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Game Day: Bruins @ Flyers

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Boston  3 0 1 4

Philadelphia  1 1 1 3

BOS:  Lucic, M. (10:39 in 1st), Wideman, D. (PPG, 13:55 in 1st), Lucic, M. (17:54 in 1st), Recchi, M. (04:21 in 3rd)
PHI:  Giroux, C. (04:56 in 1st), Richards, M. (17:49 in 2nd), Gagne, S. (18:48 in 3rd) GOALIES
BOS: T. Thomas (W)  PHI: A. Niittymaki (L)
0:00 - Another huge win for the B's. Boston holds on for the 4-3 victory.

0.2 - Icing Boston. Good clear by Chara.

52.0 - Thomas save...

1:12 - Flyers score. Gagne. Shot from the slot. Rebound. Gagne scores. Ugh. It's 4-3.

1:24 - Niittymaki is out.

2:35 - Timmy tracks down an infield fly and holds on.

4:51 - Shot Yelle. Save Niittymaki.

5:22 - Krejci hit the post. He shot from the faceoff dot to Niittymaki's left. And just missed scoring.

5:45 - More tempers in front of the B's goal.

7:06 - Nice play by Savard to clear the zone. He dove, hit the puck and cleared...

8:18 - Save Thomas. Boston clears.

8:37 - High sticking on Wideman. Carcillo with the Academy Award. "I want to thank the crowd..."

9:14 - Icing Philly.

9:35 - Thomas with another stop -- his 36th.

10:11 - Ference had enough of Hartnell and the B's defenseman started throwing punches until both men went to the ice. Both men got five for fighting, although Hartnell did not get his hands free to throw many fists.

11:17 - Hunwick drives one on net and Niittymaki saves and holds on.

12:02 - Offsides Boston.

12:44 - Another save by Timmy.

13:27 - Thomas makes a save and holds on. TV timeout.

15:39 - Red hot Mark Recchi scores. Kobasew threw it on goal, Recchi got the rebound and scored. A very nice goal puts the B's up 4-2.

16:23 - Icing Boston.

16:53 - Montador hits the post to the right of Niittymaki.

17:00 - Tempers are flaring...

18:11 -  Icing Philly.

18:40 - Another save for Thomas.

18:57 - Save Thomas.

20:00 - Start of the Third.
0:00 - End of the Period. Philly played well in that period, but the B's remain in the lead, 3-2.

30.0 - Save Thomas.

1:03 - Icing Philadelphia.

2:11 - But Mike Richards seemed to redirect the puck by Thomas. The play is under review. It's a goal and the B's lead 3-2. Too bad, considering the good work by the club during the second.

3:29 - Boston with some real consistent pressure...

5:03 - Niittymaki had to make a couple of saves, himself. Marc Savard pounded one into the goalmouth after he got pounded into the ice. He looks okay.

8:23 - Another save for Timmy.

8:30 - Richards came out the box, gathered the puck and shot. Timmy made the save and held on for the faceoff. Tim has 25 saves on the evening.

10:37 - Mike Richards is in the box. B's on the PP.

10:48 - Timmy is insane good. INSANE. He'll be back in the top ten again.

12:01 - Lucic pounds Jones.

13:23 - Great kill for Boston.

13:44 - Thomas with a SUPERMAN save. He dove to his left and stopped Hartnell. A wonderful save. Just gorgeous.

15:12 - Three saves by Thomas.

15:27 - Widman is in the box for holding. Five-on-three for 1:52 for Philly.

15:35 - Wheeler pulls down a Flyer and gets called for hooking.

18:18 - The Flyers are having a lot of trouble getting out of their own zone.

18:54 - Niittymaki stops Axelsson.

20:00 - Start of the Second. Congrats to the BU Terriers who will join UVM in the Frozen Four.
0:00 - Niittymaki needed to make two stops on Wheeler just before the whistle, but the B's are going to the room with a two-goal lead.

42.5 - Thomas stops Philly's latest, and hangs on for a draw.

2:06 - Lucic, from Krejci this time, scores. Boy, is it a good time for the big guy to get hot! It's 3-1, Boston.

2:17 - Save Thomas, and he holds on.

2:36 - Axie just missed, wide left.

4:00 - Teams at full-strength.

6:05 - Goal Wideman. Krejci fed Wides near the slot and the defenseman fired. Goal. It's 2-1, Boston.

6:13 - Another Flyer to the box. Recchi got crosschecked by Parent. Five-on-three for 54-seconds.

6:57 - Niittymaki comes up big (and lucky) by spreading his legs and gathering the puck.

7:19 - Coburn is in the box for interference.

7:50 - Timmy with a save on Gagne, who shot from the goal line.

8:14 - Ference wrist shot. Save by Niittymaki.

9:21 - Milan Lucic scores. Luch, who is having the best day of any Bruins player, just keeps working and was rewarded with a nice cross-ice pass from Ryder. All Milan had to do was tap it by Niittymaki -- and he did just that. It's 1-1.

11:04 - Icing Philadelphia.

11:41 - A scramble in front of Thomas finds Timmy without his stick and laying on his side. It sounded as if at least one puck hit the post. Woof.

12:28 - Lots of good work from Lucic-Krejci-Ryder. The best shift of the game for Boston.

13:04 - Puck out of play. TV timeout.

13:32 - Savard shot, save Niittymaki.

14:56 - Montador and Carcillo fight. Give Carcillo the win on points, but Montador showed more guts by fighting for the second time in two nights.

15:04 - That was coming. Save Thomas, but the rebound went to Giroux, who slamdunked it. It's 1-0, Philly.

15:25 - Axelsson shot, Niittymaki save. Almost. Axie has been playing very well.

16:35 - But Timmy needs to make at least one big save. Yeesh.

16:45 - The Bruins bring a little pressure.

18:05 - Boston is having trouble in their own zone...

18:57 - Thomas has to make a tough save. Boston looks a little sleepy.

19:17 - Niittymaki makes his first save.

19:43 - Oh Timmy. Thomas flubs a backhand pass to a defender, but the B's break out.

20:00 - Start of the First Period. Defense. Defense. Defense (and a couple goals).

Let's switch to time on the clock...

6:26 p.m.
It looks like the same lineup, except Tim Thomas is in goal...

Kessel, Hnidy and Bitz

5:08 p.m.
Getting antsy...
There's almost another half hour before the Terriers and Catamounts take the ice in Manchester and almost two hours until the B's hop the boards in Philadelphia.

Buuuuuut, the Providence Bruins are playing Worcester as we speak and the P-Bruins can clinch a playoff berth if they beat the Sharks in the Dunkin Donuts Center.

Rask (photo: JustSports Photography/AHL) reports: The Providence Bruins (40-25-2-6, 885 PTS, 2nd Atlantic) host the Worcester Sharks (36-34-1-2, 75 PTS, 5th Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in the teams' ninth of 10 regular season meetings in 2008-09. The P-Bruins are 7-0-1-0 against the Sharks on the year, including a perfect 4-0-0-0 at The Dunk. The only remaining game in the season-set will be the regular season finale in Massachusetts on April 11.

Providence enters today's game with an opportunity to clinch its 11th straight playoff berth and 15th in 17 seasons. The P-Bruins are guaranteed one of the Atlantic Division's four postseason spots with a win over the Sharks today, which bodes well for the Rhode Island faithful. In addition to Providence's 7-0-1-0 record versus Worcester on the year, the P-Bruins are 22-6-1-1 against the Sharks all-time. Providence has points in its last three games overall (2-0-0-1) after falling 3-2 in a shootout to the Hartford Wolf Pack last night in Connecticut. The Hartford victory ensured the Wolf Pack will move on to the league's second season. With Hartford idle today, however, a Providence win will give the P-Bruins a share of first place in the Atlantic. On the other side, a Worcester win will leap-frog the Sharks ahead of the Manchester Monarchs into fourth in the division. The Sharks have battled some inconsistency of late. Since March 6, Worcester has shown the following pattern: Win 2, Lose 3, Win 2, Lose 3, Win 2, leading into a 1-0 road loss to the Lowell Devils last night. Aiding the P-Bruins, Providence has a division-best 25 wins on home-ice while Worcester has suffered a near division-worst 20 regulation road defeats.

The P-Bruins are led offensively by All-Star defenseman Johnny Boychuk's 62 points, one ahead of fellow All-Star Martin St. Pierre. The latter has a team-high 47 assists while rookie Mikko Lehtonen has scored a club-best 25 goals. In net, Tuukka Rask has a 31-19-4 record with four shutouts and a 2.47 goals-against-average. His 31 wins lead the AHL.

Good luck P-Bruins! As of right now, it's 2-1, Providence in the second. You can follow that game here.

4:04 p.m.
The Philadelphia Inquirer and report: Antero Niittymaki will be in goal tonight when the Flyers play host to the Bruins. Niittymaki will be making his first start since a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers two weeks ago. Marty Biron has made the last six starts and re-established himself as the club's No. 1 goaltender.

Those of you may have just finished watching Bruins Classics on NESN. Today's episode featured Tim Thomas stoning former UVM teammates Martin St. Louis and Eric Perrin in a shootout following a Nov. 30, 2006 game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

No doubt the current UVM Catamounts are relaxing in Burlington right now, and will watch the Boston University Terriers and New Hampshire Wildcats vie for the right to face Vermont in the Frozen Four.

11:03 a.m.

Updates may be a little tough today, as the B's are not holding a morning skate. Keep it here and I will post whatever pregame info I can track down.
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