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It all comes down to this. This could be, but hopefully won’t be, the last “Ice Breakers” article of the season. It’s “win or go home” time for the Boston Bruins, as they host the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden this evening, with their fourth and final chance at knocking Philly out of the playoffs. Tonight’s winner will host the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Finals, beginning Sunday.
There’s not a lot to say about this series that hasn’t already been said. Boston has swung and missed on three chances at eliminating the scrappy Flyers, and each time Philly has gotten off the mat and punched back with a victory.
Let’s take a look now at a few pre-game notes, leading up to tonight’s gigantic Game 7 matchup…
– Only three teams in NHL, NBA, and MLB history combined have come back from a 3-0 deficit, and the Flyers have the chance tonight to be the fourth. The other three? The 1942 Maple Leafs, the 1975 Islanders, and of course, the 2004 Boston Red Sox.
– Boston is 9-9 in Game 7’s all-time, but they have lost their last three. They are 9-5 in Game 7’s on home ice. Philly has a 7-6 record all-time in Game 7’s.
– Head coach Claude Julien is 1-2 in Game 7’s in his coaching career, with his only win coming not for the Bruins, but against the Bruins, as coach of the Montreal Canadiens in 2004.
– The Bruins reached this very same point last season as the top seed in the Eastern Conference. With their second round series tied at three games a piece, the Carolina Hurricanes came into the TD Garden and won Game 7, 3-2 in overtime, led by an overtime goal by the much hated Scott Walker.
– Neither team in this series has lost a game in the playoffs when leading after two periods. The Flyers are 6-0-0 in that situation, while Boston is 3-0-0.