By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff
After a round one for the ages, the Boston Bruins carried the momentum into a second-round rematch with the Philadelphia Flyers. The brutal playoff exit from last year still left a sour taste in the Bruin’s mouth, and they looked to exorcise the demons from last year. Losing a series is one thing, but losing one after being up 3-0 is another. So, the goal for this series, take it one game at a time.
The Bruins went 3-0-1 against the Flyers during the regular season. One thing that Boston needed to change was their powerplay. In the previous series against Montreal, they went 0-21 on the powerplay. Healthy scratches for Boston were Tyler Seguin and Shane Hnidy. Philadelphia was without Danny Syvret and Zac Rinaldo. The starting goaltenders were Tim Thomas and Brian Boucher. Here we go, folks; second-round action is here.
Bruins Start Hot
Game 1 of the divisional round was underway, and the Wells Fargo Center was deafening. The stands looked like a giant pumpkin with all the fans wearing orange. Boston came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. In fact, it only took 1:52 into the game for the Bruins to get on the scoreboard. Krejci buried a backhander over Boucher on the rebound from Nathan Horton’s shot from the right point.
Philadelphia would respond with shots on Thomas, but Thomas stuck his ground. Seconds before the period’s halfway mark, both Daniel Paille and Chris Pronger were assessed penalties. 1:30 into the 4-on-4 penalties, Danny Briere, buried it, and Philly had tied the game. The Bruins were caught shorthanded in their defensive zone, and Briere buried a rebound shot from Braydon Coburn’s initial shot.
Just under six minutes left in the first period, the Bruins would get a chance to end their powerplay struggles. Zac Rinaldo was called for goaltender interference, leading to Philly being shorthanded. Only one shot on the powerplay for Boston resulted in them now being 0-22 on powerplays in the playoffs. As the first period winded down, the Bruins were able to score again and take a 2-1 lead into the intermission. Nathan Horton hit Boucher in the midsection, but Boucher couldn’t settle the rebound, and Horton came right back to pop it over Boucher’s glove. After one, the Bruins were outshooting Philly 12-8. Horton and Krejci both get a goal, and Briere gets one for Philly while 4-on-4.
Second Period Domination
Like the first period, the Bruins opened the period with a quick goal. Just 2:34 into the second period, Recchi ripped a wrist shot that clipped Boucher’s glove and found the back of the net. The Bruins now had a 3-1 lead. Three minutes later, the Bruins got another powerplay opportunity resulting from Kris Versteeg being called for slashing.
The same old story continued for Boston’s powerplay, and they were now 0-23. Two minutes later, Michael Ryder was tripped, and Boston yet again had another powerplay opportunity. Bruins got two chances while on the powerplay but were now 0-24 on powerplays. The next five minutes featured both Brad Marchand and Johnny Boychuk getting penalties, but Boston was able to kill them off and continue to lead 3-1.
With 4:34 remaining in the second period, David Krejci potted his second goal of the game. What appeared to be a harmless wrist shot toward the net from Adam McQuaid at the right point was tipped over Boucher’s glove by Krejci at the inside edge of the right circle. A minute later, Boucher makes a simple save and gets his first round of boos from the Philadelphia crowd. A little over a minute later, the Bruins drove Brian Boucher out of the net. Brad Marchand knocked in a rebound shot from Andrew Ference, and that was it for the Philly goaltender. The Bruins had a 5-1 lead with 2:46 remaining in the second.
16 seconds later, though, James van Riemsdyk netted a quick wrist shot off the faceoff. It was now only a 5-2 Boston lead. Philly’s momentum would be short-lived as just 42 seconds later, Giroux was whistled for slashing. Boston would have a late period chance to break their powerplay cold spell. The Bruins yet again couldn’t find the back of the net while on the powerplay, and the second period ended. Boston would have 12 seconds left on the powerplay at the start of the third period. After a dominating second period, Boston looked to coast in the third period and win Game one.
Philly’s Late Push not Enough
Third-period action was underway, and it didn’t take long for a penalty to be called. Both Scott Hartnell and Rich Peverley were heading to the box. Hartnell for slashing, Peverley for cross-checking. Two minutes later, both teams were back to even strength. An energy-filled Philly team ran into an energy-filled Tim Thomas and couldn’t find the back of the net. Philly would have their chances to come back in the game, as Andrew Ference was called for a penalty 8:30 into the period and David Krejci 10:57 into the period.
However, Boston’s penalty kill was as sharp as a tack and was able to kill off both penalties. A little over a minute later, Marchand was going to the box for tripping, and the Bruins were going to be shorthanded for the third time in the period. On their third powerplay try, Philly was finally able to convert. Mike Richards snapped a wrist shot past Tim Thomas, and Philly was now only down 5-3 with seven minutes left in Game one.
A smidge under two minutes later, Boston put a halt to Philly’s late surge. Marchand was able to bury his second goal of the game and slow Philly’s momentum. With Philly’s patience running out, the physicality would get out of hand. Just 30 seconds later, Andrej Meszaros was called for slashing at 15:28, at the same time Milan Lucic and Zac Rinaldo were sent to the locker room with 10-minute misconducts after getting in each other’s faces. With 2:21 remaining in the game, Gregory Campbell made it 7-3 and sent the Philadelphia crowd home. It was Campbell’s first goal of the playoffs and Krejci’s fourth point of the game. The horn finally sounded, and Game one of the series was in the books.
Bruins Lead Series 1-0
Boston dominated Game one. Krejci was able to score two goals along with Marchand. Thomas was electric in the net, and Boston was able to take advantage of a dismal goaltending performance by Brian Boucher, driving him out of the game the second period. While Boston played a great game, there were some things they still had to work on. One was the powerplay. Boston had six powerplays in Game one and couldn’t convert on one.
Bringing their dismal total to 0-27 on powerplays in the playoffs. The other concern was Boston’s ability to stay out of the box. They were shorthanded five times, including a 5-on-3 opportunity for Philly. Luckily for Boston, the Flyers only converted on one powerplay. Besides those two concerns, Boston played a hell of a game, including David Krejci after being silent in Round one. The series would resume May 2nd at the Wells Fargo Center for Game two.