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Lucic goal puts Bruins in full command

by Mike G. Morreale /
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Even the third-year forward would call it a little lucky.


Lucic hammered home a well-timed turnaround slap shot from the right circle that beat goalie Brian Boucher with just 2:57 remaining in the third period to send the Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Monday before 17,565 at TD Garden.

Lucic was "Johnny on the Spot" as the puck deflected high in the air after hitting Flyers defenseman Lukas Krajicek and landing right in his wheelhouse.

The victory gives the Bruins a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series that now shifts to Wachovia Center in Philadelphia for Game 3 on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. The Bruins have now won all five of their home games in the playoffs this spring. The Flyers, meanwhile, are unbeaten in two games in the City of Brotherly Love.

For Lucic, who missed 32 games to injuries this season, the decisive goal was his first of these playoffs. He now has four points in his last three games on a line with David Krejci and Miroslav Satan.

"To score a game-winner in the playoffs is definitely a great feeling, and hopefully we can take advantage of that," Lucic said. "My whole thought process was just to get it on net. That was just a turn and shoot, get it on net. Luckily it found a hole."

Boston coach Claude Julien was glad to see Lucic break into the scoring column for the first time since April 10.

"I think it was a real nice goal and hopefully a confidence boost for him," Julien said. "He hadn't scored in a while and I think just the way we scored was typical of Lucic. He did a great job on that whole shift."

The Flyers, who twice battled back to tie the contest, appeared a bit weary late in the third after killing a too many men penalty at 7:32 and a Danny Briere hooking call at 10:03.

"It's always tough when you have to shorten your bench," Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger said. "You get one penalty, then you get another one right after that and it's tough. You got a lot of guys on the bench who haven't had a lot of opportunities to play and even before the two penalties. It's tough to get into any kind of rhythm."

On top of that, the Flyers didn't help their cause by going 0-for-4 on the power-play.

But Briere did pull them into a 2-2 tie with just 24.8 seconds remaining in the second. After serving a hooking penalty, he came out of the box and skated down right wing with Ville Leino breaking down the middle of the ice. Leino fed Briere in the right circle, and the veteran forward blasted a shot from the right faceoff dot that soared over the blocker of Boston goalie Tuukka Rask (24 saves).

The victory actually marked the fifth one-goal triumph for Rask on home ice in the playoffs.

"It's been crazy," Rask said. "It looks like sometimes we just get the lead with two goals and then we can't shut it down for a little bit and give the other guys a chance to come back. So far we've found a way to win those games at home."

Satan, who has made a living of making life miserable for the Flyers over his career in the playoffs, did it again at the 9:31 mark of the second to give Boston its second lead of the game, 2-1.

"I got a much bigger role than during the regular season, so I feel more into it and I can play better," Satan said.

After taking a feed from Blake Wheeler, Satan took a quick wrist shot from the right faceoff dot that beat an unscreened Boucher between the wickets. It was Satan's 22nd point in his 23rd playoff game against Philadelphia. He also has four goals and four assists over his last five playoff games, his best stretch of play in the postseason since 2001 according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"He's just a great player," Krejci said of Satan. "He has great hands, so we try to help each other out there and that's what's happening right now. He's hot lately, so hopefully he'll stay hot and I'll try to help him as much as I can."

The Flyers began the game with greater desperation and fervor than they did in Game 1 on Saturday, outshooting the Bruins, 10-7.

Mike Richards pulled them into a 1-1 tie with 2:54 left in the first when he picked up the puck behind the Bruins net, circled around the outside faceoff dot in the right circle and fired a snap shot that beat Rask to the long side.

The Bruins opened a 1-0 lead at the 5:12 mark on Johnny Boychuk's second goal of the playoffs. Patrice Bergeron won an offensive zone draw back to Boychuk, who uncorked a sneaky slap shot from the left point that beat Boucher. Bergeron, incidentally, won all nine of his faceoffs in the first. Boucher would keep his team within one when he made a splendid save off a shot from between the circles by Vladimir Sobotka just 1:02 later.

Rask then stopped Briere on an uncontested snap shot from the left hash mark at 7:51 before denying Briere once again at 14:31 on an attempted stuffer at the left post with the Flyers working their second power play of the period. Briere would put four of his team-high six shots on goal in the opening period.

Shift of the Game: Boston fan favorite Milan Lucic scored his first goal of the postseason with just 2:57 remaining in the third period off a turnaround slap shot from the right circle to give the home team a 3-2 victory. After knocking over defenseman Ryan Parent in the Flyers end, David Krejci was stationed behind the net and threw the puck out in front. The puck deflected off Lukas Krajicek right in front of Lucic, who spun around and blasted his shot low to the long side on goalie Brian Boucher.
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