Zdeno Chara put the punctuation on a very special night's work by the Bruins. It was, without question, one giant exclamation point.

The Bruins captain led the way as his team delivered a near-perfect performance at the best possible time, dominating the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-1, last night at the Garden to put a 3-0 stranglehold on their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Many analysts predicted the desperate Flyers would storm into this game with an all-out effort and be tough to beat. But it took the Bruins, and Chara, all of 30 seconds to make it clear they were the ones best prepared for a monumental performance.

That was the time, 0:30 after the opening faceoff, when Chara launched a missle from the top of the left circle, a sizzler high to the far side on which Philly goalie Brian Boucher had no chance.

That's how the game started for the Bruins and it ended in similar fashion, another Chara bomb that wrapped up the scoring with 1:22 left, finally snapping that troubling B's power-play drought, which had reached a calamitous 0-for-30.

His goal sent the Garden into utter bedlam, fans dancing in the aisles, and already starting to ponder those Stanley Cup dreams.