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Pregame Notebook: Game 2 @ Philadelphia

by Hannah Becker / Boston Bruins – After a convincing 7-3 win in which they chased Philadelphia’s starting goaltender Brian Boucher from between the pipes in Game 1, the Boston Bruins will look to keep rolling past the Flyers as they square off for Game 2 tonight.

Scheduled for a 7:30 start in the Wells Fargo Center, the Bruins need to keep the intensity high against a Flyers squad looking for redemption following the loss on Saturday afternoon.

The Bruins will look to keep at least one of Philly’s trio of goaltenders moving and capitalize on the Flyers’ trouble with Boston’s top line.

Quieting the crowd early as they did in Game 1 will again be a key to Boston’s success, as the masses of orange t-shirted fans can certainly provide Philadelphia with the energy needed to overcome the Bruins.

Following the game, the B’s will travel back to Boston where they will prepare for Game 3 on Wednesday night.

Game 1 recap: Top line dominates
Boston’s top two lines came out ready to play and scored six of the Bruins seven goals to lead Boston to the 7-3 victory over Philadelphia in Game 1 this afternoon. 

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Boucher (33) cannot stop a goal by Horton (18) as Flyers' Danny Briere (48) defends during the first period in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal NHL Stanley Cup playoffs series, Saturday, April 30, 2011, in Philadelphia. Boston won 7-3. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Boston’s top line of David Krejci centering Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton gave Boston the early lead, and kept the pressure on Philadelphia throughout the entire first period, and forced the Flyers to make personnel changes to better match-up with the line.

Krejci got the scoring started for Boston with his second goal of the postseason just 1:52 into the game, assisted by Horton and Seidenberg.

“It’s nice to see that line do so well tonight. They obviously had some challenges in the last series. And although two of the overtime goals were scored by that line, but tonight I thought they were a real solid line,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said.

“They did their job and they did it well and David Krejci was a real good player for us, there is no doubt there. And he’s capable of being that and I think he’s ready to face this challenge.”

Before the end of the period, Horton had doubled the Bruins scoring, camping out in front of the net and banging home a rebound off Philadelphia goaltender Brian Boucher. Horton’s fourth tally of the postseason at 19:24 was assisted by Krejci and Seidenberg, giving all three players multiple point games before the end of the first frame.

“It was a great pinch and [Seidenberg] took it and took a couple of guys in the corner to take it out. And I was there and I didn’t see Krejci and his stick came and hit it and I just tried to get the rebound,” Horton said.

Boston took the 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Philadelphia defenseman Chris Pronger matched up against Boston’s top line, but couldn’t stifle the big threesome alone. The Flyers began rolling out Mike Richards, arguably their best defensive forward to help keep Lucic, Horton and Krejci at bay.

The changes for Philadelphia didn’t make much of a different as the Bruins netted three unanswered goals to begin the second period.

But in between Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand’s goals it was Boston’s top line once again. Krejci won the faceoff in the offensive zone back to Adam McQuaid. McQuaid ripped a shot towards net and Krejci, who had good stick position on Philadelphia’s Darroll Powe, tipped the puck past Boucher, for his second tally of the night.

“Great way to start, he played amazing tonight. It showed obviously on the score sheet, but of that he was pretty good for us,” Horton said of Krejci.

“It’s so special of a player and we want him to have to the puck as much as possible. He creates so much off that and he gives everyone else and change to score and a chance to play.”

Krejci Answers the Call
Just when everyone was calling for David Krejci to step up and make an impact on Boston’s second round series with Philadelphia, Krejci delivers two goals and two assists for a four-point Game 1 performance.

Krejci reacts after scoring a goal as Philadelphia Flyers' Matt Carle skates by during the first period in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal NHL Stanley Cup playoffs series, Saturday, April 30, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
“He’s more of a quiet person. He doesn’t say much. But you know once you’ve had him for a long time, you kind of know his demeanor, you kind of know how he operates, and he’s a very quiet kid,” Julien said of Krejci following Game 1.

“But he’s a very determined individual and there’s times where he puts so much pressure on himself that it doesn’t always help him. But once he finds his stride, he’s a very determined player. So hopefully this game this afternoon has really helped him, and it’s certainly going to hopefully keep him going that way.”

Krejci was relatively silent in the first round series against Montreal, registering only a single goal in seven games.  Julien doesn’t think Krejci changed his game much in-between the two rounds, but instead sees a different in the way Philadelphia chose to cover the top line compared to Montreal.

“Montreal really paid a lot of attention to that line. They really had some hard matchups against that line, and certainly did a great job. Montreal’s a great defensive team. That’s their strength, and they put their best players against that line, and it made it tough on him. But luckily we had some depth and we had some other lines that came up big for us,” Julien said.

“But this team that we’re playing right now is very similar to ours. They’re big, they’re strong, they’re physical, and I think right now, this is more of a series that’s going head to head.”

Krejci’s role for Boston extends beyond just his own production. As the pivot man between big wingers Horton and Lucic, Krejci creates plays for all three members of the trio.

Horton netted a goal in Game 1, but Lucic has remained silent in the postseason. With his two linemates on a roll and Krejci’s playmaking skills, Lucic should be able to get rolling, thus bringing the rest of his team along with him.

Julien expects comeback effort from Flyers
Following Game 1 Philadelphia head coach Peter Laviolette said his team needs to perform better in all areas of the game if they wish to come back and defeat Boston in the best-of-seven series.

Philadelphia Flyers' James van Riemsdyk (21) tumbles over  Thomas during the second period in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal NHL Stanley Cup playoffs series, Saturday, April 30, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Bruins head coach Claude Julien expects the Flyers to come out strong and be better in all areas of the game tonight in the second contest of the series.

“If he says they have to better in all areas, they are going to adjust in all areas. I think we except them, we know they are going to come out a lot better,” said Julien

“There is no doubt there, there is no secret to that and we just have to be read for it. I think we are anticipating it, we know it’s coming and as a hockey club you have to be ready to face that and we are going to have to be as good as we can be tomorrow and come out there the better team.”

One thing Philadelphia did well in Game 1, and Julien expects them to continue to do, was attack the net, and Tim Thomas.

While multiple Flyers’ players soaring into, over and on top of Thomas has many Bruins fans screaming foul, Coach Julien thought the referees did a good job riding the fine line between letting the teams play and not letting things get out of hand.

“It’s a playoff series, and there are a lot of fine lines and there are a lot of things. As a referee, one thing you don’t want to do is overreact, but you still want to make sure that goaltenders are protected,” Julien said.

“As coaches, as players, you have to understand that this is the playoffs and the intensity is obviously higher than it is in the regular season, there is a lot more at stake. So you can tell them to play, and we have to understand that and we can’t come out whining and crying every time there is a little contact with your goaltender. But if it’s past the rules and they feel they should call it, I think they have to. And I think so far I don’t think I’ve seen much there that has really crossed the line.”

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