BOSTON -- The Bruins took a commanding 3-0 series lead with a 5-1 win over the Flyers in Game 3 and did something they had not done in nine playoff games: score a power-play goal.
Captain Zdeno Chara broke the power-play drought at 18:38 of the third period and had another goal and an assist in his best night of the playoffs. Tim Thomas continued to shine with 37 saves as the Bruins moved one game away from eliminating the Flyers and advancing to the Eastern Conference finals.
Chara shows his Norris Trophy worth. Chara has received some criticism for his playoff performance thus far with only one assist coming into Game 3. But Wednesday the Norris Trophy candidate finally broke through with two goals and an assist. Chara was a plus-4 and had five shots in 28:12 on ice.
Bruins end power-play drought. Chara’s second goal, at 18:38 of the third period, was the Bruins' first of the playoffs after 30 failed opportunities. With the Bruins on a 5-on-3 advantage, Chara took a feed from Krejci and blasted a shot past Sergei Bobovrosky. The Bruins finished the game 1-for-4 on the man-advantage.
Krejci, Bergeron, Horton and Marchand stay hot. After scoring only one goal in the first round against Montreal, David Krejci has lit the lamp in all three games of the second round. Krejci has eight points in this series. Meanwhile, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Nathan Horton each extended their point streaks to four games. Bergeron had an assist, bringing his total for the streak to six. Marchand stayed hot with an assist on Chara’s first-period tally and has three goals and three assists during that span, and Horton had a goal and an assist to give him three goals and three assists during his four-game streak. Horton also had a “Gordie Howe hat trick” with a goal, an assist and a fight (with Sean O’Donnell).
Rapid start for Bruins. The Bruins came out flying as Chara blasted one past Boucher 30 seconds into the game, and Krejci scored just 33 seconds later as the Bruins got a quick 2-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Thomas rolls on while Boucher is chased again. Thomas finally let in a goal when Andrej Meszaros beat him at 16:26 of the second period. It was the first goal Thomas allowed in 68 shots going back to the Flyers' second goal of Game 2. Thomas made 37 saves and remains a wall in front of the Boston net. Meanwhile, Brian Boucher continued to struggle as he was pulled for the second time in the series when Horton beat him at 15:14 of the second period. Boucher allowed four goals on 20 shots.
Depth scoring continues to help cause. The Bruins again got a big game from their first line of Milan Lucic, Krejci and Horton as they generated two goals and combined for five points. But just as they have throughout the playoffs -- even when the top line wasn’t clicking -- the Bruins got depth scoring as both the second and fourth lines generated goals. Bergeron and Marchand assisted on Chara’s first-period goal and Daniel Paille got his first career playoff goal with Gregory Campbell getting the helper.
Hnidy and Carter in; Pronger, Shelley and McQuaid out. Bruins defenseman Shane Hnidy replaced fellow blueliner Adam McQuaid in the lineup. McQuaid sprained his neck after crashing into the boards head-first in the first period of Game 2. He is day-to-day. The Flyers also had a change to their lineup as Jeff Carter (knee) returned and Jody Shelley took a seat in the press box. Defenseman Chris Pronger missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury. Here’s what the forward lines and defense pairings looked like:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Tomas Kaberle-Shane Hnidy
Matt Carle-Andrej Meszaros