By Brian Willwerth
Two Game 7′s down, two more to go.
The Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks are moving on to the conference semifinals. Two more teams will do the same tonight.
In Philadelphia — The Flyers scored first, and never looked back. They beat the Buffalo Sabres, 5-2. After starting three different goalies in seven games, Philadelphia had no such trouble on this night. Brian Boucher made 25 saves. On the other side, it was Buffalo who had goaltending issues. Ryan Miller was yanked in the third period after the Flyers had built a 4-0 lead and essentially put the game out of reach. The Flyers don’t know who their next opponent will be; it depends on the outcomes of Wednesday’s games.
There was plenty of drama In Vancouver. The Canucks were on the brink of an epic collapse against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, having blown a 3-0 lead in the series. The decisive game went into overtime. But Alex Burrows stole the puck in the Chicago end, and slapped one past Corey Crawford to give the Canucks a 2-1 victory. Chicago was trying to become the fourth team in NHL history to win a series after dropping the first three games. The Canucks will face the Nashville Predators in the second round. The Preds eliminated the Anaheim Ducks for their first ever series win.
The winner-take-all action continues Wednesday evening. The Bruins host the Canadiens at TD Garden, while the Penguins host the Lightning at CONSOL Energy Center.