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The Flyers were swept out of the playoffs by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Bruins last season, and that had to leave a bitter taste in their mouths. As a result, Philly overhauled their core group, trading away Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. In separate deals, the Flyers acquired a desperately needed new goalie in Ilya Bryzgalov and signed former league MVP Jaromir Jagr, who hadn’t played in an NHL game since he was with the Rangers in 2008.
With a new-look core, Philly rained all over the Bruins’ party Thursday night, but before the game got started, the team had the privilege to raise their first new championship banner since 1972. Bobby Orr, some of his old teammates, and the newly retired Mark Recchi were back to help raise the banner to the rafters. It was a special moment for diehard Bruins fans, but it’s now a new season. Midway through the first, the B’s picked up right where they left off last season.
Brad Marchand, who scored the final goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, scored the first NHL goal this season on a pass from Tyler Seguin while on the power play. The B’s led 1-0…but not for long.
With less than a minute to go in the period, Claude Giroux scored a power play goal. On the play, the 39-year-old Jagr earned his 1,600th career point.
“We played the Stanley Cup champions. It’s not easy,” said Jagr. “They’re probably the best team in the NHL and we’ve got totally a new team. A lot of young guys. A lot of rookies. You’ve got to give us time.”
Jakub Voracek added a goal with 2.4 seconds left in the first period, sneaking it by Tim Thomas, who was a brick wall for the other 59 minutes of the game. Thomas finished with 27 saves.
Bryzgalov proved he’s at least better than Brian Boucher, finishing with 22 saves in the win.