Bruins back in position to sweep Flyers
Thursday, 05.05.2011 / 11:40 PMFLYERS at BRUINS
(Boston leads best-of-seven series, 3-0)
TV: VERSUS (JIP), CBC (HD), RDS (HD), CSN-PH (HD), NESN (HD)
In an all-too-familiar scenario in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Bruins have grabbed a "commanding" 3-0 series lead over the Flyers in the second round following a 5-1 victory in Game 3 on Wednesday at TD Garden. Pretty incredible when you consider the Bruins and their fans patiently waited an entire season for this -- a chance at redemption following last year's colossal collapse to the Flyers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals when they blew a 3-0 series lead.
Now they'll have an opportunity to hit the reset button in Game 4 in front of their fans. Not only can the Bruins eliminate the Flyers from their memory bank for good by eliminating them from the playoffs, but they can do so in a four-game sweep.
The Bruins are 16-1 in a best-of-seven series that they lead 3-0 -- the only loss coming last year to the Flyers. Boston struck for two goals in the opening 63 seconds of Game 3 and would ultimately cruise to a 5-1 triumph. Zdeno Chara had 2 goals and 3 points and red-hot David Krejci had a goal and 2 assists. Additionally, the Bruins' fourth line scored a goal on an odd-man rush capped by a shot from Daniel Paille at 13:39 of the second. Nathan Horton then connected for his fifth of the postseason on a solid individual effort to make it 4-0 at 15:14 into the second, promptly ending the night for Flyers goalie Brian Boucher
"I thought we played a pretty solid game (on Wednesday)," coach Claude Julien said. "We limited their scoring chances by a lot compared to the game before. Our team was in good control for most of the game and that is something that's going to be important for (Friday's) game. To finish off a team, you need your best game of the series and that's what we're going to need."
The Flyers find themselves down 3-0 in a series for the seventh time in their history. They are 1-6 in those situations -- last year's triumph over the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semis is the one positive. Prior to Thursday's practice at TD Garden, coach Peter Laviolette spoke to his team similarly to the way he did prior to Game 4 last year against Boston.
"I'm not going to say what the speech was, but it was very similar to last year," forward Danny Briere
"You have to draw strength from everything you've gone through as a group," captain Mike Richards
said. "It's not the time to point fingers and not the time to get down. It's a time you have to stick together and come together as a group and hopefully, do something special.
"It's not a will thing or anything like that, it's something I think we just have to find as a group. We have some goal scorers on this team with great skill. Guys who can make plays, but we just have to find it and play better defense, that's the bottom line."
Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk
led the team in shots on Wednesday with six and now has a League-leading 65 shots in 10 playoff games. Teammate Claude Giroux
is tied for second in the League with 12 playoff points, including 9 assists over the last six games. … Krejci has a three-game point-scoring streak, hitting for 4 goals and 8 points in the stretch. Rookie Brad Marchand, who recorded 7 hits in Wednesday's 5-1 victory, also extended his point-scoring streak to four games (3 goals, 6 points) with an assist.
Flyers center Jeff Carter
(lower body) returned to the lineup on Wednesday following a five-game absence and logged 16:41 of ice time. He said he felt "all right" after the game. Defenseman Chris Pronger
(upper body), meanwhile, missed his second straight game and is questionable for Game 4. … Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid (neck) was replaced in the lineup by Shane Hnidy on Wednesday. McQuaid is listed as questionable for Game 4.
The Bruins are 5-0 in the postseason when scoring the opening goal of the game. The Flyers are 1-5 when allowing the first goal.
"We learned last year that the fourth win is the hardest," said Boston goalie Tim Thomas, who had 37 saves in Game 3. "We are playing one game at a time, one period at a time, and one shift at a time. We are going to try to play it the same way come Friday."