2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Semi-finals
There are two-game 2’s taking place later this evening in the world known as the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The first game of the night features the #7 Philadelphia Flyers at the #6 Boston Bruins and the second game is between, #3 Vancouver Canucks at #2 Chicago Blackhawks.
#7 Philadelphia at #6 Boston, 7:00 pm ET
Boston won game 1 in overtime, beating the Flyers and taking a 1-0 series lead. Tonight they will look to go up 2-0 in the series, but they will be doing it without Marco Sturm. Sturm suffered an injury in game 1 and will likely be out through the beginning of next season as he recuperates.
Coming back from injury in game 1, was the Bruins star center, Marc Savard, who only scored the game-winning goal in overtime. Savard had been out since March 7, after suffering a concussion due to a hit from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke, in a regular season game.
The Bruins were 2-1-1 against the Flyers in the regular season, including a 2-1 overtime win at Fenway Park, for the NHL Winter Classic played on New Year’s Day. The last time the two teams met before game 1, was on March 11 in Philadelphia; Boston won the game 5-1 on a strong performance from Tuukka Rask and a good team effort (Savard was out at this point with his injury).
The Bruins only official home game against the Flyers this season resulted in a 3-1 loss. That was then and this is now, as the Bruins try for a commanding series lead later today.
Standing in the way will be a Flyers team that doesn’t give up easily and plays as aggressive as any team in the playoffs. Had one of the Flyers shots found the back of the net in game 1, we would be talking about them taking a potential 2-0 series lead and heading back home, but that’s not how it happened.
Philly battled all game long on Friday night, after falling behind in the first-period 2-0, before getting a goal from Ryan Parent to make it 2-1. Boston would then increase the lead by two again, on a power-play goal by Miroslav Satan. Once again the Flyers cut the lead to one, when defenseman Chris Pronger scored late in the period on a power-play opportunity.
In the third-period, it looked as though David Krejci sealed the game for Boston with his goal, giving the Bruins a 4-2 lead with just over 12 minutes to play. Somehow, the Flyers found a way to tie the game and send it into overtime, before eventually losing on Savard’s first goal in his first game back.
The Flyers were the first team to clinch a spot in the semi-final round, after their 4-1 series win against the New Jersey Devils and they hadn’t played a game in eight days before Saturday. It could have been that they were a little rusty to start the game, but expect them to come out tonight with the furry that got them to the next round.
The last two seasons, the Flyers have been eliminated by in-state rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins and I’m sure they would like a chance at a rematch in the Conference Finals.
This is going to be a long, hard-fought series between the two teams from here on out. The teams are tied 2-2 in all-time series wins in the playoffs. The last time they met in the playoffs was in the 1977-78 season, when Boston won the series 4-1.
I predict that this series will go at least six games, with the Flyers evening the series tonight in Boston.
Prediction: Flyers 3-2