Flyers, Bruins revisit epic collapse, comeback

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Boston’s collapse was one for the ages. The Flyers had a comeback for the history books.

Down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, then down 3-0 in Game 7, the Philadelphia Flyers erased the long odds and pulled off a shocking rally to win the decisive game 4-3 and move on last season to the Eastern Conference finals.

Those kind of runs happen only, oh, every 30-plus years or so.

In fact, the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders were the only NHL teams to overcome 3-0 deficits to win a best-of-seven playoff series.

Here they are again, one year later … in the same round. The 2010 East chokers vs. the 2010 East champs.

The Bruins sounded this week as if they were giving testimony before a congressional committee: They’re not here to talk about the past.

“Last year was last year, this year is this year,” Bruins winger Shawn Thornton said. “Half the team has been turned over. We’ve brought in some great people. So, it’s a whole new year.”

The Flyers, well, they also tried to insist this is a brand new series and their run of wins in Game 4, Game 5, Game 6 and Game 7 mean as much this May as playoff wins from 30 years ago.

They just weren’t convinced Boston had forgotten about its flop.

“I’m sure they’re going to use that to their advantage,” Flyers center Danny Briere said Friday. “But at the same time, it goes both ways. We might be in their heads, as well. We have that confidence that no matter what happens, we seem to play well when we’re playing against them.”

The Bruins, of course, want to put the series to rest. Once the puck drops in Game 1 Saturday in Philadelphia, Boston will surely have an extra shot of motivation against the team that spoiled their Stanley Cup run.

“It’s always a new situation, it’s a new opportunity, and that’s how we’re looking at it,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “Just a new opportunity for us to get past these guys and hopefully win this series.”

Laviolette said the Flyers also have big motivation: Win a Stanley Cup.

But it is true _ like all rosters from year to year _ that these teams are quite different.

Philadelphia’s Simon Gagne scored the Game 7 winner a year ago, but was traded in the offseason to Tampa Bay. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask has been replaced by Tim Thomas. And Bruins forward Nathan Horton, a newcomer, scored the overtime winner in Game 7 to give them a win over the Montreal Canadiens in the first round.

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