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Game 3 preview; Bruins come home seeking 3-0 series lead…again

May 4, 2011

The Bruins, with a 2-0 series lead will head home to the TD Garden, looking to go up 3-0 over the Flyers for the second straight year. The Bruins were lucky to come out of Game 2 with a 3-2 overtime win after the Flyers 32 shots in the last 34 minutes of the game. Tim Thomas made 52 saves and 46 consecutive saves after allowing two quick goals to absolutely steal Game 2. David Krejci‘s overtime goal was his fourth of the postseason and his fifth point in two games against the Flyers and now has eight points in five playoff games against the Flyers.

The Bruins will need to play a better overall game if they want to win a critical Game 3. The Bruins were able to overcome an early injury of Adam McQuaid and strapped together a patchwork defensive effort for the rest of the game. With the pressure placed squarely on their shoulders, the Bruins will have to prove that they can play and succeed as the frontrunning team. The Bruins were able to come back from a 0-2 deficit in Round 1, proving that they can play well as an underdog but nearly let the series slip away when they went up 3-2, managing to win the series in overtime in Game 7.

The Flyers are already deflecting the pressure off of themselves and onto the Bruins in a ‘Hot Potato’-like game. But with the Flyers noted struggles in goal and Chris Pronger’s increasingly cloudy availability, the Bruins have a great chance to take a stranglehold on the series with a win tonight.

Much like before Game 2 there have been conflicting reports about whether or not Pronger will suit up tonight. The Flyers are expectedly remaining hush hush but a Philadelphia reporter says that Pronger could be out as much as the remainder of the series. It does look like Jeff Carter is getting closer to returning to the lineup, his arrival would give the Flyers a much needed alternative scoring threat.

James van Riemsdyk has three of the Flyers five goals while Danny Briere and Mike Richards pitched in for the other two goals. The Flyers need to get goals from other places and Jeff Carter, who scored 36 goals this season, would go a long way in helping out with that.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before but the Bruins power-play needs to produce a goal soon. I know they are winning without it but if they get one, even an ugly one, they’ll gain a ton of confidence. It’s really one of the few faults in their game, albeit a major one. The Bruins only got two power-plays in Game 2 but as the Flyers frustrations grow their propensity to take players out grows. Look no further than last year where Mike Richards tried to change the tide of the series with a big hit. His hit on Krejci was clean and hard, and did just what it was supposed to do.

Expect to see the Flyers come out much more physical as the road setting will allow them to focus on simplifying their game in a less pressurized scenario. Shane Hnidy will most likely be in the lineup tonight after McQuaid’s injury in Game 2. He shouldn’t play more than 10-11 minutes so expect big efforts from Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, and Andrew Ference.

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