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Cullen: Good news, possible bad news as Bruins sweep

Scott Cullen
5/7/2011 12:19:07 AM
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Milan Lucic helped the Bruins finish off the Flyers, while the Red Wings aren't done yet.

PHILADELPHIA-BOSTON
Boston completed their series sweep over the Flyers, led by a pair of goals from Milan Lucic, his first two goals of the postseason.

Surviving in the playoffs has helped the Bruins' best players get on track.  David Krejci added an assist, giving him nine points in the series and a couple of goals for Lucic could be good news for the Bruins, especially when considering how little those two-thirds of Boston's top line produced in the first round. 

The other member of the top line, Nathan Horton, added two assists in the clinching game, giving him six points during a four-game point streak.

For a team on the brink of elimination, the Flyers didn't play with much desperation, getting just 13 shots on goal through two periods and once Lucic buried his second of the game with just under five minutes left, the outcome wasn't in doubt.

The win didn't come without problems for Boston, as Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron left with an injury after getting hit by Claude Giroux in the third period. 

There were no immediate updates on Bergeron's status and, in the absence of information, speculation runs wild on how serious -- or even, what -- the injury might be.  If it's a concussion, that would be awfully troubling, given Bergeron's history.

It's no secret that the Flyers' goaltending wasn't up to snuff, but it's not like the rest of the Flyers' machine was running perfectly. 

James van Riemsdyk was the only Flyer to score more than one goal, while Dan Carcillo and Jody Shelley were the only Flyers not to have a minus rating and, understandably, their ice time was limited.

On the other hand, Boston had ten players register at least three points in the four game series and they're inept power play has scored in back-to-back games for the first time since March 24.

Going into the next series, against Tampa Bay, the veteran goaltenders will naturally play a huge role in determining the outcome.  Before the season started, there would have been some long odds against Tim Thomas and Dwayne Roloson playing for a shot to get to the Stanley Cup Final.

SAN JOSE-DETROIT
The Red Wings live to fight another day, thanks to Darren Helm netting the winning goal with 1:27 left in the third period.

Detroit got another two goals (and six shots on net) from defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom.  The six shots tied his season high, yet the 22:42 he played was his low mark so far in the series against San Jose.

Todd Bertuzzi and Dan Cleary each contributed two points in the win, a welcome boost after both were among the Red Wings players noted after last game to have yet to get on the scoresheet. 

Sharks winger Ryane Clowe continued his impressive postseason, registering three assists and a plus-3 rating.  His 12 points leads all Western Conference playoff scorers.

Sharks forward Joe Pavelski, who led the Sharks in shots on goal in the regular season and so far in the playoffs, didn't have any shots on goal in Game Four, the first time since the 2009 playoffs that he didn't have at least one shot on goal in a game.

The Red Wings fired 40 shots on the San Jose goal, the second straight game that they've hit that plateau; something that just doesn't happen against the puck-control Sharks, who allowed 28.9 shots on goal per game during the regular season.

Despite trailing the series 3-1, the Red Wings have been able to play with the Sharks (perhaps aside from Game One), but two overtime results have tilted the results heavily in the Sharks' favour, leaving the Wings no room for error as they attempt to come back.

Rallying from a 3-0 deficit is obviously a daunting task and the Wings staved off elimination last year in Game Four against San Jose only to get eliminated in Game Five, but the play hasn't been so lopsided to think that the Wings couldn't extend this series further if, now that Bertuzzi and Cleary have started putting up points, Detroit could get something out of Johan Franzen.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.




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