Bruins know situation is desperate

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

BOSTON -- With so many medical marvels in the 2010 playoffs, someone had better think about teaching the Heimlich Maneuver to the Boston Bruins.

Their bear collars are about to tighten even more on Wednesday when they must return to the Wachovia Center and try a third time to put away the indigestable seventh-seeded Flyers.

"It's starting to get to crunch time," Boston's Mark Recchi warned. "We've let them back in the series and now we have to get desperate. Now, it's our turn."

True, only two playoff teams have ever failed when up 3-0, but few of the eventual winners must have looked as inept as Boston on Monday when squandering home ice in a 4-0 loss.

As the Bruins were gagging at TD Garden, Simon Gagne was galloping, with a pair of goals for Philly, to give him three since tossing aside the crutches of his broken toe to put his best foot forward.

"The longer the series goes, the better I'm going to feel," assured Gagne, a comment likely meant to unsettle the Bruins as much as fuel the Flyers' belief they can accomplish the near impossible.

Gagne returned unexpectedly, while Jeff Carter (broken right foot) is a possibility if they do go another round. There's already plenty of inspiration in the press box with forward Ian Laperriere (concussion from blocking a shot with his face) and goalie Brian Boucher (both knees, out indefinitely).

Boucher won the starting job by default when both Ray Emery and Michael Leighton were hurt, but his grisly Gumbyesque knee contortion in Game 5 when two players pinned him might not be as devastating to the team as you think.

After helping to upset the Devils in the first round, Boucher had been out-played by Boston's Tuukka Rask in much of the semi-final. Leighton, who was carefully re-habbing a high ankle sprain since March 16, was fast becoming a difficult lineup choice for Peter Laviolette, until Boucher went down and Monday's 14-save relief job gave the coach an opening. Leighton had better regular-season numbers, but instead of capitalizing on two months of rust, the Bruins let him get comfortable.

"If they'd peppered me right away, it might have been a different outcome," agreed Leighton, who was not only out of game shape, but making his NHL playoff debut. "My knees were shaking at the start, but like anything, you just settle down. As soon as I went in, we played well defensively and stayed out of the box."

Marc Savard called the B's inability to go for the kill at that point early in the second period "a huge disappointment ... we had spurts, but spurts aren't going to win you games in playoffs."

The fiery Savard has been a force since his fast-tracked return from a Grade 2 concussion, with three points in four games and a plus-4 prior to Monday. He and Flyers captain Mike Richards had a major run-in late in Game 5. But after a surprise burst of offence in the first 10 playoff games against Buffalo and Philadelphia, the B's once more looked like the NHL's lowest-scoring regular-season team on Monday.

Gone from their arsenal are forwards David Krejci and Marco Sturm, sorely missed as the B's encountered a black and orange wall.

"I said the day after Krejci was injured, he's a big part of our team on the penalty kill and the power play," Boston winger Milan Lucic said.


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