No time remaining. Philadelphia wins series, 4-3. And the season is over, and the Bruins “earn” an ignominious place in hockey history, becoming just the third team to lose a seven-game series after taking a 3-0 lead . The Bruins get a couple of shots on Leighton in the final seconds, but nothing particularly dangerous, and it’s the Flyers who rejoice on the Garden ice. Many in the crowd showed their displeasure by flinging gold towels on the ice, with Patrice Bergeron firing a slap shot with one of them. We’ll be back in a few with more postgame quotes and notes . . .
19:07 third period, Flyers 4, Bruins 3: Faceoff in the Flyers’ end, Bruins call a timeout . . . what can you say? The season comes down to these 53 seconds.
18:48, third period, Flyers 4, Bruins 3: Rask skating off . . .
16:12 third period, Flyers 4, Bruins 3: Savard misses a pretty open net after taking a pass in the slot. Golden opportunity lost.
15:14 third period, Flyers 4, Bruins 3: The stunned crowd gets a second wind during a break in play. The place is rocking. Can the Bruins respond? Faceoff in their own zone coming up.
12:52 third period, Flyers 4, Bruins 3: Gagne. Picks up a loose puck in the crease and beats Rask high stick side. Leino and Richards with the assists on the PPG.
11:00 third period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Penalty on the Bruins for too many men on the ice. Shaun Thornton serving. Ugh. Horrible omen.
10:58 third period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Lucic, bidding for a hat trick, hits the the post on Leighton’s stick side. It came moments after he had another chance when the Flyers put the puck on his stick with a sloppy turnover at center ice.
8:52 third period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Flyers were outhitting the Bruins, 22-21, coming in to the third, but Chara and Sobotka just delivered a couple of crunching blows within a minute of each other.
7:14 third period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Bruins miss a great chance for a 2-on-1 when Bergeron’s long pass fails to connect. On the plus side, it came just after the Bruins’ D stalled a potential 3-on-2 for the Flyers.
5:28 third period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Pronger rips a shot from the right faceoff circle that briefly lights up the goal light — appears it hit the post. Bullet dodged.
4:26 third period, Bruins 3 Flyers 3: Several good looks for the Bruins don’t bring a reward. Mark Stuart breaks in and flips a pass across the crease, but there’s no one there to redirect. Now the Flyers are buzzing . . .
2:35 third period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Crowd is trying to will the Bruins to win this thing. Raucous and relentless “Let’s go Bruins!” chant. Early action is in the Philly end.
QUICK BETWEEN-PERIODS NOTE: The Bruins don’t have a player with a positive plus-minus in this game. Nine are minus-one. Meanwhile, for Philly, Hartnell, Leino, Briere, and Lukas Krajicek are plus-2, so there’s one way to gauge who’s being effective.
END OF SECOND PERIOD, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Leighton stones Savard on a mini-breakaway with 11 seconds left, and that does it for a frustrating second period for the Bruins. Two goals within a six-minute span at the end beginning of the period help the Flyers pull even, and the teams head to the third with 20 minutes to play, the score tied, and their seasons at stake. If you are looking for small consolation for the Bruins, here you go: The refs could have blown the call at 8:39 when the Flyers were claiming they’d scored, which would have given them a one-goal lead. Secondly, the Bruins played very well at the end of the period, and perhaps momentum has turned back their way. Curious who you guys think will score the winner — let us know in the comments. I’m going Recchi.
18:48 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Bergeron continues to generate potential chances, but the connections have been just a bit off. Chara and Savard have also been putting the heat on Leighton.
15:47 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Couple of decent chances for Wheeler and Bergeron, but Leighton is there for the stops. Shots are even at 18. Wheeler’s played pretty well on the first line — skating hard and playing with more aggression.
14:46 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: After a scrum in front of Rask, a couple of Flyers (Asham and van Riemsdyk) raise their arms in celebration, but the officials rule
the net was off its moorings. no goal. Might be a break for the Bruins there. Replay shows it was the correct call, with the puck remaining in front of Rask, with Wideman helping to cover up.
14:34 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Penalty killed. Wideman in particular was active and effective.
12:34 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Johnny Boychuk off for hooking. To the fans’ credit, the evaporated lead hasn’t affected the energy of the crowd.
12:34 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Bill Belichick, sitting in the front row, gets a rousing ovation as he’s shown on the scoreboard. He obligingly doffs his visor. We’ll see if he provides good karma.
11:53 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Andrew Ference gets off a shot from the left faceoff circle on a cross-ice pass from Vladimir Sobotka, but Leighton makes a pad save.
10:29 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Decent opportunity from just outside the right faceoff circle for Patrice Bergeron, but there no action in front and Leighton sees it all the way.
9:09 second period. Bruins 3, Flyers 3: Dan Carcillo off for high sticking. A chance for the Bruins to get the momentum back.
8:39 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 3 (?): Now we’ve got controversy, though the replay shows we probably shouldn’t. Briere splits the Bruins’ defense, skates behind the net, and wraps the puck behind Rask. The referee signals goal, it appears to be a goal . . . and as we’re writing this, the replay confirms as much. Tie game. So much for that three-goal lead. The Bruins had better regroup now. Hartnell picks up the assist.
7:21 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 2: Blake Wheeler pokes the puck loose at the blueline on the PK and breaks in. It appears he’s hauled down as he tries to wheel around the Flyers’ defenseman, but there’s no call. The Bruins do kill the power play a few seconds later. Shots are now even at 14.
5:45 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 2: Marc Savard collects the puck in the slot with an open look, but can’t put it on net. A few seconds later, after losing his stick, he gripes to the refs, then gets sent off for hooking at 6:01. Not his finest stretch of hockey. Flyers on the power play for the first time. Huge sequence coming up here.
2:49 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 2: And it’s suddenly a one-goal game, with Hartnell getting his second of the playoffs. He poked it in past Rask glove side after Ville Leino nearly scored on the far post after a three-quarter spin move. The Flyers forwards were one stride ahead of the Bruins defense during the entire sequence. Daniel Briere also picked up an assist. Say this for the Flyers: They’re relentless.
0:00 second period, Bruins 3, Flyers 1: Scoring change on the Flyers’ goal. No assist for Richards after all, so it was van Riemsdyk with Giroux assisting.
END OF THE FIRST PERIOD, Bruins 3, Flyers 1: Well, the first period couldn’t have gone much better than that, Bruins fans. Lucic has two goals and has been the most dominating player on the ice, leading an aggressive and energetic effort by the home team. The goal Rask allowed was a little on the soft side, but he’s been as stable as you’d hoped and occasionally spectacular, while Leighton, his Flyers counterpart, finally played like a guy coming off a two-month injury hiatus. Now it’s on the Flyers and coach Peter Laviolette to make some adjustments.
18:59 first period, Bruins 3, Flyers 1: Flyers nearly get a breakaway, but Rask comes far out of the net to poke away the puck just in time.
18:28 first period, Bruins 3, Flyers 1: Flyers are buzzing, trying to cut the deficit to one before the break. So far in the period, they’re being outshot, 14-8, but they’ve had some quality chances.
17:12 first period, Bruins 3, Flyers 1: Rookie (and former UNH standout) James van Riemsdyk gets the Flyers on the board, capitalizing on some sloppy defensive play by the Bruins’ D and beating Rask with a one-timer that trickled inside the near post. The shot was something of a changeup, with appeared to throw Rask off a little. Mike Richards and Claude Giroux had the assists.
14:10 first period, Bruins 3, Flyers 0 Milan Lucic has come to play. The bruising winger just got No. 2 on the night, and it was all his doing. Outfighting a pair of Flyers along the boards, he came away with the puck, broke in on Leighton, and beat him with a wrister glove side. There were no assists on the play — unless you count the ones he’s giving the Bruins so far tonight.
13:26 first period, Bruins 2, Flyers 0: Boychuk destroys Hartnell along the boards in front of the Flyers’ bench. The crowd approves . . .
12:12 first period, Bruins 2, Flyers 0: Happy 75th birthday, Chief — Johnny Bucyk just got a nice tribute on the scoreboard. We’ll say that the Bruins are outshooting the Flyers, 12-4, in his honor.
11:02 first period, Bruins 2, Flyers 0: Flyers have been getting some decent rushes — Aaron Asham and Briere in the last two minutes — but Rask has been ready and the Bruins’ defenseman have been quick to clear out loose pucks.
9:02 first period, Bruins 2, Flyers 0 . . . and there is is. Lucic, who has been creating havoc so far, beats Leighton stick side right at the post, plowing in a pretty pass from Dennis Wideman. The goal was Lucic’s fourth of the playoffs, while Wideman picked up his 11th assist. Johnny Boychuk also earned an assist, his fourth of the postseason.
7:41 first period, Bruins 1, Flyers 0: The Flyers’ Daniel Briere off for high sticking. Heard Bob Beers say on the way over that the second goal in this game might be more important than the first. Here’s the Bruins chance . . .
7:31 first period, Bruins 1, Flyers 0: Three tremendous close-range saves by Rask in the span of about three seconds.
5:27 first period, Bruins 1, Flyers 0: With pest Scott Hartnell just having been whistled off for high sticking, the Bruins get on the board first, with Michael Ryder notching his fourth goal of the playoffs. Zdeno Chara, who’s shot deflected off Flyers goalie Michael Leighton in the slot. Ryder redirected the rebound as Mark Recchi appeared to leap over his shot. (Pretty good vertical leap for a 41-year-old.) Needless to say, the crowd approves.
4:45 first period, Bruins 0 Flyers 0: Now here’s an encouraging sign for Bruins fans: Milan Lucic has been everywhere on this shift. Blocking a shot on one end, rushing the puck into the zone, then nearly setting up Miroslav Satan for a good look in the slot.
4:05 first period, Bruins 0 Flyers 0: Couple of good opportunities for Gagne, including a second one on which Rask appeared to be screened. Isn’t this guy supposed to have a broken toe?
1:28 first period, Bruins 0 Flyers 0: Good look on the doorstep for Michael Ryder, but can’t get a shot off in traffic. Both teams are playing with great energy, as you’d expect.
0:31 first period, Bruins 0 Flyers 0: Pretty good bid right out of the gate for Philly, but a charging Dan Carcillo can’t handle Simon Gagne’s pass from Tuukka Rask’s stick side and doesn’t get off a shot.
0:00 first period They’re nearly set to drop the puck at the Garden, and the Game 7 crowd sure sounds intent on being the X-factor for the home team. It’s crazy loud in here, with chants of “Let’s Go Bruins” ringing the rafters. Rene’s done his thing — perhaps with a little extra behind the fist-pump tonight — and we’re ready to go.