The Bruins, who scored fewer goals than any other team in the NHL and didn’t even qualify for the playoffs until the next to last day of the season, are suddenly just one win from the conference finals after beating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 last night.
Boston seized a commanding 3-0 lead in the teams’ Eastern Conference semifinal series, and will go for the clincher at the Wachovia Center tomorrow night.
After erasing an early Flyers lead with goals from Blake Wheeler and Miroslav Satan within a 1:34 span, the Bruins left it up to rookie goalie sensation Tuukka Rask to preserve the lead. He kept Philadelphia at bay through two periods, until Mark Recchi’s early third period power-play goal gave the B’s some insurance. Patrice Bergeron open-net goal iced it.
Bruins coach Claude Julien’s worst fears were realized when Arron Asham capitalized on a 2-on-1 break off a faceoff to give the Flyers their first lead of the series at 2:32 of the first period.
But the Bruins never gave the Flyers and their boisterous fans a chance to build on the momentum, getting the equalizer from Wheeler just 1:39 later.
Boston then took the lead on a strange play; taking a pass coming out of his own zone, center David Krejci was buried by a hard Mike Richards check, igniting the sellout crowd. But the puck caromed to Milan Lucic, who sent in Satan on a breakaway.
Satan deked Brian Boucher, then tucked a back-hander into the open corner at 5:45.
From there, the Bruins seemed content to sit back and leave it up to Rask, who turned aside 26 shots through two periods.
When former Flyer Recchi batted a Zdeno Chara blast out of the air for a power-play goal at 2:30 of the third, the Bruins were in command. Rask made sure it stood up.