PHILADELPHIA – The Boston Bruins are one win away from a surprising trip to the Eastern Conference finals that has been 18 years in the making.

Blake Wheeler and Miroslav Satan scored 94 seconds apart to stun the Philadelphia Flyers on their home ice and get Boston rolling in Game 3. Tuukka Rask took over from there and made all the huge saves.

Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron also scored in a 4-1 victory Wednesday night that lifted the Bruins to a commanding 3-0 lead in the semifinal series.

Boston is on the brink of a sweep and a berth in the NHL’s final four for the first time since 1992.

“We are in good shape, but now we have to take care of business,” Rask said.

Rask finished with 34 saves after allowing a quick goal. The Bruins can complete the sweep in Philadelphia on Friday night.

“It was just one of those games when you see a lot of shots, you feel comfortable, you’re not making any extra moves and you’re standing there and everything seems to hit you,” Rask said.

Wheeler and Satan scored in the first period to wipe out the Flyers’ early lead, and the Bruins never looked back. They won the first two games of the series at home — and might not play in Boston again until the conference finals.

Arron Asham scored for the Flyers, who are 0-6 in series when trailing 3-0. Only two NHL teams have recovered from such a deficit to advance.

“We outplayed them pretty much in the first two periods. Our confidence was fine, we just couldn’t get the puck past Tuukka,” Asham said. “He made some big saves for them and blocked a lot of shots.

“I think if we play the same way Friday night, we will be fine.”

The Flyers’ first home playoff game since April 20 had an unusual vibe from the start. There were large patches of empty seats, mostly in the upper deck, and the normally rocking crowd of 20,000-plus was quiet from the opening faceoff.

The Flyers gave their fans a quick jolt, scoring first when Asham flipped the puck under Rask’s glove only 2:32 in. It did more than give the Flyers the first lead of the game — it was their first lead of the series.

The Bruins took over from there, even as injuries forced center David Krejci and Adam McQuaid out of the game. Krejci was leveled on a crushing hit from Flyers captain Mike Richards that actually led to Boston’s go-ahead goal.

The loose puck was corralled by Milan Lucic, who got it to Satan for his fifth goal of the postseason, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead.

Bruins Coach Claude Julien said Krejci and McQuaid were being evaluated and was unsure if they would be available for Game 4.

“For us to go down to a short bench and be able to sustain that and everything else, I thought our guys responded well,” Julien said. “If anything, I thought it was a real gutsy effort on our part.”

The Flyers had plenty of open looks, but they couldn’t convert any rebounds against Rask. He stopped all 15 shots in the second period, including two Philadelphia chances on the power play. The Bruins’ defense did a fantastic job of shot blocking in front.

“Guys are willing to do whatever it takes. Our guys feel the importance of blocking shots,” Julien said.


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