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Bruins try again to put away Flyers

by Mike G. Morreale



(Boston leads best-of-7 series 3-2)

Big story -- Maybe the players and coaching staff of the Philadelphia Flyers were right. Perhaps the Boston Bruins are feeling a little hot under the jersey -- the fourth victory is the toughest one to get. Even Bruins captain Zdeno Chara admitted that "we were maybe a little bit nervous." Any way you look at it, the Bruins are still in the driver's seat needing one win in the remaining two games to close out the series. But if the Flyers pick up where they left off in Game 5, when they dominated the Bruins in just about every facet, the team that once led 3-0 might find itself heading back home for a seventh and deciding game. Philadelphia's 4-0 victory on Monday was the franchise's first playoff win in Boston since May 4, 1976 -- and was Boston's first home playoff loss in six games this spring.

Team Scope

Bruins -- Following their second straight loss to a more determined, more desperate team, the Bruins went back to the drawing board on Tuesday at their practice facility. What might have puzzled coach Claude Julien most is the lack of offense from his blue line -- the Bruins received just two of their 23 shots from defensemen (Dennis Wideman and Andrew Ference). Meanwhile, goalie Tuukka Rask, who made 27 saves, has lost two straight games for the first time in three months when he went 0-4-2 from Jan. 4-Feb. 6.

"I think they're respecting the fact that we got some quality shots there early in the series and they've taken that away from us, so obviously that's something we're going to have to look at and try and figure out a way to get some shots through," Julien said. "The shots were definitely down from previous games and a lot of that was probably our lack of competitiveness. I thought we lost battles from start to finish and they were the hungrier team (on Monday). When that happens, you get those kinds of results."

Flyers -- Oh, those resilient Flyers. Even after the loss of goalie Brian Boucher to a torn knee ligament early in the second period of Game 5, the Flyers persevered behind Michael Leighton -- who was in the lineup for the first time since March 16, when he suffered a high ankle sprain in Nashville. Leighton entered the game after Boucher was hurt and made 14 saves to help combine on the team's second shutout of the postseason. Simon Gagne scored twice while the Flyers also got secondary scoring from Ville Leino and Scott Hartnell.

Who's hot -- Simon Gagne has 3 goals and 5 points in four of his last six games. He's scored three goals in two games since returning from a fractured toe on his right foot in Game 4.

Injury report -- The Bruins are without forwards Marco Sturm (right knee) and David Krejci (dislocated wrist) and defensemen Adam McQuaid (lower body) and Dennis Seidenberg (left forearm). For the Flyers, Jeff Carter (right foot), Ian Laperriere (brain contusion) and goalies Boucher (lower body) and Ray Emery (bone graft surgery) are out.

Stat pack -- The shared shutout by Boucher and Leighton on a combined 23 saves was the first since in the playoffs since Montreal's Jacques Plante and Charlie Hodge recorded a 2-0 victory over the Bruins on March 22, 1955. … The victory on Monday was the first Game 5 victory by the Flyers after trailing a series 0-3 -- they are now 1-6 all-time.

Puck drop -- The Flyers have a 1-13 record when trailing a series 3-2, with the only victory coming in the 1989 Patrick Division Finals when they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games.

"I thought the (Game 4 victory) got us into the series," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "I thought (Game 5) may have been our best game of the series both offensively and defensively. Like I said, the players aren't going to go quietly and their making something of it. They deserve the credit because I thought they played a terrific game (Monday)."

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