The Flyers jumped out to a quick two goal lead behind two goals from James van Riemsdyk, his sixth and seventh of the postseason. JVR’s sixth goal of the postseason came just 29 seconds into the game on a quirky little odd man rush. Nonetheless, the Flyers got on the board quickly and the Wells Fargo Center was jumpin’. Just about nine minutes later, van Riemsdyk notched his second of the night on a scrappy goal in front of Tim Thomas. The Flyers had a solid two goal lead and controlled the game.
The next stoppage of play after van Riemsdyk’s goal turned the tides in favor the Bruins for the next 30 minutes of play. A video montage of soldiers overseas with Flyers memorabilia was playing to Lee Greenwood’s rendition of “Proud to be an American” during the break and it seemed to strike a chord with the fans at the WFC. A loud, yet emotional, cheer followed the video. The man behind me exclaimed “Not the right time in the game for this. Bad timing” as soon as the video started playing.
Into the second, the Bruins took control of the game as the Flyers came out flat to start the period. The Bruins fore-check was strong and kept the Flyers back on their heels struggling to clear the puck out of the zone. The balance returned towards the latter part of the second but, overall, it was not a good period of hockey for the Flyers. Towards the end of the second period, Brian Boucher came out and made a save on a streaking Bruins forward. After the play, Boucher was bent over in clear pain. Boucher checked out and, surprise, the Flyers made a goalie substitution only, this time, they were not losing. Rookie Sergei Bobrovsky stepped in nicely with six saves before Boucher returned to start the third.
In overtime, the Flyers were relentlessly pelting Tim Thomas with shots. The Flyers added another ten shots in the overtime session to the Bruins five shots. However, on a turnover in the Flyers defensive zone, Nathan Horton found David Krejci in the slot as Krejci found the back of the net but the puck bounced out as quickly as it went it. Play went on as the Bruins players had to quickly end their celebration and get back to the bench. After the next stoppage of play, the referees gathered to review the play. Upon further review, it was indeed a goal. The Flyers ended up ripping 54 shots at Thomas last night but could not come up with the one that counted in OT.
After the game Peter Laviolette stated that he thinks the pressure is on the Bruins now. “When you lose your first two games in your home building,” said Laviolette. “There is a real expectation for the Bruins to win the series now. So it relieves us of the pressure to win a little bit.” I, personally, don’t care whether the players feel pressure or not, but I do want them to feel a sense of urgency. This goes without saying but Game 3 is a must win. No other way around it. The Flyers need to seize momentum back in this series.
One thing that deserves to be noted in this loss is the play of the Flyers second year winger, James van Riemsdyk. The 21 year old stole the show last night. Yes, Tim Thomas did have 54 saves and stole a victory for the Bruins but JVR shined in the spotlight last night. With Jeff Carter going down with a knee injury against the Sabres, van Riemsdyk has stepped his game up even more. JVR netted two goals and fired eight shots at Thomas. He was literally all over the ice. He threw his body around all night and even registered two hits.
Every time you looked, you saw JVR. He led all forwards with 28:18 worth of ice time. He was aggressive in driving to the net; he took quality shots, and was seeing the ice nicely and finding his open teammates. In the third period, the “U-S-A” chants changed over to “J-V-R” chants, which is something that was surprising but fitting because the Middletown, NJ native left everything out on the ice last night. It was a very exciting sight.
Notes: Lauren Hart and Kate Smith’s God Bless America was as good as anticipated. The place was loud….. Scott Hartnell was a ghost last night. He appeared to be tired and slow as he drifted around on the ice a lot. The second goal stemmed from Hartnell not chancing the puck as it was swung around the boards. This is something to keep an eye on; it could have been just a rough night….Referees let them play last night, a little too much for the liking of the home crowd….. Boston was 0-for-2 on the power play making the Bruins 0-for-28 on the man advantage during the playoffs…….The attendance was 19,962…. The Flyers honored Philadelphia Police, Firefighters, and U.S. Marine Corp before and during the game.
-Steve Dolan III