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Is it appropriate to sip the champagne when you win a second round series? Just what is the proper etiquette for such a situation in the NHL? Well, we’ll find out eventually, because the Bruins could not close out the Flyers in Phildelphia on Friday night in a 5-4 loss in overtime.
The Bruins, of course, made things interesting. Down 4-3 late in the game and with Tuukka Rask pulled, the B’s used the man advantage to their advantage, with Mark Recchi scoring his second goal of the game and sixth of the playoffs with just 32 seconds to go to tie it up 4-4.
On the brink of elimination, the Flyers battled back and finally broke through the Tuukka wall in the overtime period, with the returning Simon Gagne netting his first goal 15 minutes into the overtime period to give the Flyers the 5-4 win.
In all, Rask finished with 29 saves in 34 chances and may be tiring just a bit. He’s clearly the best option, but the team could have used the extra rest by closing out the series in Game 4. Instead, we move to Game 5 with the B’s and Flyers duking it out at the TD Garden on Monday night.
The Bruins, who have seemed to battle back in every game all playoffs, found themselves down 3-1 after three straight Flyers goals (Danny Briere, Chris Pronger, and Claude Giroux). Midway through the second period, the Bruins pulled within one on a lucky goal by Michael Ryder that seemed to sneak through Brian Boucher’s legs.
Milan Lucic tied it 3-3 with his power play goal early in the third, and the Flyers took a 4-3 lead late in the game on Ville Leino’s first goal of the playoffs. This all set up Recchi’s heroics…and eventually Gagne’s heroics. Got to love playoff hockey.
The Bruins should not be ashamed. With a 3-1 series lead against the Sabres in the first round, they laid an absolute egg in Game 5 in Buffalo (losing 4-1). With a 3-0 lead against the Flyers in Philly, they nearly found themselves with a series sweep and appear to be constantly on their toes. This Bruins team plays with a sense of urgency, and even when it appears they are down and out, they step up and bring their “A” game. This team is much more exciting to watch in the playoffs than last year’s squad, who seemed lackadaisical late in the series against the Hurricanes.
The Bruins can close out the series in Game 5 on Monday night.
We won’t starting talking about the likelihood of teams winning a series after facing 3-0 deficits unless the Flyers win in Game 5…