One year after watching their 3-0 series lead disappear in an unprecedented collapse, the Bruins again moved one game from sweeping Philadelphia in the conference semis. This year they have a chance to do it at home, with Game 4 on Friday night at the TD Garden.
Tim Thomas made 37 saves for Boston, which hasn't reached the conference finals since 1992.
Brian Boucher stopped 16 shots for the Flyers before he was replaced with 4:46 left in the second period after Daniel Paille and Nathan Horton scored to make it 4-0. Sergei Bobrovsky made seven saves the rest of the way.
Andrej Meszaros spoiled Thomas' shutout bid with 3:34 left in the middle period. The Flyers pulled the goalie with over 2 minutes left, but back-to-back penalties gave the Bruins a 5-on-3 advantage. Chara put a slap shot in with 1:22 left for Boston's first power-play goal of the playoffs.
A victory in any of the next three games would help erase the sting of last year's collapse, when Boston led 3-0 in games before Philadelphia came back to tie the series. In Game 7, the Bruins took a 3-0 lead but lost 4-3 and the Flyers went on to the Stanley Cup finals.
That, and the fact that the Bruins have yet to score a 5-on-4, power-play goal in the postseason, will keep them from getting too confident. Boston was 0 for 28 with a man advantage heading into Game 3.
The Bruins came back to Boston after taking the first two games in Philadelphia to steal home-ice advantage and jumped right on the Flyers.
Boucher made the initial save on Boston's first charge, but the puck wound up behind the net. Patrice Bergeron dug it out and passed it in front to Chara, who slapped it into the net just 30 seconds in. Only 33 seconds later, with the crowd still celebrating the first goal, Horton helped set up Krejci to make it 2-0.
The goals were the fastest allowed by the Flyers at the start of a playoff game in franchise history. It was the fastest a team had scored two goals to start a playoff game since the Red Wings tallied twice in 61 seconds against Phoenix in 1998, according to STATS LLC.
And the Bruins kept going.
Campbell's crossing pass left Paille with an open shot at 13:39 of the second. Horton, a playoff rookie, made it 4-0 with his fifth goal of the postseason at 15:14 of the period.
Notes: The Bruins signed D Ryan Button to an entry-level contract. ... After scoring just one goal, with no assists, in the seven-game, first-round series against Montreal, Krejci has scored four goals with two assists against the Flyers. ... Bruins D Adam McQuaid, who crashed into the boards headfirst and sprained his neck in Game 2, didn't play. Shane Hnidy took his place. ... D Chris Pronger remained out for the Flyers for the second straight game with an injured hand. But leading scorer Jeff Carter returned after missing the last three games of the first round and the first two of this one with a knee injury.