|Bruins bracing themselves||05.04.10 at 2:40 pm ET|
Not everyone in black and gold had bad things to say about the physical play of the Flyers on Monday night in Boston’s 3-2 win.
Defenseman Johnny Boychuk – who put the Bruins on top with a first-period goal – was drilled on a clean, hard hit by Philly’s Scott Hartnell midway through the ‘eventful’ second period, just seconds after Boston captain Zdeno Chara took a run at Hartnell behind the Flyers net.
The result was Boychuk going airborne and landing hard on the ice. Boychuk wasn’t hurt except for his ego momentarily and acknowledged that he expects to see more of that kind of play when the series shifts to Philadelphia Wednesday night for Game 3.
“It wasn’t too wide-open There were some timely goals each team scored and some good hits, like the one on me. It was a great hit.”
Boychuk also believes the Bruins can learn something from Game 5 in Buffalo when they were playing a desperate Sabres team looking to stay alive. They were blown out, 4-1, and had to come back to Boston to seal the deal.
“We were in Buffalo and they took it to us,” Boychuk said. “We’re going to have to learn from that. Hopefully, we can overcome their intensity when we go to Philly.”
There will be some 20,000 fans not cheering on the Bruins on Wednesday and Boychuk and the Bruins are more than bracing themselves for what to expect.
“It’s a good barn play in and it’s tough barn to play in,” Boychuk said. “They’re going to come out hard and we have to match their intensity.”
Chara agreed with Boychuk’s assessment and won’t be shocked when the black and orange sweaters are out in force at the Wachovia Center.
“The further you go, it’s going to get tougher and tougher and the games are going to be harder and harder,” Chara said. “It’s just normal. That’s just the playoffs. It’s Philly and they like to play that kind of style and obviously, we like to play physical. It’s just two teams meeting each other with similar physical styles of play.”
|Carcillo: ‘Men don’t bite’||05.03.10 at 11:02 pm ET|
There are moments that define every series.
On Monday night, the bad boy of the Philadelphia Flyers claimed he was bitten in a scrum after a second period whistle. The Bruins said Dan Carcillo was just looking for attention by trying to pull the teeth out of the mouth of Marc Savard.
After Milan Lucic scored with just 2:57 left in regulation, it was the Bruins who had taken a bite out of the heart of the Flyers with a 3-2 win, taking a 2-0 series lead to Philadelphia for Game 3 Wednesday night.
But afterward, the hottest topic was that moment when Carcillo and Savard became entangled in a scrum with 14:05 left in the second period.
Carcillo was asked point blank if he was bitten on the finger, as was first reported on TV by TSN in Canada during the game.
“I did get [teethmarks],” said Carcillo, who said he was not bleeding after. “Last time I’ve been bit was in grade school. It’s not a good feeling.”
“It’s pretty cowardly.” said Carcillo, who laughed at Savard’s claim he was trying to pull Savard’s teeth out. “Yeah, that’s what I do when I get in a scrum. I try to pull people’s teeth out. Whatever, man, he bit me.”
Was Carcillo surprised that he was allegedly bitten?
“Yeah,” Carcillo said. “Guys don’t bite. Men don’t bite.”
But even Carcillo’s own teammate, Mike Richards, found the accusation a little hard to believe.
“I don’t know,” Richards said thinking out loud. “Maybe he bit himself. I have no idea what happened there.”
Carcillo was the focal point of what was a very physical second period. Earlier in the game, with 6:50 left in the opening period, Carcillo ran at Steve Begin with a high hit near the head in the neutral zone. Begin retaliated with a cross check, and the Flyers were awarded a power play.
|2nd Period summary: Bruins vs. Flyers Game 2||at 8:49 pm ET|
Meet Boston’s newest public enemy No. 1: Dan Carcillo. He figures to be a central figure in the third as the Bruins and Flyers are tied, 2-2, after 40 minutes.
After four-plus periods of wide-open play and scoring chances, the second period of Game 2 finally felt like the Flyers-Bruins of the 1970s.
There were hard hits, late hits and retaliatory penalty calls.
And there was the first true run at Marc Savard after a whistle.
Six minutes into the period, with the game tied, 1-1, Dennis Wideman fired a shot to the right of Brian Boucher, where Savard was standing. Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen and Carcillo went after Savard to protect Boucher.
Savard, frustrated, took a whack at Boucher after the whistle and was called for a slash.
Earlier, it was Carcillo who went up high on Steve Begin at center ice near the boards. Begin retaliated and was called for a cross-check. In both cases, the crowd fired up the Bruins penalty kill. After 40 minutes, the Bruins are a perfect 4-for-4 on the PK.
The Bruins exacted the best revenge when Miroslav Satan fired a shot five-hole on Boucher at 9:31 for a 2-1 Bruins lead. Dennis Wideman assisted on the goal and has a four-game playoff point streak while Satan has scored in five straight games for the Bruins, starting with Game 4 against Buffalo.
But these Fighting Flyers tied the game with just 24.8 seconds remaining when Daniel Briere came out of the penalty box and flew down the right wing, beating Rask with a laser wrister to the far side.
|1st Period summary: Bruins vs. Flyers Game 2||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’||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||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.