Flyers at Bruins, Game 1

Here is a look at Saturday's Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Flyers and Boston

Bruins.

Down memory lane

Shaggy hair was in style. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was a box-office sensation. It cost 13 cents to mail a letter.

The year was 1976 - the last time the Flyers won a playoff game in Boston.

The Flyers defeated the Bruins, 4-2, on May 4, in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup semifinals.

Only two Flyers playing in the current series - Chris Pronger (born in 1974) Kimmo Timonen (born in 1975) - were alive at that time.

Since 1974, the Flyers are 0-5 in playoff games in Boston. They will try to end that streak Saturday.

Numbing numbers

Boston killed all 19 Buffalo power plays in the conference quarterfinals. The Bruins killed 8 of 9 against the Flyers in the regular season.

Setting the tone

How important is Saturday afternoon's series opener?

Consider this: The Flyers are 21-8 in series after they win Game 1, including their 2-1 victory over New Jersey in the first game of this year's conference quarterfinals.

They are 13-19 in series when they lose Game 1.

Ties cut

While growing up in Massachusetts, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was a Bruins fan who rooted hard for Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge et al.

That was then.

"My allegiance hasn't been with Boston since they fired me as an assistant coach," Laviolette said.

Rookie vs. veteran

The goalie matchup between Tuukka Rask, the Bruins' 23-year-old rookie standout, and revived veteran Brian Boucher will likely be the biggest factor in determining the series.

Rask, a Finland native who has supplanted last season's Vezina trophy winner, Tim Thomas, as Boston's No. 1 goalie, had a 2.18 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in the first round against Buffalo. Boucher, 33, was even better, compiling a 1.59 GAA and a .940 save percentage against New Jersey.

Calling all scorers

It's safe to assume that the Flyers won't advance if Mike Richards, Claude Giroux, and Danny Briere duplicate their regular-season performance against Boston. None had a goal or an assist in the four games - and Boston's 6-foot-9 defenseman, Zdeno Chara, played a major role in keeping them pointless.

The trio played admirably in the five-game series against New Jersey.

Nice timing, HBO

HBO will air Broad Street Bullies - chronicling the Flyers' colorful, brawling teams of the mid 1970s - on Tuesday.

The timing couldn't be better.

A lot of the superb documentary centers around the Flyers' win over Boston in the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals.

Yep. The same teams that are meeting in the playoffs for the first time since 1978.

Hard to believe, Harry

The winner of the series between the seventh-seeded Flyers and sixth-seeded Bruins will get the home-ice advantage in the conference finals, provided eighth-seeded Montreal defeats fourth-seeded Pittsburgh in its series.

The Flyers wouldn't have qualified for the playoffs if they had lost a shoot-out to the Rangers on the final day of the regular season.

The Bruins qualified for the playoffs on the next-to-last day of the season, one that included a 10-game overall losing streak and a 10-game home losing skid.

- Sam Carchidi