May 14, 2010
Finding themselves down 3-0 just 14 minutes into the opening period of Game 7 wasn't the ideal situation the Philadelphia Flyers wanted to find themselves in with their season on the line. The Boston Bruins, energized by the boisterous TD Garden crowd, came like gangbusters attacked the Philadelphia net and making Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton(notes) work for each save.
Taking advantage of two early power plays and then watching Milan Lucic(notes) record his second goal of the period to take the 3-0 lead, the Bruins and their fans were dreaming of an Original Six match up with the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Finals.
After Lucic's second goal, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette called timeout and settled his troops down. The three-goal deficit, much like the series itself, was not out of reach. Philadelphia clawed back from three games down to force Game 7 tonight, why wouldn't they believe another type of comeback could be accomplished?
And much like they've done the entire series, the Flyers chipped away at the Boston lead and managed to tie the game on Danny Briere's(notes) wraparound attempt with less than 12 minutes left in the second period. The goal left the crowd silent, the Bruins players in shock and the Philadelphia bench primed to finish the job.
The longest serving member of the Flyers potted the winning goal on the power play with 7:08 to go in the game. Boston had been caught with the 33rd "too many men" penalty of the playoffs. Gagne missed the first three games of the series, all losses. Returning in Game 5, he scored the overtime winner. In Game 6 he scored twice in Philadelphia's 4-0 win. There was nobody else on the ice for the Flyers that were expected to score as big a goal as Gagne's. He continued to show how important he is to the Philadelphia lineup, especially with Jeff Carter(notes) out due to injury.
Boston now has to live with this Flyers comeback forever. The outcome of the series will forever be a stain on what was turning into a memorable run by the Bruins. From the contributions of veterans Mark Recchi(notes) and Miroslav Satan(notes), to the stellar goaltending of Tuukka Rask(notes) who saved the season in relief of 2009 Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas(notes), to the triumphant return of Marc Savard(notes) in Game 1 of the series. There will be no getting over this loss.
Many Bruins fans have only heard about the infamous "too many men" call in Game 7 of the 1979 Stanley Cup semifinal series against Montreal. After tonight, they'll have their own story to tell to their children.
Here's the Round 3 schedule with start times and television information: