Since there are no Butlers or VCUs in the NHL, the idea remains to get the best seed you can heading into the playoffs.
That, more than any leftover ill feelings from last year’s epic series was the primary thing on both the Flyers and Bruins minds last night. Leading their respective divisions, both also knew that if they can manage to stay where they are over the next two weeks, the only way they’ll meet again would be in the Eastern finals.
Right now, the Flyers can only hope they get that chance, after Brad Marchand’s late third-period, power-play goal — Boston’s second of the game — gave the Bruins a 2-1 win in Philadelphia.
With the win, the Bruins extended their lead over the Canadiens in the Northeast to seven points, while finishing their season series with the Flyers 3-0-1.
The Flyers struck first when Mike Richards seemed about to blast one from the slot, drawing both the defense and goalie Tim Thomas out. Instead, he faked the shot and passed to a wide open Kris Versteeg, who buried it just 4:25 into play.
Brian Boucher, back in goal for the first time since the Capitals went 3-for-3 against him in last Tuesday’s shootout made that stand up for awhile. But, when the Flyers were unable to pad the lead, it cost them. Boston’s Nathan Horton banged home the equalizer on the power play at 7:40.
An already tight checking game, tightened up even more from there, with chances limited at both ends. The Bruins had better opportunities, but couldn’t solve score.
So it remained deadlocked late in the third, when Richards went off for high-sticking. Again the Bruins made Philadelphia pay, as Dennis Seidenberg’s drive from the point kicked right out to Marchand, who fired it home with 3:43 left.