Bruins take Game 1 vs. Flyers
Uh oh, Boston has another series lead over the Flyers.
The Bruins are counting on a few new faces to keep this one for good.
David Krejci and Brad Marchand each scored two goals, and the Bruins took out their frustration from one of the great collapses in postseason history with a 7-3 win over Philadelphia on Saturday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
For the second straight season, the Bruins lead the Flyers in the second round. The Bruins went ahead 3-0 a year ago, then the Flyers became the third NHL team to rally with four straight victories to win a best-of-seven series.
"I try not to think about what happened last year, but in the back of my mind, it's hard," Krejci said. "But I try to stay focused for the game. My teammates helped me out."
Krejci, who had two assists, was helped by a string of teammates who were absent for last year's failure.
Krejci was sidelined by injury for the final four games of the series. Dennis Seidenberg also was hurt. Gregory Campbell and Nathan Horton were both on the Florida Panthers. Marchand spent most of last season in the minors.
Those five combined for 12 points in Game 1, and Horton and Campbell scored goals.
"What happened in the past is in the past," Horton said. "There's been a lot of talk about it, for sure, so we just wanted to come out and show everyone that this is the series that matters to us now."
The Bruins chased goalie Brian Boucher by taking a 5-1 lead in the second period.
New round, same problem for the Flyers.
Philadelphia used two goalies in three of its seven first-round games against Buffalo.
"Too many easy goals, too many easy plays," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "We weren't strong enough right in front of our goaltender."
Game 2 is Monday in Philadelphia.
Since beating Montreal to advance to the second round, the Bruins had insisted they wouldn't be haunted by last year's epic collapse.
Perhaps it is fitting that Krejci was the Game 1 star.
Krejci watched Boston give away the series from the sidelines after he was knocked out of Game 3 a year ago with a dislocated right wrist. He needed emergency surgery and missed the rest of the series
He wasted no time in aiding Boston's quest to erase those bad memories, scoring a backhander off a rebound 1:52 in.
"That's the Krejci that we all know in here," Horton said. "A guy who gets us going, and give us all a chance to score goals."
The goal foreshadowed what was to come — Boston scored four of its five goals against Boucher on rebounds.
The Flyers did little to help Boucher, who won two games in relief vs. the Sabres, with lackluster play in front of the net. But Boucher failed to stop the often soft second chances.
He was yanked for rookie Sergei Bobrovsky late in the second period.
"There's some plays where I was able to make the first save and not able to make the second," Boucher said. "I'd have to look at the video to see if I could have done anything about those rebounds."
Tim Thomas made 31 saves for the Bruins.
Danny Briere scored his seventh of the playoffs, and James van Riesmsdyk and Mike Richards added goals for the Flyers.
Briere tied it at 1-all, but Horton put the Bruins ahead for good with 36 seconds left in the first period. Boucher made the initial save on a shot to the gut, but Horton pounced and pounded the puck off Boucher's arm for a 2-1 lead.
Mark Recchi didn't let the Flyers start yet another comeback with a quick goal 2:33 into the second. It was a soft rebounder that Boucher swiped at as it trickled behind him to the back of the net.
Krejci scored from the point, and Marchand scored the fourth rebound goal with 2:46 left in the second for a 5-1 lead. That was all for Boucher.
Boucher, the Flyers' Game 7 winner, allowed five goals on 23 shots. Bobrovsky won 28 games and started Games 1 and 2 against Buffalo. He was replaced by Boucher in Game 2 and never played again.
Laviolette again is forced to confront the weak link in the lineup.
"Certainly, you don't want to do that," he said. "Based on the way we played, this team deserves most of the responsibility."
Richards, the Flyers captain, busted out of a scoring slump with his first goal of the postseason late in the third. His power-play goal made it 5-3.
Marchand quickly followed with his second goal for a 6-3 lead. Campbell completed the rout with 2:21 left.
Maybe the Flyers should have attempted more boarding, hooking, and high-sticking because even-strength play didn't help. Boston went 0 for 5 on the power play and extended its drought to 0 for 26 in the postseason. The Bruins went 0 for 21 against the Canadiens and became the first team to win a seven-game series without scoring a power-play goal.
Laviolette said the day before Game 1 he doesn't believe in momentum.
"I believe in desperation," he said.
The Flyers are desperate again.