Rapid reaction: Bruins 7, Flyers 3
April, 30, 2011
By James Murphy | ESPNBoston.com
PHILADELPHIA -- The Boston Bruins made a big statement in Game 1 that if they can play their game, this will be a different series than the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals series in which they blew a 3-0 lead.
Boston throttled the Philadelphia Flyers 7-3 behind a four-point night from David Krejci (two goals, two assists), two goals and an assist by Brad Marchand and 31 saves from Tim Thomas. The Bruins lead the series 1-0 with Game 2 set for Monday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Bruins set the tone early -- The Bruins not only scored 1:52 into regulation, but they came out and dictated the play, playing their physical, north-south brand of hockey they thrive off. The Flyers thrive off it, too, but the Bruins were simply better playing that style and seemed to have the Flyers on their heels for much of the first two periods. That’s why Boston entered the third period up 5-2. The Bruins played back on their heels a bit in the third, but the damage was done by setting the tone early.
Thomas stems Flyers momentum --Whenever the Flyers seemed to gain any momentum Saturday, Tim Thomas was there to save the day -- just as he has been so many times this season. Thomas came up with some big saves late in the first to preserve the Bruins' 2-1 lead at the time and then was huge in the third when the Flyers came out playing desperately, as he stopped 10 of 11 shots. Thomas made 31 saves total, and the team is feeding off every big save he makes.
It helps to be healthy --After the Bruins blew that 3-0 series lead to the Flyers last postseason, they did not have the services of David Krejci, who broke his wrist in Game 3, and Dennis Seidenberg, who missed the playoffs with a torn tendon in his forearm. In Game 1 on Saturday, Krejci and Seidenberg led the way for the Bruins with Krejci getting two goals and two assists and Seidenberg helping to set up two goals with two assists. If Seidenberg and Krejci can continue to make their presence felt like that in this series, the Bruins won’t be blowing any major leads.
Marchand continues to be thorn in side of opponent -- After winning the seventh player award with 21 goals and 41 points in his rookie regular season, Brad Marchand hasn’t stopped in the playoffs. The pesky winger, who aggravates opponents every game, scored two goals and had an assist in Game 1 and now has three goals and eight points in his first eight playoff games of his career.
Mixed bag on special teams -- Nothing new to report on the Bruins anemic power play, as they went 0-for-5 on the man-advantage Saturday and are now 0-for-26 in the playoffs. But while the penalty kill allowed a goal, they killed three others, including two in the third period that could’ve allowed the Flyers to climb back into the game.
Bruins chase Boucher -- It was not goalie Brian Boucher’s day Saturday, as the Rhode Island native allowed five goals on 23 shots and was pulled after Marchand’s first goal 17:14 into the second period. Boucher let in some softies and just seemed to be fighting the puck throughout, giving up juicy rebounds.