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Flyers present different challenge for Boston Bruins

Carcillo4.jpgBoston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers 12:30 p.m. EDT, May 1, 2010 Live on NBC

The Philadelphia Flyers needed a shootout in the final game of the season just to make the playoffs, yet needed just five games to eliminate the 2nd seeded New Jersey Devils. With some opportunistic and timely offense, along with some surprising goaltending from Brian Boucher, the Flyers enter their second round matchup with the Boston Bruins as a team confident and rested.

They also present a bit of a different challenge for the Bruins, who had a surprising series win of their own against the Sabres. The Flyers are a much more physical team than the Bruins were able to be in the first round, who will be able to keep up with the brutality the Bruins can show at times -- especially on defense.

While the Flyers will never be mistaken for a top-notch offensive team -- and the loss of Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne will certainly hurt -- they’ve been able to use strong forechecking and a crash the net mentality to be incredibly successful against one the best defensive teams in the NHL.

The Bruins also didn’t have to deal with a player of the likes of one Dan Carcillo. He’s not going to single-handedly beat any team, but his physicality and energy spark the rest of his team and he’s been able to score some timely goals of late for the Flyers. Compared to the Flyers skating behind Carcillo, the Sabres were a rumbling and stumbling team that resembled hockey players sleepwalking on ice skates.

The question is, especially without Carter and Gagne, is whether the Flyers have the firepower left to get past the goaltending of Tuukka Rask. The Flyers can certainly bring the wood and put forth a tremendous forecheck, but do they have the talent level needed to negate the defense and goaltending that has worked so well for the Bruins of late?