New-look D falters as Flyers fall

   BOSTON _ Boston's Tim Thomas and the Flyers' Brian Boucher have been two of the NHL's premier goalies this season. Thomas took a league'best 1.77 goals-against average into the game, while Boucher was sixth with a 2.23 GAA.

   So, naturally, they allowed a combined 12 goals in Boston's wild 7-5 cictory at TD Garden.

    OK, it was actually 11 goals because one was an empty-netter. Still, niether goalie was sharp.

    Neither were their defenses.

     In a wide-open game that was not typical for either team. the Flyers allowed a slew of odd-man rushes. They also gave Boston five power plays _ the Flyers had just one _ as their four-game losing streak came to a halt.

    "It was a roller-coaster," Thomas said. "Sometimes, the best laid plans don't work out that way, and you've got to roll with the punches."

    Flyers coach Peter Laviolette does not like to break up a winning combination, but he reluctantly added defenseman Matt Walker to the lineup for the first time this season. Oskars Bartulis was benched.

    Walker, coming off two hip surgeries, looked rusty in his debut, and he may need a stint with the Phantoms.

    Adding Walker caused the Flyers to alter two D pairings. Walker was with Matt Carle, and Andrej Meszaros was with Sean O'Donnell. Carle was minus-3 in the game, and his turnover led to the winning goal with 1:14 left.

    Carle and Meszaros had been very effective together, and O'Donnell and Bartulis had bee the third D pairing.

   The Flyers will try to regroup in Atlanta on Friday. Look for Sergei Bobrovsky to get the start for the Flyers.

    * * *
Get exclusive videos and analysis in our new app for iPhone and Android. Download it here.