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Flyers v Bruins - 2011 Stanley Cup Conference Semifinals

Goaltending, lack of offense part of Flyers' demise

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- The ending was certainly not what Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren envisioned when his team entered the Stanley Cup Playoffs this spring.
Being eliminated in a four-game sweep by the Boston Bruins in the second round? It's unacceptable. Particularly for a team that came within two wins of winning the Cup one year ago.
It wasn't too long ago the Flyers were winning 17 of 24 games in December and January to move atop the Eastern Conference standings. Somewhere along the way and just prior to the postseason, however, they lost something. Call it whatever -- magic, karma, the fight -- but it suddenly expired.

Bergeron leaves game in third; status unknown

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON -- There isn't much that can put a damper on a four-game playoff sweep against a despised rival.

But the sight of Patrice Bergeron slowly rising from a huge hit by Philadelphia's Claude Giroux in the third period of Friday night's 5-1 victory against the Flyers at TD Garden is just the sort of thing that toned down the giddiness of Boston gaining entry into the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 1992.

Bergeron made it to the bench under his own power after the hit in the third minute of the third period, but the center went immediately down the runway to the dressing room and was not seen again.

One year later, Bruins turn tables on Flyers

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- One season removed from a historic comeback, the Philadelphia Flyers were swept in a seven-game series for only the sixth time in franchise history.
Doing the damage was the team they embarrassed last season -- the Boston Bruins. The Flyers rallied from a 3-0 series deficit last year to defeat the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinal round and, in the process, become only the third team in history to do so. But they'd be on the short end of a four-game annihilation this spring.
It was certainly a tough pill to swallow, considering the optimism and outlook in Philadelphia heading into the 2010-11 campaign. Many hockey pundits had the Flyers not only returning to the Stanley Cup Final, but raising the big trophy in the end.

Lucic picks optimal moment to end drought

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON -- Milan Lucic didn't even try to lie.

Yes, he knew it had been 20 games since he had scored a goal. Yes, he knew it was March 22 -- a stretch of almost 50 days -- since he had scored a goal. Yes, he knew his Bruins were lucky to be in the position they were without their 30-goal scorer facing one of the most frustrating droughts of his career.

"It's been kind of frustrating, the last 20 games, not being able to put the puck in the back of the net," he said, breaking the athlete's cardinal rule of never admitting to frustration.

Actually, it would have been hard to deny his emotions, considering they were visible to anyone who watched closely after Lucic opened the scoring with a power-play goal -- Boston's first 5-on-4 goal of the postseason -- at the 12:02 mark of a game Boston would go on to win 5-1 to close out the Philadelphia Flyers in a stunning four-game sweep of this Eastern Conference Semifinal series Friday night at TD Garden.

Flyers' GM refuses to place blame on goalies

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren was adamant when discussing his goaltending situation with the media following a series-ending Game 4 loss to the Boston Bruins here at TD Garden in the Eastern Conference semifinal round on Friday.
Despite the fact his team had just been outscored 20-7 in four games against the Bruins and his head coach, Peter Laviolette, had made seven in-game goalie changes in 11 playoff games, the fifth-season GM pointed to a shoddy defensive effort all-around.
Holmgren also commended the Bruins for their extraordinarily solid play throughout. Boston avenged last year's seven-game collapse with a rather efficient four-game sweep of the Flyers this time around -- scoring identical 5-1 victories on home ice in Games 3 and 4 to seal the deal.

Chara leads Bruins in all situations

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON -- Once again, Boston captain Zdeno Chara was a focal point for Boston in their 5-1 victory Friday in their series-clinching win against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 4 of their conference semifinal series at TD Garden.

Last season, Philadelphia slipped out of an 0-3 series hole and staged the ultimate comeback, becoming just the third team in NHL history to erase a three-game deficit and win a Stanley Cup Playoff series.

There would be no comeback this time because Boston scored four unanswered goals in the third period -- including two empty-net goals -- to break open a 1-1 tie.

Chara was right in the middle of all of it.

Poor starts cost Flyers, says van Riemsdyk

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk realizes there's only so many times a team can go to the well.
For the Flyers, who had given up a League-leading 18 first-period goals this playoff season, playing catch-up was certainly not the recipe for success. While the club enjoyed a remarkable run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final by overcoming much adversity and generating some historic comebacks, it just wasn't to be this spring.
Van Riemsdyk, who finished tied for the team-lead with 7 goals in 11 postseason games while also finishing with 64 shots on goal to lead the League at present, was vividly disappointed his season had officially come to end on Friday following a 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Once again, Carter in, Pronger out for Flyers

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Philadelphia Flyers center Jeff Carter will make his second straight playoff start on Friday against the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal at TD Garden.
Carter was re-inserted into the lineup for the first time in 14 days in Game 3 after missing five games with a lower-body injury -- reportedly a sprained right knee ligament. He took five shots in 16:41 of ice time and won 2 of 6 faceoffs, but sat out practice on Thursday at TD Garden. Following Game 3, Carter admitted feeling "all right."
Coach Peter Laviolette thought Carter was one of his most effective forwards in a 5-1 loss.

Bobrovsky to start in Flyers' goal for Game 4

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

A year to the day after he signed with the Philadelphia Flyers, Sergei Bobrovsky will get a chance to keep his first season going for at least one more game.

Coach Peter Laviolette announced he was giving the Russian rookie the start against the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the teams' Eastern Conference Semifinal series. The Flyers, trailing 3-0 to the Bruins for the second straight year, need a win to force a Game 5 in Philadelphia on Sunday.

It will be Bobrovsky's first start since Game 2 of the first round against the Buffalo Sabres. After a strong effort in losing Game 1, Bobrovsky was removed after allowing three goals on seven shots in the first 12:30 of Game 2. Laviolette made Bobrovsky a healthy scratch until Game 7, when he returned as Brian Boucher's backup.

Flyers likely to turn back to Bobrovsky

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

On May 6, 2010, the day before the Flyers were scheduled to play Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the Boston Bruins trailing 3-0, a minor news release was put out by the club touting the signing of three prospects.

One of them was an undrafted goaltender from Russia named Sergei Bobrovsky.

A year to the day later, Bobrovsky likely will be in net as the Flyers again try to start their climb out of a 3-0 series hole in the conference semifinals against the Bruins when the teams take the ice for Game 4 Friday (8 p.m. ET, VERSUS [JIP], CBC, RDS).
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