Montreal and the first time in franchise history they've won a series after losing the first two games.

How important to win first game: Considering that both teams lost the opener in the previous round, maybe not as much as you'd think. The Flyers will have the advantage of an extra day off, as well as getting to start the series in their own building. The Bruins will be eager to get the jump on the Flyers, if only to erase any memories of last year.

The Great Unknown: Each team had a "first" in the opening round. Boston became the first team to win a seven-game series without scoring a power-play goal – but don't expect the Bruins to win this series unless the power play starts contributing. The Flyers became the first team since 1988 to win a playoff series in which it started three goaltenders. Expect Brian Boucher to get the first call against the Bruins –but don't be surprised if coach Peter Laviolette again has a quick hook. None of the three (Boucher, Michael Leighton and rookie Sergei Bobrovsky) are as good as Boston's Tim Thomas, who figures to get the call in every game.

Finish line:
Both the Bruins and Flyers had a size advantage on their first-round opponent; that won't happen in this round. Philadelphia got a boost from the return of All-Star defenseman Chris Pronger, who played in Games 6 and 7 after coming back from a broken right hand. The Bruins ended one hex by rallying from a 2-0 series deficit to beat Montreal; you can be sure coach Claude Julien will use last year's historic loss to the Flyers as a rallying point in this round.

Author: John Kreiser | NHL.com Columnist

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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