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Lucic, Bruins sweep the Flyers after 5-1 win, take on Tampa next

May 6, 2011

Milan Lucic's first two goals of the playoffs were the difference in Game 4 as the Bruins swept the Flyers. (AP)

Milan Lucic‘s first two goals of the playoffs couldn’t have come at a better time as they helped push the Bruins over the Flyers by a score of 5-1, sweeping the Flyers a year after blowing a 3-0 series lead.

Lucic opened the scoring with a power-play goal and gave the Bruins a critical third goal at the end of the game. Johnny Boychuk had the game-winning goal and Brad Marchand and Daniel Paille added empty-netters. Tim Thomas made 22 saves for the victory.

The Flyers came out much better than they did in Game 3, playing calmly and limiting chances for the Bruins while getting a few shots on goal early. The Bruins would go on the shorthand early when Shane Hnidy was called for slashing three minutes into the game, giving Philadelphia a great chance to take an early lead. The Bruins did a great job of killing off the early penalty, making several clears and getting a chance or two of their own. The Flyers would nearly score on the next shift when a chaotic scene out front nearly resulted in a goal, instead hitting the post and finding a home under Tim Thomas.

The Bruins would soon after get a power-play of their own after a 3-on-2 resulted in a hook by James van Riemsdyk. The Bruins power-play continued to look improved, possessing the puck and getting a few shots on goal which a sharp Sergei Bobrovsky fought off. The Bruins had Bobrovksy scrambling at times but the Flyers defense did a good job of getting to loose pucks.

After a 4-on-4 went by the wayside despite some good momentum from the Bruins, the Flyers would put themselves down a man when Daniel Carcillo was sent off during a post-whistle scrum. Milan Lucic would get the game’s first goal out in front of the net. Tomas Kaberle started the play by pinching in and hitting David Krejci who was curling off the boards. Once the Flyers overloaded that side Krejci found Nathan Horton behind the net who quickly shot a pass over to Milan Lucic on the opposite side of the crease who banged it home before Bobrovsky could react.

The Bruins put on the pressure after the goal. Before and then after the goal they had about 10 consecutive shots on goal and continued to force the Flyers into penalties, the next being a leg check on Kaberle as he entered the zone. The Flyers stopped the Bruins momentum with an improved penalty-kill, not really giving the Bruins much. The period would end with dual penalties when Zdeno Chara and Scott Hartnell got tangled up at the back end of a play and the play would end with an extra two minutes, giving the Flyers a power-play going into the second.

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Tim Thomas was sharp at the beginning of the second and he needed to be with a lot of sustained pressure and an occasional odd-man rush by the Flyers. Rich Peverley nearly put the Bruins up 2-0 with a few hacks at the side of the net but couldn’t get it off the strings and past a down and out Bobrovsky.

Scott Hartnell would be in the middle of another 4-on-4 situation when he ran at David Krejci along the bench, drawing Lucic’s attention. The Flyers would tie it up on the 4-on-4 when a bad decision by Brad Marchand led to a Kris Versteeg breakaway goal. Marchand turned the puck over with only Dennis Seidenberg back and the Flyers broke out a 2-on-1 before Mike Richards passed off to the speedy Versteeg who deked blocker side before elevating over Thomas.

The Flyers would then get another quick power-play when Nathan Horton was sent off for holding on a backcheck with six minutes left. The Bruins did a good job in the neutral zone to hinder the Flyers entries and were able to get a few clears as a result. The Bruins would get the next power-play with three minutes left in the second period. The Bruins power-play regressed into a hapless affair but Danny Briere would give them another shot in the final 30 seconds.

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The Bruins would squander their power-play but had some decent looks and started the period with a little momentum. The Bruins momentum would pay off in a Johnny Boychuk goal off of the faceoff. The Bruins won the faceoff clean and Boychuk found a nice cushion near the blue line to unleash his one-timer. Boychuk’s shot was helped out by a Rich Peverley screen but it was labeled top glove side.

The goal created a real sense of urgency by the Flyers as they began to attack with almost reckless abandon. The sense of urgency didn’t necessarily translate to smooth offensive play as much as a ‘let it fly’ style. The Bruins did a good job of bottling up their own end by keeping the middle of the zone contested. As the game wore on the Bruins would further abandon their offense, choosing to just dump and change and play solid defense.

Milan Lucic got a critical insurance goal when the Bruins jumped on a turnover at the Flyers blue line. Nathan Horton stopped the puck at the Flyers line, halted then dished to space where Lucic met the puck, flew in and then shot it past Bobrovksy with about five minutes left. The goal was Lucic’s second goal of the game and the playoffs, ending a long dry spell.

The Flyers pulled their goalie with around 2:30 left and the Bruins buried the Flyers when Brad Marchand potted an empty-netter on his second chance from the blue line. The Bruins fourth line would get another empty-netter when Daniel Paille indadvertedly tipped home a Gregory Campbell empty-netter to make it 5-1. The two laughed about it with the game and series in hand.

The Bruins will next play the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final for a chance at the Stanley Cup Final(!)

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