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Tim Thomas weathers storm, Krejci wins it in overtime 3-2 for Bruins

May 2, 2011

Tim Thomas and James van Riemsdyk were the two best players on the ice tonight by a wide margin. (Getty)

The Bruins battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the first period then weathered a furious 22-shot effort by the Flyers in the final period before taking the game 3-2 in overtime on the stick of David Krejci. Tim Thomas made 52 saves and made every single save after the first 10 minutes.

James van Riemsdyk had the Flyers two goals and was a constant threat on the ice. The Bruins got goals from Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand in the first period. The Bruins now take a 2-0 series lead back to Boston and are 4-0 in overtime this postseason.

The Flyers would get on the board just 29 seconds into the game when a Bruins pinch in cost the Bruins a 2-on-1 going the other way. Johnny Boychuk was caught alone with two Flyers barreling down. Claude Giroux‘s pass went to James van Riemsdyk who hit the crossbar with a rocket of a shot. JVR and the referee thought it went in but it didn’t, however the puck would deflect off of Patrice Bergeron and in on the rebound.

To make matters worse Tim Thomas would be called for delay of game when he paddled a high rebound up into the netting behind the net. The Bruins rebounded from the early trouble with a strong kill along the boards and some full-length clears. The Bruins would get the next power-play when Jody Shelley was called for boarding less than four minutes in. The Bruins had trouble setting up in the zone and when they did they never tested Brian Boucher.

The Flyers would get a second power-play on a weak holding call on Gregory Campbell. The Flyers would get their second goal, again from van Riemsdyk when a shot from the blue line was stopped out front. Danny Briere won the puck at the side of the net and van Riemsdyk hammered it home out front for his second goal in the first 10 minutes. Before the goal the Flyers had the Bruins running around in their zone with a ton of movement on and off the puck.

The Bruins would get a response goal with their third line when a 2-on-2 breakout by Rich Peverley turned to a late rush. Tomas Kaberle fired a low shot into the pile and Chris Kelly came streaking down the middle and put home the rebound to cut the lead in half. Peverley’s drop pass and weave in front created havoc that Boucher couldn’t see through.

The Bruins would get another quick goal, again started by a 2-on-2. The rush was broken up but the puck was pushed to a vacant corner where Patrice Bergeron picked it up and was able to wheel to Brad Marchand who had curled around into the high slot. Marchand caught it on his stick and curled off a low wrist shot beating Boucher glove side. Most goalies would have corralled the shot from the high slot but Boucher’s glove has proven to be weak thus far.

After a Daniel Paille breakaway came up fruitless the Bruins lost a man when Adam McQuaid missed a check towards the end of the period and went head first into the boards behind the net, cranking his neck and hitting his head hard. McQuaid was eventually helped off the ice, looking dazed.

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The Bruins began the second period with a series of good shifts, bottling up the Flyers defense in their own and winning puck battles to grind down the Flyers along the boards. The early pressure didn’t result in an immediate goal but it was a good indicator of momentum early on. The Flyers would gain back a lot of momentum following a 2-on-1, nearly getting goals from JVR and Ville Leino down low.

Brian Boucher would come up lame after a Bruins attempt in the middle of the period and was relieved by Sergei Bobrovsky. David Krejci nearly scored on Bobrovsky early into his night when he found a loose puck in his skates and wheeled a backhander towards the net, hitting it dead on and bounced to safety.

The Bruins had a great shift late in the period, better than any power-play in the postseason but couldn’t solve the fresh Bobrovsky despite keeping the Flyers line on the ice for well over a minute. The Bruins got back the momentum with that shift and then got a power-play when Johnny Boychuk‘s big hit behind the Flyers net drew the ire of Scott Hartnell who was called for a retaliatory slash. The Bruins power-play looked decent but the team never went for the throat and when they did Bobrovsky came up with pretty good saves.

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James van Riemsdyk had his fifth or sixth really good opportunity two minutes in, going across the crease but Thomas shut down his five-hole bid on the partial break. Brad Marchand would get an early penalty when he was called for cross-checking in an incident with Kris Versteeg away from the play. The Bruins would kill off the penalty but survived a scare when Danny Briere found a spot behind the Bruins defense and got a breakaway as the penalty expired but Thomas made his second huge save of the period early on.

Thomas was forced to be the Bruins best player in the final period with nearly constant pressure in his zone as the Flyers really picked their game up in the third period. The Bruins offense was so inept that they only managed three shots on goal in the first 13 or so minutes while Thomas was forced to make nearly 15 saves over that time. Boucher made a huge save on Nathan Horton on the doorstep, sprawling from right to left and making a big pad save.

The Bruins, in what is becoming a bad habit in the playoffs, were called for a penalty in the final three minutes of the game when Zdeno Chara was called for roughing in the neutral zone. The Bruins survived the penalty without their best penalty killer through some clears and kept the puck around the outside. The Bruins would ice the puck with four seconds left and nearly lost the game in doing so. The Flyers won the faceoff, fired on net and the rebound kicked to a wide open Danny Briere who was caught looking at the net and not the puck, had it jump past his stick then couldn’t fist it past the Bruins defense. The Bruins were lucky to survive the dying moments of a 22-shot third period by the Flyers.

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The Flyers would get sustained pressure in the opening minutes of the overtime period, getting a lot of shots on net but Thomas continued to look strong. The Flyers nearly scored on a Mike Richards backhander from the slot but Thomas shouldered it up and it grazed the crossbar. Rich Peverley would then crank the post on a wicked wrist shot from the high slot. The bid had Boucher beat blocker side but hit the bar dead on.

The Flyers would continue to threaten to end the game with relentless puck possession, breaking down the Bruins defense and using the long change to their advantage. The Bruins top line would turn a quick shift into a game-winning goal when David Krejci hammered a one-timer into the back of the net, right over Boucher’s head. The play wasn’t initially called a goal although it hit the middle post in the back of the net. It appeared that everyone in the play except the referee behind the net saw it. Boucher knew it, Lucic knew it, Krejci knew it. Eventually Philadelphia iced the puck and the referee deemed it a good goal before even reviewing it.

The Bruins now take a 2-0 series lead back to Boston. But…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    May 3, 2011 2:26 PM

    I miss your random thoughts!!!!!

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