|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.
|1st period summary – Bruins vs. Flyers Game 1||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.
|Bruins will play Flyers in Round 2||04.28.10 at 9:54 pm ET|
With the Canadiens completing their shocking comeback against the top-seeded Capitals with a 2-1 victory in Game 7 Wednesday night in Washington, the Bruins now know their second-round opponent in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The sixth-seeded B’s will meet the seventh-seeded Flyers, opening the conference semifinal series with the first two games at TD Garden. This will mark the first playoff matchup between Boston and Philadelphia since 1978.
Here is the schedule for the series:
Game 1: Saturday, May 1, at Boston, 12:30 p.m.
Game 2: Monday, May 3, at Boston, 7 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, May 5, at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Friday, May 7, at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
*Game 5: Monday, May 10, at Boston, 7 p.m.
*Game 6: Wednesday, May 12, at Philadelphia, TBD
*Game 7: Friday, May 14, at Boston, 7 p.m.
* if necessary
Eighth-seeded Montreal trailed in its series three games to one but held the high-scoring Caps to one goal in each of the last three games behind stellar goaltending from Jaroslav Halak to pull off the upset. The Canadiens advance to play the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins in Round 2.
|Turn up the volume: A ‘skate-off’ win for B’s||01.01.10 at 11:06 pm ET|
It was like a huge holiday feast: almost too much to digest.
From the pageantry of the pregame ceremony to the singing of Sweet Caroline with eight minutes remaining to the game-tying goal by Mark Recchi on the power play to the game winner by Marco Sturm on a great feed from Patrice Bergeron, the 2-1 overtime win over the Flyers at Fenway Park gave Bruins fans something they will remember for the rest of their lives.
And when Sturm scored, the Bruins felt the exact thrill the Red Sox do when they win a game on a dramatic walk-off homer.
Afterward, the key players spoke about their emotions and what it was like to play in the first-ever Fenway Park hockey game.
|Ice Guru: ‘Good Lord couldn’t have done better’||at 12:22 pm ET|
When you play an outdoor hockey game on New Year’s Day in Boston, sometimes you need some divine intervention.
“Awesome,” NHL Facilities Operations Manager Dan Craig said of the ice. “The Good Lord couldn’t have done better for us right now.”
This isn’t the first time Craig has found religion for the sake of playing an outdoor hockey game.
“Buffalo for me, was very stressful,” he said of the 2008 classic between the Sabres and Penguins. “[I was] praying that we could have a good game. Chicago , with our new equipment, [I was] nervous but confident in our equipment and the crew and knowing we were going to have a good game, which we did. And today, it is a calm confidence that we are going to have an awesome, awesome day at the park.”
Many fans assume that the colder the better for the ice. Not necessarily. If it’s too cold, the ice gets too brittle. Last year at Wrigley Field the temperatures hovered in the low 20s. So the forecast for 38 degrees at face-off work well for Craig and the NHL.
“Today is different from Chicago, due to the weather and how warm it’s going to be,” Craig said. “My crew can monitor ice conditions as they’re happening on the field of play. I will be in tune with them and with the engineer on the truck because I have to make sure that the truck goes down slowly in temperature as the temperature rises outside.
“Right on target – within tenths of a degree of the target, which is 24 degrees. We’re right where we want to be.”