BOSTON _ When Boston took a 3-0 series lead, I tweeted that the Flyers would win the next three games and then lose in Game 7.
I'm beginning to wonder if I shortchanged the Flyers.
I never expected Flyers left winger Simon Gagne to return to all-star form after missing 17 days because of a broken foot. Gagne has three goals in his two games.
And I never expected Boston _ a mediocre team with a very good goalie _ to go into retreat, like it did in its 4-0 loss on Monday. It was the Bruins, not the Flyers, who played tight and looked as if THEY were facing an elimination game.
The Flyers still have an uphill climb in their Miracle March, of course. They trail the series, 3-2, and would have to expend lots of energy just to get to a Game 7 and try to do the unthinkable _ become the third team in NHL history to win a playoff series after losing the first three games.
But it's not such an outlandish thought anymore. The Bruins are playing tentatively, and they miss injured forwards Marco Sturm and David Krejci more than they will admit.
In addition, the loss of injured goalie Brian Boucher, who has had a solid playoff run, may actually work to the Flyers' advantage. Boucher's replacement, Michael Leighton, is fresh after sitting out nearly two months, and the Flyers seem to raise their level of play _ and not allow many good scoring opportunities _ when Leighton (16-5-1 regular-season record) is in the nets.
As the late, great Gene Hart used to say, "Hold onto your seatbelts." This is going to be a thrilling ride the rest of the way.
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