The Bruins beat Philadelphia 3-2, and will head back to Boston up 2-0 in this series.
The game seemed to start with what seemed like a good omen for the Bruins; all-planet defenseman Chris Pronger sat this one out, but when the puck dropped, it began about as badly as it possibly could for the Bruins; James Van Riemsdyk scored 29 seconds in, and then Tim Thomas got a penalty for delay of game, after knocking the puck into the crowd 20 seconds later. Though the Flyers didn't score on the power play, they made it 2-0 halfway through the period, as Van Riemsdyk struck once more with Gregory Campbell in the box, and they looked to be rolling to victory.
The Bruins, as so often in this postseason, answered back, and, as so often this postseason, it was the third line that did it. Chris Kelly scored his fourth of the playoffs, with Tomas Kaberle shooting it to the net, and Michael Ryder crashing the crease, along with Kelly, and ultimately, it went in. They tied it at 2 when Brad Marchand, quickly rivaling Zdeno Chara for the title of most hated Bruin in the playoffs, scored just a minute and a half later.
A scary moment came when Adam McQuaid missed a check and went face first into the boards. He left the game and went to the hospital for x-rays.
The second period was dominated by the Bruins, but they were never able to cash in. Midway through the period, Sergei Bobrovsky replaced Boucher, who was injured on a Johnny Boychuk shot. Van Riemsdyk was absolutely dominant in this one, and got stoned on a few chances. Tim Thomas absolutely robbed Nikolay Zherdev on a feed on Van Riemsdyk on another play.
The third began with Boucher back in net for Philly, and the Flyers had an extra hop in their step. Philadelphia was a much better team for the early part of the third, outshooting the Bruins 9-1 in the early going. Daniel Briere had a breakaway, but lost control of the puck and didn't get a great shot. The Flyers had the run of the period, for the most part, save for a great chance by the Bruins, set up by a Milan Lucic steal, but Boucher made a nice save on Nathan Horton. At the end of regulation, the Flyers won an offensive zone draw, and the puck went to Briere, but it went under his stick when he had an open net to shoot at.
The game went to overtime, and was a fast-paced affair. Both teams had some great chances. Rich Peverley hit a post at one end, and Mike Richards at the other. However, 15 minutes into OT, David Krejci roofed a shot over Boucher's right shoulder. It went off the back of the net and came right back into play, but the two people closest to the puck, Boucher and Milan Lucic, both knew it was in...even though the linesman did not. However, the play was reviewed and quickly called a goal for a 3-2 Boston win.
Tim Thomas led the way for Boston, with an astonishing 52 saves. That was a career high for him, and he's now 8-0 against the Flyers in Philadelphia.
- The Eastern Conference semifinals have certainly been the domain of the road team, with both Boston and Tampa Bay heading home up 2-0.
- His effort may have been in defeat, but holy shit was James Van Riemsdyk awesome.
- David Krejci got first star for a second straight game. Not sure he deserved it, but hey, good for him. Van Riemsdyk was second and Thomas third.
- Mike Richards had a -2 despite 10 shots on goal. Jim Corsi is utterly confused.
- At the start of this series, I said that the Thomas vs. Boucher/Bobrovsky/Leighton difference was worth at least one game for Boston and maybe two. Tonight was certainly one. Thomas was magnificent. Boucher wasn't terrible, but Thomas was other-worldly.
- Game two is Wednesday night at TD Garden.
- Don't get too excited, Bruins fans, we've been here before.