BOSTON — Milan Lucic scored twice, Johnny Boychuk got the go-ahead goal, and the Bruins stopped any chance of another historic comeback by the Flyers with a 5-1 win Friday night that completed a sweep of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The Bruins are in the conference final for the first time since 1992 — they were swept by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Penguins — and as the East's third seed will have home-ice advantage against the fifth-seeded Lightning.
In the semifinal round last year against Philadelphia, the Bruins became the third NHL team to lose a series after winning the first three games. Boston led 3-0 in Game 7 at home before the Flyers rallied for a 4-3 victory.
"I think we learned a lot from last year, that experience, and I think it made us a more determined hockey club," Lucic said. "We can definitely put everything behind us with what happened last year. So it's a real good feeling."
Lucic's first goal, at 12:02 of the first, was his first in 21 games. He knocked in a goal-mouth pass from Nathan Horton. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, making his first start since Game 1 of this series to add another chapter to the Flyers' revolving-door goalie saga, had no chance.
Bobrovsky replaced Brian Boucher, who had been ineffective in the other losses.
"I'm not sure what went wrong," said Flyers captain Mike Richards, who had one goal in 11 playoff games. "(Boston) played extremely well."
Top Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger missed the last three games with an unspecified injury. "I don't want to use that as an excuse," coach Peter Laviolette said. "We have (other) good players in the lineup."
First Period—1, Boston, Lucic 1 (Horton, Krejci), 12:02 (pp). Penalties—Hnidy, Bos (slashing), 3:10; van Riemsdyk, Phi (hooking), 5:44; Versteeg, Phi (interference), 9:28; Marchand, Bos (diving), 9:28; Carcillo, Phi (cross-checking), 11:31; Giroux, Phi (tripping), 15:03; Hartnell, Phi (roughing), 19:52; Chara, Bos, double minor (roughing), 19:52.
Second Period—2, Philadelphia, Versteeg 1 (Richards), 13:22. Penalties—Hartnell, Phi (charging), 11:39; Lucic, Bos (cross-checking), 11:39; Horton, Bos (holding), 13:54; Carcillo, Phi (cross-checking), 16:55; Briere, Phi (holding), 19:36.
Third Period—3, Boston, Boychuk 2 (Ryder), 2:42. 4, Boston, Lucic 2 (Horton), 15:03. 5, Boston, Marchand 5 (Recchi, Peverley), 18:04 (en). 6, Boston, Paille 2 (Campbell, Thornton), 19:35 (en). Penalties—None. Shots on Goal—Philadelphia 6-7-10—23. Boston 13-7-7—27. Power-play opportunities—Philadelphia 0 of 3; Boston 1 of 5. Goalies—Philadelphia, Bobrovsky 0-2-0 (25 shots-22 saves). Boston, Thomas 8-3-0 (23-22).
Late goal from Helm keeps Wings alive
DETROIT — The Red Wings figured out a way to be on the winning side of a one-goal game against the Sharks. For Detroit, it was about time.
Darren Helm scored with 1:27 left, lifting the Red Wings to an elimination-avoiding 4-3 win over San Jose in Game 4 of their West semifinal series.
"For us, it was an overtime game, a game we obviously had to win," Helm said.
The Sharks won the first three games by a goal. In the same round last year, they beat the Red Wings in four one-goal games.
"It's a great feeling just finishing on top and finally getting a win," said Nicklas Lidstrom, who scored twice in the first period as Detroit took a 3-0 lead that slipped away.
The Sharks take their 3-1 series lead back to San Jose for Game 5 Sunday night. Detroit is trying to become the fourth NHL team to win a series after trailing 3-0.
Detroit appeared to be on the way to a blowout in the first. "We didn't answer the bell as well as we could've," San Jose forward Joe Pavelski said.
First Period—1, Detroit, Bertuzzi 2 (Zetterberg, Cleary), 6:22. 2, Detroit, Lidstrom 3 (Cleary, Bertuzzi), 11:09. 3, Detroit, Lidstrom 4 (Zetterberg, Datsyuk), 18:01 (pp). 4, San Jose, Couture 3 (Clowe), 18:16. Penalties—I.White, SJ (interference), 16:05.
Second Period—5, San Jose, Boyle 2 (Wellwood, Clowe), 13:44. Penalties—Thornton, SJ (holding stick), 5:47; Mitchell, SJ (holding), 10:58; Heatley, SJ (tripping), 14:29.
Third Period—6, San Jose, Heatley 3 (Clowe, Couture), 1:14. 7, Detroit, Helm 2 (Eaves, Rafalski), 18:33. Penalties—Bertuzzi, Det (high-sticking), 4:12; Abdelkader, Det (cross-checking), 11:35; Clowe, SJ, double minor (roughing), 20:00; Abdelkader, Det, double minor (roughing), 20:00. Shots on Goal—San Jose 12-6-10—28. Detroit 17-10-13—40. Power-play opportunities—San Jose 0 of 2; Detroit 1 of 4. Goalies—San Jose, Niemi 6-3-0 (40 shots-36 saves). Detroit, Howard 5-3-0 (28-25).
coyotes: The Glendale City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a plan to pay the NHL up to $25 million to buy more time to find a buyer for the league-owned team. If the plan is approved, Glendale would keep the Coyotes through 2011-12 at Jobing.com Arena.