PHILADELPHIA -- David Krejci scored with six minutes remaining in the first overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2 of this Eastern Conference Semifinal series.
Krejci fired a shot from the left circle that beat Brian Boucher. The goal was originally waved off, but video review showed that the puck went in under the crossbar.
"He (Nathan Horton) picked it up and he made a nice play," Krejci said. "I wanted to get a good one-timer and it worked. I thought it was in but then they kept playing, so I just wanted to finish up on the shift and then the ref took a look at it and it was in."
The Bruins take a 2-0 lead in the series back with them to Boston for Games 3 and 4 Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC) and Friday (8 p.m. ET, VERSUS (JIP), CBC, RDS). Game 5, if necessary, will be Sunday back here at the Wells Fargo Center.
Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand also had goals for the Bruins, and goalie Tim Thomas stopped 52 of 54 shots.
James van Riemsdyk scored a pair of goals for the Flyers, who were forced to change goalies during the game for the fifth time in nine playoff games. Brian Boucher stopped 32 of 35 shots, but missed the final 8:59 of the second period after a save on a Johnny Boychuk drive appeared to injure his left hand or arm. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all six shots he faced in his time in the net. Boucher was back in net to start the third period.
The Flyers started the game with a bang. After a stirring rendition of "God Bless America" had the Wells Fargo Center rocking, the home team kept the fans excited, getting the first goal just 29 seconds into the game.
Nikolay Zherdev chipped the puck past a Boston player at the Philadelphia blue line to Claude Giroux, who started a 2-on-1 break with James van Riemsdyk. Giroux centered a pass under Bruins center Patrice Bergeron to van Riemsdyk, who tipped it under Thomas for his sixth of the postseason.
Van Riemsdyk made it 2-0 with his League-leading seventh of the postseason. With the Bruins' Gregory Campbell off for holding, Kimmo Timonen fired a shot from the middle of the blue line that Thomas stopped, but couldn't control the rebound. Danny Briere had a few whacks at it, but the puck rolled to van Riemsdyk, who scored at 9:31.
The sold-out crowd was rocking, but the Bruins took all their energy away in a 1:25 span.
"We knew they would have a big start," Marchand said. "We knew they were going to come out hard in the first period, we just wanted to weather the storm. It was great we were able to tie it up there. It was pretty bad there at one point. We did a great job of coming back and settled things down and got into the game."
Kelly got the Bruins on the board with his fourth of the playoffs. Rich Peverley curled around the top of the Philadelphia zone and dropped a pass for Tomas Kaberle. Boucher stopped Kaberle's shot, and Michael Ryder's attempt on the rebound from the crease, but Kelly crashed in to bang in the rebound at 12:50.
Moments later, Patrice Bergeron showed his skill at both ends of the ice, breaking up a Philadelphia scoring chance and then finding Marchand for the game-tying goal from the right circle that got between Boucher's glove and body at 14:15.
"To me, he's arguably our best forward since the start of the playoffs," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Bergeron. "He comes to play every night and he plays hard, he plays hard at both ends. He has contributed offensively, but without a doubt he is our most reliable two-way player."
The teams traded chances in the second period, but from the third period through the end of the game, the Flyers carried the play. They outshot the Bruins 22-7 in the third period, but Thomas' outstanding effort kept the team tied.
"He was by far the star of the game," Julien said of Thomas. "He made some outstanding saves, especially when they started coming at us. They had some unbelievable scoring chances, he stood stall and he made some great saves. And no doubt, if it’s not for Timmy we might not be standing here tonight with a win. But that's what goaltenders do for you in the playoffs and that's what you like to see in order to certainly develop some confidence for your team. We know that the goaltender is there to bail you out and it certainly builds a lot of confidence and Tim has given us that."
"It easily could have been 8-1, 8-2 at one point," Marchand added. "It was great we had Timmy there backing us up. It's good we can have a team push like that against us and we were able to push back and come through at a clutch time."
His biggest stops came in the final 2:39 of the third period, when he made three saves on a Flyers power play, and then forced overtime with strong play in the final 4.2 seconds, when Boston was called for icing.
Mike Richards beat Kelly on a faceoff to Thomas' left, and van Riemsdyk fired a shot that Thomas stopped, but the rebound went to Danny Briere. Briere had an open net with about a second remaining on the clock, but he couldn't get a decent shot off in time and defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was able to dive across and block it.
"Off the faceoff I never saw the puck," Briere said. "I was just trying to find my way to the open space, and next thing I knew, I felt the puck at my feet. It just hopped over my stick. I never was able to put a stick on it, and it bounced behind me."
The Flyers continued to push into overtime, outshooting the Bruins 10-5, but it was only Krejci's shot that counted. While the call on the ice was no goal, Julien said he was pretty sure the shot was in.
"All I saw was the referee wave his hand that there was no goal," Julien said. "And it didn’t take us long to figure out that it had been in. So I felt pretty confident and it was nice to see us find a way to win."
It was the Bruins' fourth win in four overtime games, and the line of Krejci, Horton and Milan Lucic have scored three of those four goals.
"He's a special player," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said of Krejci. "He has a definite skill set that makes him dangerous out there. He can slow the play down, he sees the ice very well. He's a gifted passer, playmaker and he can finish now and again, too. He was great for us tonight. We're going to continue to need him to be great if we want to have success."
Now the Bruins will return home to Boston with a 2-0 series lead -- it's a role reversal from the first round, when Montreal came into Boston and won the first two games. The Bruins won Games 3 and 4 in Montreal, so the Bruins know the series is far from over.
"We do know from the way we were able to come back from the last series, a 2-0 lead in a series doesn't mean the series is over," Thomas said. "We still have a lot of work in front of us."
The Flyers, despite being down in a series again, found some positives in their game. One was the play of van Riemsdyk, who had eight shots in 28:18 of ice time. His two goals gave him at least one in five straight games, and he nearly set up a Zherdev goal in the second period. As he was falling to the ice, he sent a nice centering pass to Zherdev that forced Thomas to make an outstanding post-to-post move to stop with his right pad.
"It was really awesome to watch him play like that," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said of van Riemsdyk. "I thought that as you're watching him, he was constantly using his size, speed, and just really taking charge of the game. It was such a good night for him. It makes you anxious to see his future unfold. Tonight he was an impact player. I thought it was one of the most dominating performances that I have seen from a player."
However, it wasn't enough, and the Flyers know they'll need to work even harder in Game 3.
"We have to go into Boston and play the same way we played tonight," defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "Obviously we know it's not going to be easy, but we will never give up and we’ll go out there and fight."
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK