NHL: Bruins surge past Flyers, take 2-0 lead in series
By Sam Carchidi
The Philadelphia Inquirer
BOSTON — A broken pipe has left two million folks in greater Boston without drinkable water, but the city's hockey team is slowly quenching its thirst for a date in the NHL's Eastern Conference finals.
The surging Boston Bruins defeated the Flyers, 3-2, before a roaring sellout crowd at the TD Garden Monday and took a two-games-to-none lead in the highly physical conference semifinal series.
Milan Lucic scored on a spin-around shot from the high slot with 2 minutes, 57 seconds left, snapping a 2-2 tie and handing the Flyers their second straight gut-wrenching defeat in the best-of-seven series.
Game 3 will be played Wednesday night at the Wachovia Center.
Before this year, the Flyers and Bruins had met four times in the playoffs. The winner of Game 2 won each of those series.
Boston is 20-6 when winning the first two games of a best-of-seven series.
The Flyers killed a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty that was called with 12:28 left in the third period. A few minutes later, they adroitly killed Danny Briere's second hooking penalty of the night, making Boston 0 for 5 on the power play.
Philadelphia is 0-7 in playoff games in Boston since 1976.
The Flyers had stressed the importance of getting off to a better start than in Game 1, but they fell into a quick 1-0 hole on a goal by rookie defenseman Johnny Boychuk.
The goal was set up when Mike Richards was tossed out of the face-off circle and replaced by Scott Hartnell. For the Flyers, it was not a good trade. Patrice Bergeron easily won the draw and sent the puck to Boychuk, whose drive from above the left circle beat Brian Boucher to the short side with 14:48 remaining in the first period.
Boucher may have been screened.
Just before the goal, the Flyers were applying pressure on goalie Tuukka Rask.
Coach Peter Laviolette didn't like the type of game the Flyers played in the series opener, when they allowed 46 shots and lost in overtime, 5-4. Too wide-open. Too little defense.
"I'd rather see more defensive-minded hockey from our group," he said before the game. "We need to tighten up a little bit. We gave up too much on the rush, (and) in front of the net, players were left unattended."
Maybe that explains why Laviolette did some major line-juggling in the opening period. He used what seemed like a dozen combinations, trying to find the right mix.
Late in the first period, he found one. The just-formed Ville Leino-Richards- Briere unit got a good cycle working and produced the game-tying goal on a dazzling play by Richards.
Richards circled behind the net and wheeled around to the right circle and whipped a shot past Rask with 2:54 left in the first period, knotting the score at 1.
When you consider Boston won 71 percent of the face-offs (17 of 24) in the first period, it was surprising that the Flyers were able to control play as much as they did, outshooting the Bruins, 10-7.
With 14:05 left in the second period, the Flyers got a break when they somehow received a power play after a slashing call against Marc Savard. Dan Carcillo went after Savard and threw a couple of punches but was not sent to the penalty box. (Carcillo told Canada's TSN that Savard bit him in the scrum. Savard was suspended for a 2003 biting incident.)
But just like their first three power plays, the Flyers did little with the extra attacker.
Less than four minutes after the penalty expired, Miroslav Satan gave Boston a 2-1 lead by scoring his 20th career playoff goal. Satan scored from the right circle — a goal that Boucher would like to have back.
The Flyers did a nice job killing off a Briere slashing penalty late in the second period. Seventeen seconds after he came out of the penalty box, Briere took a feed from Leino and blasted a right-circle shot past Rask. That tied the score at 2 and silenced the crowd.
It gave Briere nine points in his last four playoff games, and it gave the Flyers some much-needed momentum heading into the third period.