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Julien likes Bruins' game heading into 2nd round

by Mike G. Morreale
VOORHEES, N.J. -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien feels the one good thing about facing the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round of the playoffs is that his team won't have to conjure up an entirely new game plan.
"The one thing that I can tell you about our team is that we don't need to change a lot of things," Julien told the media on Friday morning before departing TD Garden for Philadelphia.
The opening game of this Eastern Conference semifinal-round series is slated for Saturday at Wells Fargo Center (3 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).
"We obviously have to get better in certain areas, but I don't think as a whole our team has to change a lot," Julien said. "We still see a lot of things that we can continue to utilize in order to give us success. Obviously, they're a little bit of a bigger team and they do have some skill up front, but Montreal had some skill up front."
Julien did admit, however, that the return of defenseman Chris Pronger to Philadelphia's lineup does present quite the challenge. It's probably similar to the challenge Boston blueliner Zdeno Chara presents the Flyers.
"Well, he's an experienced guy … a guy who has got good size as well and has got a good shot," Julien said. "I know that he hasn't used it much when he's come back and whether he's 100 percent, we don't know, and it really shouldn't matter. But he's been a big part of their power play, and when you get a guy like that back, no doubt it's a boost for your hockey club."
Pronger played in two of the four regular-season meetings between the clubs this year and had no points with a minus-1 rating.
"I thought we played them well and came out with three wins, and the overtime loss," Julien said. "But we match up well against them and they're always close in tight games."
Boston went 3-0-1 against the Flyers in the regular season, winning both games in Philadelphia with goalie Tim Thomas yielding only one goal in the two victories.
"We got to go in (to Philadelphia) with some confidence and obviously some determination," Julien said. "The playoffs is a different situation than the regular season, but it's just one of those things that we feel that we don't have to change a ton. If there are adjustments to make along the way, we just have to be prepared to make them."
Julien believes that despite winning a tough seven-game series against the Montreal Canadiens in the conference quarterfinals, his team won't have an emotional letdown against the Flyers. The Bruins won a best-of-seven playoff series after losing the first two games for the first time in their storied history in the opening round against Montreal -- they had been 0-26 until this year.
"Philadelphia went through the same seven-game series, and they had to come from behind," Julien said. "They did a lot of the same thing. I really felt our team had some good jump (during Friday's practice). I think they had some good focus. I'd like to say that we've grown through our playoff experiences of the past, and guys know that we have to turn the page quickly.
"The first, the one year we had 10 days off between the first round, when we swept Montreal … it took us a long time to get back in the series [against Carolina] and probably ended up hurting us. So you hope that your guys have learned through these kind of things, and from what I can see from our hockey club and their attitude and their approach, we'll be fine."
While much has been made of the Flyers' goaltending situation, Julien can't understand what all the fuss is about.
"I think everybody is questioning their goaltending, but their goaltending has always seemed to do the job," he said. "So it's one of those situations where I think a lot of what has to be done here will be about us more than it will be about their hockey club."
Thomas started all four games against the Flyers this season and had a 1.95 goals-against average. Philadelphia starter Brian Boucher went 1-2-0 with a 2.95 GAA against the Bruins and Sergei Bobrovsky dropped a 3-0 decision in his only start of the series on Dec. 1.
"Every series I've played, I've played the underdog role in it," Boucher said. "The other goalie probably has the edge, and that's fine. We've got a good hockey team in here and I believe in my teammates. When push comes to shove, we can score goals and we can keep it out of our net from a team standpoint so that's all I'm concerned about."
"At the end of the day, and you've heard me say this before, it's a matter of will and determination," Julien said. "You have to find a way to get there (in front of the net) and you have to find a way to stay there."
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
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