Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers Series Odds
The Boston Bruins may be as surprised as anyone they have home-ice advantage in the second round of the NHL playoffs. They entered the playoffs as a No. 6 seed and ran into the red-hot Buffalo Sabres and their goalie Ryan Miller. After one game they were already facing a 1-0 deficit. But thanks to a three-game winning streak, a 4-3 win at home to clinch the series in Game 6 and the first-round upset barrage that was the Eastern Conference playoffs, and now the Bruins are hosting Game 1 against the No. 7 seed Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
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The Flyers upset was even more improbable for a few reasons. For one they were an even lower seed than the Bruins and playing an even higher seed than the Sabres (the No. 2-seed New Jersey Devils). They came into the playoffs with the shakiest goalie situation with Brian Boucher in net. And even more stunning was that they easily handled the Devils, winning the series, 4-1, including a statement 3-0 win in Game 5. They torched the usually unflappable Martin Brodeur for 15 goals in five games.
The two teams have split their regular season meetings, 2-2, but in the last two the Bruins have won both while outscoring the Flyers 7-2. The one thing to know about the season series is that Boucher was in net only for a 3-1 win back in December. The other three meetings were split between Ray Emery and Michael Leighton.
This is the Flyers second trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals in three years. When they made it in 2008 they swept the Canadiens to reach the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bruins reached this stage last year where they lost to Carolina in Game 7.
The Flyers strength right now could end up being their weakness. Yes, Boucher leads all goalies in most playoff statistics, but a goalie is not made in one NHL playoff series. In terms of netminders, Boston with Tim Thomas has a drastic advantage.
On top of that Marc Savard has been cleared to play for this series. Savard had six goals and 13 points in 11 playoff games last season. That is an offensive infusion Boston could really use right now. The Flyers are the most undisciplined team -- as usual -- in these playoffs and the Bruins happen to be fourth-best team on the power play this year.
Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers Series Predictions
Boston in five
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