|1st Period summary: Bruins vs. Flyers Game 2||05.03.10 at 7:53 pm ET|
This game already has a different feel than Game 1. Like Game 1 there were two goals in the opening period and the Bruins did take the lead. But the Flyers fought back to tie it, 1-1, at the first intermission.
Aside from generating a scrum and a shot on Brian Boucher in the opening 15 seconds, the Bruins didn’t have nearly the jump or energy they had in Game 1. Shawn Thornton made his series debut on a line with Steve Begin and Blake Wheeler and immediately made his presence known by crashing the net.
Still, the Bruins managed to break the ice on a great combination of a face-off win by Boston’s best on the draw and a good shot through a heavy screen.
Patrice Bergeron won his offensive zone draw cleanly to the right of the Flyers goalie and drew it back to Johnny Boychuk. The young B’s blueliner, just above the circle, fired a quick wrister through a screen that Boucher didn’t see till it was behind him, beating the Flyers netminder to the short side at 5:12 even strength.
The Flyers responded with a screen-goal of their own when Mike Richards pulled a Wayne Gretzky-esque move with puck behind Tuukka Rask. Richards skated from the end line out to the left dot curled around and used a nice screen from Danny Briere to beat Rask with just 2:54 left in the opening period.
The Flyers were 0-for-2 on the power play but spent a lot more time in the Bruins zone than the opening period Saturday.
The Flyers also outshot the Bruins, 10-7, in the opening 20 minutes.
|Bergeron: ‘We couldn’t lose that game’||05.01.10 at 7:14 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron admitted the Bruins got away with one on Saturday.
Leading by two goals three on three different occasions, the Flyers scored twice in the final seven minutes to force overtime.
Then Marc Savard came to the rescue with his game-winner in overtime and the Bruins lead the best-of-seven series, 1-0.
But that doesn’t erase the fact that the Bruins couldn’t put away a short-handed Flyers team without stars Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne and enforcer Ian Laperriere.
“The overtime was huge,” Bergeron said. “After getting up the way we did, we couldn’t lose that game.
“Obviously, we didn’t come out the way we wanted to in the third period. We let them back in the game and we weren’t very happy about that. We had to come out strong because they are a good team, they are tough to play against and I thought the first couple of shifts set the tone for the overtime there.”
The Bruins wound up outshooting the Flyers 15-4 in overtime and it finally paid off.
“We were staying patient and staying confident that we could do it,” Bergeron said. “Obviously, we had a lot of chances. Sometimes it can hurt you when you don’t score, but we were staying positive and confident that we could get it done.”
|VIDEO: Savard comes ‘half-circle’||05.01.10 at 6:22 pm ET|
Marc Savard, playing his first game since the ‘Matt Cooke incident’ on March 7, may have scored the game-winner at 13:52 of overtime on Saturday but he wanted to make sure to thank Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci for doing their part earlier in the game to make it possible.
“I felt bad for Bergy and Krech because I was doing all those half-circles and they ended up playing 25-26 minutes,” Savard said. “But they did a great job. They battled hard and they’ve been playing great all playoffs, so I just got a break tonight.”
Savard, who skated 23 shifts in his 15 minutes, 16 seconds of ice time, expected the Flyers to test his readiness and they didn’t disappoint.
“I think they played me hard and that’s part of the playoffs,” Savard said. “You don’t make too many friends out there. And that’s the way [Chris] Pronger plays against everybody. He just took me out hard a couple times. [Mike] Richards is a fierce competitor, but that’s part of the game. We had a couple words for each other, but that’s part of the game.
“So I’m sure it’s not going to get any easier. They’re a good hockey team out there, you got to give them credit. They were down all night and they kept battling back and put us in a tough spot. Tuukka [Rask] made some huge saves again when he had to, and I’m just proud of every guy. Every guy played hard again. It was a lot of guys keep their heads up high and just kept working.”
Now that Savard has his legs, he’s going to work on his focus.
“I mean it’s been a whirlwind for me,” Savard admitted. “Obviously I went through a lot of tough days and I don’t know what happened. I felt like when they tied it and we went in the room I felt like, ‘Geez, I think this is how it’s supposed to be right here.’ I mean, everybody played great tonight. I kept it as short as I could. Obviously I did a couple circles and then came back off. But when Wides [Dennis Wideman] pinched, Wides [Wideman] made a nice pinch there and kept it alive, I was just thinking, ‘As soon as this thing lands, I’m shooting it.’ And it found a way in.”
“I guess you can’t script it any better, if you ask anybody,” he added. “It’s only Game 1, you got to remember that. I’ll have a lot of time to enjoy it actually because it was an afternoon game, so that was nice. But, just get my rest, keep working through it, and hopefully get after Game 2.”
And maybe by then Savard will be skating full circles around the Flyers.
|2nd period summary: Bruins vs. Flyers Game 1||05.01.10 at 2:11 pm ET|
The Flyers showed some life in the second period, outscoring the Bruins, 2-1, but it’s the home ice team that still leads, 3-2, after 40 minutes.
Ryan Parent blasted a slap shot through a heavy screen to make it, 2-1, Bruins at 7:38 of the period.
Boston came right back though and scored on the power play when Braydon Coburn blocked a shot from Johnny Boychuk from the right point. The carom came out to Miroslav Satan at the top of the right circle. His shot beat Brian Boucher to re-establish the two-goal advantage at 11:43.
But the Flyers responded with the first power play goal against the Bruins in these playoffs after 21 consecutive kills as Chris Pronger scored his third of the playoffs on a blast from the right point at 15:48.
The Flyers outshot the Bruins, 11-6, in the second.
It’s the first time the Flyers have trailed after two periods in six playoff games this year.
|1st period summary – Bruins vs. Flyers Game 1||05.01.10 at 1:16 pm ET|
The Bruins came out with the early energy and dominated the Flyers in the opening minutes of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals and lead 2-0 after 20 minutes.
The only bit of bad news was an apparent right knee injury to Marco Sturm.
Sturm will not return to Game 1 after colliding with Philadelphia’s Matt Carle along the offensive corner boards in the first two minutes of the first period and apparently banging his right knee.
He was helped off the ice by teammates Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Sturm’s replacement, Steve Begin, scored the game’s first goal, his first in 30 playoff games. The goal came at 2:39 of the first.
Bergeron, who assisted on Begin’s goal, scored one of his own when he put a collected a loose rebound offered up by Brian Boucher on Dennis Wideman’s slap shot from the right point. Bergeron’s flipped it past Boucher for a 2-0 lead at 12:54.
Both goals were even strength and both were the result of lots of traffic in front of Boucher. No penalties in the first.
The Bruins outshot the Flyers, 15-8, in the opening period.
|Captain Z: We can’t lose focus like last year||04.27.10 at 1:00 am ET|
What a difference a year makes for Zdeno Chara following an opening-round win.
Last year, the Bruins dispatched of the Montreal Canadiens in four games, and then waited nine days for their second-round series to begin when Carolina came from behind to beat New Jersey in the closing five minutes of Game 7.
While the Bruins were long on rest, they were short on sharpness and, in the end, it cost them dearly as they dropped Game 2 at home and fell behind 3 games to 1 before rallying to force Game 7. They fell in heart-breaking fashion when Scott Walker scored the OT game-winner to end the Bruins season.
“We can’t lose the focus like maybe we did last year a little bit during that week off,” Chara said in the wake of Monday’s series-clinching win over Buffalo. “We have to stay on top of things and really get ready for our next opponent, which we don’t know who that’s going to be.”
The reason the Bruins don’t know who’s next is because Montreal has decided to learn from 2009 as well. They have not rolled over for Washington. Instead, following a 4-1 win over the Capitals on Monday, there will be a seventh game in America’s capital on Wednesday night.
If the Capitals survive, the Bruins open the second round in Pittsburgh against the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins. If the Canadiens pull off the shocker, the Bruins actually host Games 1 and 2 against Philadelphia beginning this weekend.
Chara said the team has earned one good day of rest but that’s all they need right now.
“Just maybe relax on [Tuesday], enjoy the day off, and then get back at it on Wednesday,” he said.
“Obviously it’s always a nice feeling, to be going to the second round. Buffalo was extremely playing well. They battled hard and it was a tough series.”
Another source of pride for Chara was the performance of the specialty teams. The Bruins killed off all 19 Buffalo power plays in the series while Boston scored five power play goals.
“I really thought that our specialty teams played extremely well,” Chara said. “We battled pretty much hard every game. We were almost into every game, besides Game 5.
“We take a lot of pride in our PK. We try to, you know, we’re obviously aggressive, but at the same time well-positioned and like I said, the people we have on the ice, those are the workers and we try to always outwork the opposite power play.”
|2nd period summary: Bruins vs. Sabres – Game 6||04.26.10 at 8:46 pm ET|
The Bruins are 20 minutes away from heading to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for a second straight year as they lead Buffalo, 2-1, after two periods.
It seemed the Bruins would come out regretting the roughing penalty taken by captain Zdeno Chara at the 20-minute mark of the first period that wiped out a power play to open the second.
Then apparently Buffalo’s Tim Connolly felt bad for Chara and the Bruins as he took an equally puzzling and terribly-timed undisciplined penalty of his own.
Connolly’s cross-checking penalty penalty just 16 seconds in led to a pretty power play goal for the Bruins as David Krejci found Mark Recchi down low to the left of Ryan Miller. Recchi wasted no time with the one-timer that beat Miller for a 2-0 Boston lead just 61 seconds into the second.
With the gold towels going crazy the Bruins seemed to be on the verge of putting away the Sabres.
But after Boston killed its 18th straight penalty in the series, Dennis Wideman turned the puck over in the defensive zone and the Sabres found some new life when Patrick Kaleta scored with just over 13 minutes left in the period to make it 2-1.
The Bruins killed off yet another penalty near the end of the period for too many men on the ice and now are a perfect 19-for-19 in the series.