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The Bruins will take their second shot at knocking the Flyers out of the Cup hunt tonight, as the series returns to the TD Garden for Game 5 with Boston enjoying a 3-1 lead.
Boston had their chances to complete the four-game sweep of Philly on Friday night, but an overtime goal by Simon Gagne gave the Flyers the chance to live another day, winning the game 5-4 and sending the series back to Boston.
Plenty to talk about leading into tonight’s tilt at the Garden, so let’s get down to business…
– Let’s first throw some really positive stats at you to put your mind at ease. The Bruins are 5-0 at home in this year’s playoffs, winning each game by exactly one goal. The Bruins are 15-1 in series when they enjoy a 3-1 advantage, with the only loss coming in the ’04 playoffs to Montreal. And, the Flyers haven’t won a playoff game in Boston since May of 1976. All are great signs that point to a Bruins win this evening.
– Another bright spot for the B’s has been the play of Mark Recchi. The 42-year-old winger had two goals against his former team in Friday night’s Game 4, including the equalizer with just seconds remaining in regulation, which sent the game to the extra period. His 56 career playoff goals rank second among active players, now only two behind Dallas’ Mike Modano.
– One record that Recchi will have to share now is the feat that Flyers’ defenseman Matt Carle achieved Friday night. Carle notched four assists in Philly’s 5-4 victory, matching a franchise playoff best, which Recchi achieved back in the 2000 playoffs as a Flyer, against the Penguins in the East semis.
– This wouldn’t be a playoff hockey article if we didn’t talk about injuries. For Philly, they welcomed back winger Simon Gagne in Game 4, and like Marc Savard did in his first game back, Gagne lit the lamp with an overtime game-winner of his own, keeping the Flyers’ dim playoff hopes alive. Daniel Carcillo, who skated just 11 shifts in Friday’s win after an apparent knee injury in the first period, did skate this morning with the team, but is considered a game-time decision tonight. For Boston, defenseman Adam McQuaid will remain out of action tonight as he nurses a lower-body injury. Mark Stuart will remain in the lineup in his place, in his second game back from a finger infection. And Dennis Seidenberg, out since early April with a torn tendon in his right forearm, returned to the ice this weekend, in an effort to make it back to the B’s lineup, should the team advance far enough. Seidenberg is said to still be weeks away from a return, but he is pushing to make it back sooner rather than later.
– If you’re a Jack Edwards fan, it’s time to rejoice. After NBC and Versus had exclusive rights to games 1 through 4, tonight it’s NESN’s turn to cover the action. But, if you’re one of the few Joe Beninati fans out there, well this comes as bad news. (Beninati did the play-by-play for Versus, for those of you who didn’t know what the name was of the announcer you were annoyed with during the past few games.)
– Lastly, the highly anticipated unveiling of a brand new bronze statue of Bobby Orr outside TD Garden was celebrated this afternoon. The ceremony, which was to include Orr himself, along with Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino among others, was to be held today in honor of Orr’s “flying” goal that won the team the Cup in 1970, 40 years ago today.