Flyers Lose an Ugly One In Game One
It is safe to say that home ice is very much overrated at this point in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Flyers have now lost both game 1s in the 2011 playoffs on home ice. But this was much different than the game 1 loss against Buffalo. The Flyers were blown out 7-3 in a terrible showing.
Sometimes how a game starts doesn't necessarily mean much at all, but other times how a game starts can give you a good idea of what is going to go down. Today proved the latter to be very accurate.
The Bruins jumped out to a 1-0 lead before the game was two minutes old. A defensive breakdown lead to a David Krejci goal. Krejci was Matt Carle's man and Carle was flat out beat. Defensive breakdowns would turn out to be a big story of the day.
Despite the Bruins outplaying the Flyers greatly, the Flyers did regain some life in the game later in the first period. Braydon Coburn got the puck on net and Danny Briere picked up the garbage firing a shot past a sliding Tim Thomas. The goal gave the Flyers momentum and they started getting scoring chances of their own. The building woke up for the first time since the Bruins scored their first goal.
Unfortunately for the Flyers, they shot themselves in the foot in the final minute of the period. They had every reason to come out of the period with the score tied at 1 and feeling good about themselves for surviving the onslaught of the Bruins, but that did not happen.
With 35 seconds remaining in the period, Nathan Horton scored to make it a 2-1 game. Another defensive breakdown led to the goal. This time it was Kimmo Timonen that played poorly in front of Brian Boucher.
The second period is where everything unraveled for the Flyers and the disaster began. Just 2:34 into the period the Bruins added to their lead. Brian Boucher made a great stop on Mark Recchi, but the rebound went right back to the stick of Recchi and he shot the bouncing puck past Boucher. It was a BAD goal to give up. With the way the first round went, it was obvious why some people became extremely worried about the goaltending after that goal was let in.
Late in the period the Bruins scored another terrible goal. McQuiad shot the puck from the point right off the faceoff and it went past Betts and Pronger and was tipped by Krejci along the way in. Some people were looking for Bobrovsky to come in after that 4th goal, but Peter Laviolette did not budge just yet.
Less than two minutes later the Bruins just about put the nail in the coffin. Brad Marchand tipped a Patrice Bergeron shot past Boucher. Meszaros and O'Donnell were no where in sight to defend, but it was not a good goal regardless. Brian Boucher was pulled and it was time for the goaltending carousel to continue.
James van Riemsdyk gave the Flyers a little bit of life just 16 seconds later with his 5th goal of the playoffs. But the Flyers still had a steep hill to climb trailing 5-2 heading into the third period.
The Flyers eventually gave reason to believe that they were still in the game in the second half of the third. They finally capitalized on a power play and Mike Richards finally scored his first goal of the playoffs. But the Flyers shot themselves in the foot yet again and killed any energy or momentum they gained from that Richards goal by giving up a goal less than two minutes later. Brad Marchand restored the 4 goal lead to make it a 6-3 hockey game. The Bruins would add another goal less than three minutes later to make it 7-3 as Gregory Campbell scored his first goal of the playoffs.
And so game 1 was in the books. The Flyers looked absolutely terrible in the game. The defense was atrocious, the goaltending was shaky, and the offense was non-existent. But you also can't take away from the performance of the Bruins. They did everything they had to do and put forth a solid effort.
The Flyers have a huge game ahead of them on Monday night. They cannot afford to go down 0-2 against this Bruins team. Last year is far in the past and this is a different Bruins team and a different Flyers team as well.