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You can’t help but acknowledge the irony. Amidst the celebration at TD Garden on Monday night, as the Boston Bruins took a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven semifinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers, The Standells’ “Love That Dirty Water” was blaring across the arena just like it would after any Bruins victory. But it surely wasn’t lost on most local fans of the black and gold that, while this night would be worthy of celebration for this scrappy team that’s surprising most everyone, that song (which has become one of the city’s anthems) would play at a time when President Obama issued a declaration of emergency due to the water main break in Weston, MA.
Ahh, bittersweet irony.
But irony aside, this was a great second game in an already riveting series. The Flyers know they will have to win a game on the road against the B’s, and the urgency oozed out almost immediately as things got chippy not even 20 seconds into the game. Both benches were warned, and it seemed as though the Bruins realized that if Philadelphia was going to bring any sort of desperate emotionality into a must-have game such as this, they would have to match it. Stride for stride. And they did.
The Flyers once again deserve some credit. Whether it be desperation or otherwise, the fellas from Philly came back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, but still have yet to gain a lead in the series. It was tied at 2-2 heading into the third period, when a tough and entertaining first 17 minutes was accompanied by the feeling that we’d be headed for another sudden-death overtime finish. But Milan Lucic was able to fire a slap shot off a deflected puck with 2:57 remaining in the game that made it past Brian Boucher for a 3-2 victory and a huge advantage in the series.
The Bruins jumped on the Flyers early again. Johnny Boychuk scored just five minutes into the game, when the B’s capitalized on another Patrice Bergeron face-off win. Bergeron has quietly had a very good postseason, with his impact being significantly felt in the first two games of this series. His stats through these first two games: 1 goal, 2 assists.
He also won almost 75% of the face-offs he took, including going 9-0 in face-0ffs in the first period, which would seem to be where he brings a great deal of that impact (let’s face it, he was a more or less face-off specialist on that fourth line of the gold medal-winning Team Canada at the Vancouver games). The Flyers answered back with just under three minutes left in the period, when Mike Richards fired a wrist shot past Tuukka Rask to tie the game at 1-1.
The second period was highlighted by some of that aforementioned chippy play. There was one particular exchange between Marc Savard and Daniel Carcillo after Savard had slashed the Flyers’ goalie, which lead to Savard taking a couple of cheap shots from Carcillo, who also strangely threw around accusations during and after the game that Savard had bit him on the finger. The Bruins seized a 2-1 lead on a goal by Miroslav Satan, his fourth of the postseason, but sloppy play and defensive lapses lead to another late goal, which came off the stick of Danny Briere with just 25 seconds remaining in the second period.
The power play ended up being a black hole for both teams, with Philadelphia going 0 for 4 and Boston going 0 for 5. Approaching three minutes to play in the game, Milan Lucic was able to capitalize on the hardwork done by himself, Boychuk, Satan, and David Krejci as they over-loaded on the left side of the goaltender and fought to keep the puck in the Flyers’ zone. Lucic was able to corral the deflected puck off Krejci’s stick and shot it in the net on Boucher’s stick side. Daniel Paille barely missed a two-goal lead on an empty net when Chris Pronger made a brilliant stick save to deflect the puck to the post and keep the Flyers in the game for the last half-minute, which did not prove fruitful for Philly.
So now the series shifts to Philadelphia, after the Bruins did well to hold down serve on their home ice. While this is a Flyers team that is decimated by injuries, the Bruins have taken their fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, and have conquered hefty odds against them to prove that they may be the team of the moment in the city of Boston; the team most capable of going deep into the playoffs and bringing a championship back to Beantown.
Love that dirty water.
Tags: Boston Bruins, Brian Boucher, Chris Pronger, Daniel Carcillo, Daniel Paille, Danny Briere, David Krejci, Johnny Boychuk, Marc Savard, Milan Lucic, Miroslav Satan, Patrice Bergeron, Philadelphia Flyers, TD Garden