Bruins earn redemption and earn first trip to conference finals in 19 years

The Boston Bruins of 2011 were not about to let the demons of 2010 get in their way on Friday night at TD Garden. They took care of business and are in the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1992.

Milan Lucic scored twice, Johnny Boychuck provided the go ahead goal and Tim Thomas made 21 saves, as the Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-1, and will now face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference finals with the home ice advantage.

“I think we learned a lot from last year, that experience, and I think it made us a more determined hockey club,” Lucic said. “We can definitely put everything behind us with what happened last year. So it’s a real good feeling.”

While there was no question that the Flyers were missing their on-ice leader Chris Pronger, who missed the last three games of the series with a hand injury, the Bruins offense absolutely came alive against Philadelphia.

Along with Vezina trophy candidate Thomas, the Bruins enter the conference finals like a well-oiled machine hitting on all cylinders.

For Thomas, he is one who is glad that the talk of last season’s collapse will now be in the past.

“As a player you hear all the talk about what happened last year and you have to ignore it to be able to do what we just did, winning this series,” Thomas said. “But to be honest I’m glad that it’s over, I’m glad that it’s done with. Because the longer that series would have went the more talk about last year. So I’m glad that is put behind us as a team, as an organization and the fans. I am glad the fans can put it behind them too. And I’ll say it, hopefully exorcised some demons.”

Considering the play of the Bruins during this series, the fans are definitely glad it’s behind them as well.

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