BOSTON — Simon Gagne and the Flyers put together one more comeback to finish off the Bruins' collapse.
Taking advantage of a too-many-men-on-the-ice call, Gagne scored on a power play with 7:08 left to give Philadelphia a 4-3 win Friday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Flyers overcame a 3-0 series deficit and a 3-0 hole in the first period, rallying to advance to the conference final against Montreal. They became the third NHL team to win a series after trailing 3-0, joining the 1942 Maple Leafs, who beat the Red Wings, and the 1973 Islanders, who eliminated the Penguins.
"I'm really proud of them," coach Peter Laviolette said. "I'm proud of the way they played. I'm proud of the way they represented the organization. I'm proud of the way they represented themselves."
It was humiliating for the Bruins.
"The killer instinct was missing," forward Mark Recchi said. "What are you going to do? It's over, and we've got a long summer to think about it. It's disappointing."
When the final buzzer sounded, the Flyers poured off their bench and surrounded goalie Michael Leighton, who held the Bruins scoreless in the last two periods after starting his second playoff game for injured Brian Boucher.
While the Flyers celebrated, the yellow towels used by fans to spur on the home team came floating to the ice. Bruins center Patrice Bergeron took a slap shot with one.
The decisive penalty occurred with 8:50 left, and Gagne, a major force since returning from a toe injury for Game 4, scored with 18 seconds left in the power play.
"I saw two centermen out there, and I said, 'What's going on,' " said Boston wing Milan Lucic, who had two goals in the game. "I knew there was a miscommunication out there, and we got caught."
The Bruins shot out to a 3-0 lead on power-play goals by Michael Ryder and Lucic, and Lucic's second goal. And only 14:10 had been played. Then Flyers wing James van Riemsdyk scored with 2:48 left in the first period.
That goal sparked Philadelphia.
"We started relaxing and playing hockey and feeling more comfortable on the ice," captain Mike Richards said.
Second-period goals by Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere tied it.
"We started the way we wanted to start it," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "We had lots of energy. We got a 3-0 lead.
"The bottom line is, we had a 3-0 lead in the series. We had a 3-0 lead (Friday). We blew both. There's no excuses. We have to take the responsibility that goes with it. Everyone."
|Flyers win series 4-3|
|Flyers win series 4-3|
First Period—1, Boston, Ryder 4 (Chara, Hunwick), 5:27 (pp). 2, Boston, Lucic 4 (Wideman, Boychuk), 9:02 (pp). 3, Boston, Lucic 5, 14:10. 4, Philadelphia, van Riemsdyk 1 (Giroux), 17:12. Penalties—Hartnell, Phi (high-sticking), 5:19; Briere, Phi (high-sticking), 7:41.
Second Period—5, Philadelphia, Hartnell 2 (Leino, Briere), 2:49. 6, Philadelphia, Briere 7 (Hartnell), 8:39. Penalties—Savard, Bos (hooking), 6:01; Carcillo, Phi (high-sticking), 9:07; Boychuk, Bos (hooking), 12:34.
Third Period—7, Philadelphia, Gagne 4 (Richards, Leino), 12:52 (pp). Penalties—Boston bench, served by Thornton (too many men), 11:10. Shots on Goal—Philadelphia 8-11-8—27. Boston 14-6-5—25. Power-play opportunities—Philadelphia 1 of 3; Boston 2 of 3. Goalies—Philadelphia, Leighton 2-0-0 (25 shots-22 saves). Boston, Rask 7-6-0 (27-23). A—17,565 (17,565).
Hurricanes: Wing Jared Staal signed a three-year entry-level contract with the team his brother Eric captains, one day after being acquired from the Coyotes in a trade. Jared also has two other brothers in the league, Penguins center Jordan and Rangers defenseman Marc.
World Championship: Canada bounced back from an upset loss to Switzerland by defeating Norway 12-1 at Cologne, Germany, in the second round. Lightning and Canada wing Steve Downie scored his second goal of the tournament and had two shots and was plus-1 in 15:14 of ice time. Sweden defeated Latvia 4-2 as Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman got an assist for the Swedes for his first tournament point. He also was second on the team in ice time with 18:47. In other games, Denmark routed Slovakia 6-0, and Finland beat Belarus 2-0.