Flyers routed by Bruins in opener

Just like last year's Eastern Conference semifinals, the Flyers fell into a series hole against the Boston Bruins.

They hope it doesn't get as deep as last season's.

David Krejci and rookie Brad Marchand each scored a pair of goals as the Bruins won Game 1 of the best-of-seven series, routing the Flyers, 7-3, at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

"We were brutal," defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. ". . . There's a lesson to be learned from tonight's game. It doesn't matter what happened a week ago or yesterday. It looked like we were still stuck in the Buffalo series, and it's over. . . . We have to move on."

Game 2 is Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

"There's a lot of things we need to do a little better out there, and we'll regroup," winger James van Riemsdyk said. "It's a seven-game series for a reason."

A year ago, the Flyers lost the first three games of the conference semifinals, then made an epic comeback and won four straight against the Bruins - overcoming a 3-0 deficit in Game 7.

Krejci suffered a broken wrist on an open-ice hit by Mike Richards in Game 3 last year. He had emergency surgery and did not play in any of the four Boston losses.

Brian Boucher, who could have sued his defense for nonsupport, allowed five goals in a little less than two periods and was replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky. Dating from last season, it marked the sixth time in the last 14 playoff contests that the Flyers made an in-game goalie switch.

Boucher "did what he was supposed to do; he made the first save, and when you give second, third, and fourth opportunities the puck is going to go into your net eventually," captain Mike Richards said.

"It was a bad game from us on every level - emotionally, skating-wise," Timonen said. "It wasn't anything to do with the goaltending. It was all about us."

Four of the five goals allowed by Boucher were on rebounds.

"We got outworked in front of the net," said center Danny Briere, whose seventh goal of the playoffs tied the game at 1-1 in the first period.

"Too many easy goals," coach Peter Laviolette said.

Richards scored on the power play - his first goal in eight playoff games this year - to get the Flyers to within 5-3 with 6 minutes, 58 seconds left.

But the Bruins iced the win less than two minutes later, getting a goal from Marchand after a Matt Carle turnover.

"We got beat a lot on battles, defensively and offensively," said center Claude Giroux, who had two assists and was one of two Flyers who was not a "minus" player. He and Nik Zherdev were even. "We need to win more battles and [have] a better effort."

The Bruins, naturally, were pleased with their start.

"But it is only one game," said Boston center Patrice Bergeron, who had three assists. "We saw last year that they are not going to quit."

Boston built a 2-1 first-period lead, with former Flyers defenseman Dennis Seidenberg assisting on both Bruins goals.

With the score tied 1-1 late in the first period, Seidenberg got past defenseman Braydon Coburn behind the net and found Nathan Horton in front. Boucher stopped his first shot, but Horton's second attempt went off the goalie's left arm and into the net with 36 seconds remaining in the period.

The Bruins made it 3-1 when the ageless Mark Recchi, another former Flyer, scored 2:34 into the middle period. About 13 minutes later, Adam McQuaid's point drive deflected off Krejci and beat Boucher high to the short side to put the Bruins ahead, 4-1.

For the Flyers, it got worse. Quickly.

No one cleared Marchand out front, and he knocked in a rebound to give the Bruins a stunning 5-1 advantage with 2:46 left in the second.

Exit Boucher. Enter Bobrovsky.

The Flyers have made in-game goalie changes in four of their eight playoff games.

"Certainly, you don't want to do that," Laviolette said. "But tonight, just based on the way we played in front of our goaltender, we as a team deserve all of the responsibility as far as that goes."

Including last year's loss to Chicago in the Stanley Cup Finals, this marked the third straight series in which the Flyers lost the opener. They dropped a 1-0 decision to Buffalo in this year's conference quarterfinals before winning in seven games.

"I don't know what it is. The past couple of years it seems we need adversity to start playing better," Briere said. "This needs to be an eye-opener because we'll be done in a hurry if we keep playing that way."

 


Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BroadStBull