Bruins clinch playoff spot with 2-1 win over Flyers

Bruins clinch playoff spot with 2-1 win over Flyers
March 28, 2011, 1:32 am
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By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

PHILADELPHIA The Bruins and Flyers have engaged in some tightly-clenched games this season following last years epic playoff series, and that again held true in their regular-season finale. The two Eastern Conference heavyweights took turns exchanging bone-crunching body checks and dangerous rushes up the ice that fittingly ended with a last-minute 2-1 victory for the Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center.The win clinched a playoff berth for the fourth time in four years for the B's under the tutelage of Claude Julien.Mike Richards had been whistled off for a high-sticking call, and Brad Marchand potted his 20th goal on the power play when he battled for a rebound in front of the net.It was Marchands first goal since Feb. 22 against Calgary, a 12-game drought.The Flyers opened the scoring in a physically punishing first period when Mike Richards hit former Bs farmhand Kris Versteeg with a nifty pass from the high slot and Versteeg buried the shot for his 20th goal of the season.The Bruins fought back with an excellent second period and cashed in on a power play after Blair Betts threw his leg out for a dangerous tripping play on Chris Kelly. Nathan Horton slammed home his 23rd goal of the season after collecting the rebound of a Tomas Kaberle point shot, and set up the third period for a showdown between the two Eastern Conference giants.The Bs outshot the Flyers by a 36-28 margin, but Tim Thomas was magnificent while barrel-rolling and sliding all over the crease to keep the powerful Flyers offense at bay. Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs