|Rob Gronkowski Cleared to Play for Patriots||Dustin Pedroia grants wish of 12-year old boy||2014 Patriots Offensive Line Preview: Solder, Mankins, Stork, Cannon, Vollmer||Bill Belichick Coaching Elsewhere? Albert Breer Stirs the Speculation Pot|
The Bruins beat the Flyers in Game 1 of their second round series on Saturday. Sound familiar? Well, in last year’s second round series, the Bruins took Game 1 against Philly and then the next two to take a 3-0 series lead. Then, the Flyers won the remaining four elimination games and embarrassed the Bruins out of the playoffs.
The difference this year is that the Bruins actually have an offense, they should have an effective David Krejci all series (you may remember Krejci didn’t play after Game 3), and that they took out the Flyers on the road in Game 1, meaning they will go home next week with at least a game in hand (and maybe two), effectively stealing back home-ice.
“I try not to think about what happened last year, but in the back of my mind, it’s hard,” Krejci said. “But I try to stay focused for the game. My teammates helped me out.”
Krejci played a pivotal role in Game 1, scoring two goals and assisting on two others in the Bruins’ 7-3 win. Tim Thomas was good and definitely did not need to be great in stopping 31 shots. Brian Boucher…well…he just wasn’t so good.
Boucher allowed five goals in his 36 minutes before being pulled in the second period in favor of Sergei Bobrovsky, who allowed two more goals in the third as the Flyers attempted to crawl back into it. Four of the five goals Boucher allowed were off rebounds and a couple of them, particularly Krejci’s second tally, were pretty soft goals he should have saved.
The goaltending problems are nothing new for Philadelphia: they started three different goalies in the first round against Buffalo, an NHL record. Bobrovsky started Games 1 & 2 in the first round and never played again until Saturday. Michael Leighton also saw ice time in the first round.
Krejci notched his first goal less than two minutes into the game. The Flyers answered ten minutes later, as Danny Briere scored his seventh goal of the playoffs to even the score.
Nathan Horton continued his hot streak of play, lighting the lamp right before the end of the first period to give the Bruins a lead they would not relinquish. In fact, they continued to build on it.
The B’s gathered three straight goals through a large chunk of the second period. Mark Recchi, Krejci again, and Brad Marchand did the honors, knocking out Boucher.
The Flyers quickly got one back less than a minute after Marchand’s goal, and entered the third down 5-2. Mike Richards brought Philly closer with his goal halfway through the third, but Marchand effectively buried the Flyers with his second goal of the game just a couple minutes later.
Gregory Campbell capped the scoring late in the third with his first goal of the playoffs.
The Bruins, who took 3 of 4 from the Flyers during the regular season, will look to take a 2-0 playoff series lead on the road Monday night.
Expect Thomas in net for the good guys. I have no idea who will start for Philly in net.