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One year ago, the B’s lost four straight games and were eliminated from they playoffs on their home ice in Game 7 after taking a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers. In the same situation this year against these same Flyers, the B’s had some obvious demons to exercise on the ice in Game 4 on Friday night.
Armed with new weapons like Brad Marchand, Nathan Horton, and a healthy David Krejci, the Bruins were determined to finish of the Flyers as soon as possible, and they did just that with a 5-1 win to give them their first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since 1992.
“I think we learned a lot from last year, that experience, and I think it made us a more determined hockey club,” Milan Lucic said. “We can definitely put everything behind us with what happened last year. So it’s a real good feeling.”
Pitiful on the power play all during the playoffs, the Bruins got their first postseason 5-on-4 goal when Milan Lucic beat Sergei Bobrovsky midway through the first period. The goal was Lucic’s first of the playoffs. He hadn’t scored since March 22 against the New Jersey Devils.
The Flyers got one back midway through the second period thanks to Kris Versteeg, who tallied his first (and last) goal of the playoffs. He beat Tim Thomas, who finished with 22 saves.
Johnny Boychuk gave the B’s a lead a couple minutes into the third period with a hard slapshot that beat Bobrovsky top shelf. Lucic then scored his second goal to make it 3-1 with a little over five minutes to go in regulation.
The Bruins then added two empty-netters, with Marchand and Daniel Paille (on a tip-in…yes, an empty net tip-in) doing the honors.
Patrice Bergeron was hurt early in the third period (right before Boychuk’s goal) on a hit from Claude Giroux. Bergy was slow to get up and did not return to the game.
In his post-game press conference, Claude Julien said he had not heard any update on Bergeron’s condition. This situation certainly bears watching.
Many people have drawn comparisons between this year’s Bruins and the 2004 Red Sox. Those Sox hadn’t won it all since 1918 and hadn’t been in the World Series since 1986. These Bruins haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1972 and haven’t even been to the conference finals since 1992 (until now). Both teams suffered tragic losses the year before (Sox in 2003 and Bruins in 2010). And now, both teams have avenged those losses. The ’04 Sox went on to won it all. Can these Bruins?
We’ll find out. Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Lightning will begin some time next week.