Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Thomas, JVR shine in Game 2

Categories: Boston Bruins, PHI vs. BOS, Philadelphia Flyers, Second Round

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By Tim Panaccio,

Simply a fabulous performance from two warriors in Game 2 of the Flyers-Bruins Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Tim Thomas had 52 saves for the Bruins.

James van Riemsdyk was triple shifted for the Flyers, scored two goals, and was everywhere on the ice in 28 minutes of play - most by any Flyer forward - during a 3-2  Bruins win in overtime.

Start to finish, this was a superb hockey that had to make Lord Stanley proud.

Boston can sweep when the series resumes with Game 3 Wednesday and Game 4 on Friday.

"It was really awesome to watch him play like that," said coach Peter Laviolette of JVR. "I thought that as you're watching him he was constantly using his size, speed, and just really taking charge of the game.

"It was such a good night for him. It makes you anxious to see his future unfold. Tonight he was an impact player. I thought it was the most dominating performances that I have seen from a player."

Van Riemsdyk and Danny Briere each have seven goals and van Riemsdyk could have had a hat trick here.

"I think it's that experience and confidence that comes with being in the playoffs before," van Riemsdyk said of his performance. "Being able to learn from the guys that are such great playoff performers in the room that we have here.

"It put me in a good situation to go out there and have some success. There's a lot of good things that seem to be happening, but everyone in here's got to keep bearing down even more, and hopefully next time some of the bounces go our way."

Lavy tried to spin things, all but guaranteeing a win in Game 3 and putting the pressure on the Bruins not to let this lead slip away like it did last spring when Boston blew a 3-0 lead.

"Going to the well is not an easy thing to do. It's a difficult thing to do. We did last series, we did last year against Boston," he said.

"When you lose your first, two games in your home building, there is a real expectation for the Bruins to win the series now. So it relieves us of the pressure to win a little bit. To just go in and play a game in Boston. And while it relieves us of pressure, it mounts on them now that they have a 2-0 lead."

Bruins coach Claude Julien had to be happy and he was, especially in Thomas.

"He was, by far, the star of the game tonight," Julien said.  "He made some outstanding saves, especially when they started coming at us.  He had some unbelievable scoring chances, and he stood tall.  He made some great saves.

"If it was not for Timmy, we might not be standing here tonight with a win, but that is what goaltenders do for you in playoffs. That is what you like to see, in order to certainly build some confidence on your team.  When you know that the goaltender is there to bail you out, it certainly builds a lot of confidence, and Tim has given us that."

Game winner

David Krejci's game-winner in overtime had to go to review. It went in and out of the net that fast. Yeah.

"At first I thought it was in. Then they kept playing," Krejci said.

Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference was on the ice.

"Well, I had a good view and I celebrate right away but then you kind of second guess yourself, obviously when the light doesn't go on; but I was pretty sure I saw it go in," he said.

"I had a really good view. I was in the middle of the ice and couple of guys reacted too. Luckily, they iced it right away so they could check it. It was a hell of a shot, good pass by Horty [Nathan Horton]. It was a tough goal for any goalie to save, it was a quick play."

Pronger out

The Flyers were without their best defenceman as Chris Pronger was a late scratch with an undisclosed new injury.

It's not his surgically-repaired right hand.

Different sources said it was either one or two new injuries. He apparently injured his back, either late in the Buffalo series or in Game 1 against the Bruins.

Pronger left Game 1 with about 2 minutes remaining in the third period.

Additionally, he then suffered a hamstring injury against the Bruins. Whether that was the result of favoring his back remains unknown, although there seems to be some support for that theory.

General manager Paul Holmgren would not discuss Pronger's injury. Interestingly, Pronger was not listed on the club daily injury update report.

McQuaid hurt

Bruins defenceman Adam McQuaid tried to make a run at Mike Richards near the end of the first period at the post.

Richards saw him, side stepped McQuaid's attempted elbow, and then went crashing head and neck into the back boards.

McQuaid was lucky. He could have been seriously hurt. McQuaid was helped off the ice. His partner, Tomas Kaberle, took shifts with Dennis Seidenberg.

Déjà vu

Anyone recall Game 5 at Boston last year? That was the shared 4-0 shutout between Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton.

Well, Boucher was injured in this game off a shot from Johnny Boychuk in the second period. Sources said he suffered an apparent dislocated finger but did return.

Sergei Bobrovsky replaced him while third goalie, Johan Backlund, jumped out of the press box and went to the dressing room as the third goalie.

Boucher came back to play the third period and made 7 stops there and four in overtime.

The Sleeping Giant

The Flyers talked quite a bit going into the series about how Boston was affected by not having Krejci for the final four games of last year's series, after he broke his wrist in Game 3.

Krejci was hit by Mike Richards in that series. Well, it's a new spring, a new playoff round, and Krejci had two goals in Game 1 and now the killer in Game 2.

"I think anyone who has gotten to this level has a sense of pride," Sean O'Donnell said.  "I wasn't here and can't comment on what happened last year.  But I read about how he supposedly struggled in the first round and he certainly made up for that [in Game 1].

"I don't really buy that kind of stuff about be careful what you say, don't wake a guy up, you don't want to do this because most guys at this level, if it takes another team to say something to you or whatever. I think most guys motivate themselves and not have someone kind of stir them to wake them up."

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