Flyers need to come out strong in Game 2

As the Flyers gear up for Game 2, they probably should be a bit nervous about heading into another game at TD Garden, where the Bruins have won all 4 games they’ve played in front of the Boston faithful. Every one of those games has been a one goal victory and Tuuka Rask has been spectacular in his home rink, making 30 or more saves in all but one of the four wins.

Part of the Bruins’ success at home has been their ability to score goals late. While the Flyers nearly turned the tables on them in the 3rd on Saturday, Boston has outscored their playoff opponents, 7-4 at home in the 3rd period and overtime. They also scored three 3rd period goals in their Game 2 win in Buffalo. The veteran leadership on this club is a major part of the fact that the B’s just don’t seem to ever be fully down and out, even when down a couple goals. Guys like Mark Recchi, Zdeno Chara and late-season addition Miroslav Satan have been great so far, especially late in games.

Boston will be without the services of first line forward Marco Sturm, who injured his right knee checking Matt Carle on the first shift of the game, and is reported to be done for the rest of the year. ESPN reports that Daniel Paille will be taking his place on the top line, not a huge surprise, considering that with the Bruins’ injuries up front all year, Paille has played with Bergeron and Ryder quite a few times. The bigger impact this injury will have will be on the amount of playing time given to Marc Savard, the hero of Game 1. Even though he scored the game winner, I’m not convinced he’s ready to play full minutes in a physical playoff series like this one, but i’m guessing he’ll see a bit more ice time in the coming games than the 15:16 he played in Game 1.

For the Flyers, the key will be to come out much better than they did at the start of Game 1. Boston dominated the first period, outshooting Philly 15-8 and coming away with a 2-0 lead after the first twenty minutes of play. The Flyers played a much better game in the 2nd and 3rd, but came out flat again in overtime. Falling behind against Tuuka Rask is a recipe for disaster, and the Flyers need to maintain more consistent offensive pressure on the B’s.

Brian Boucher just needs to keep doing what he’s been doing. Five goals on Saturday may not look like a great performance, but in the playoffs, the mark of a good goalie is one that makes the saves when he has to. Chris Osgood is a perfect example – never really put up great numbers for Detroit, but what he did, perhaps better than anyone at times, was make the big save when his team needed him to most. Boucher looked like he’d made all those saves in Game 1, especially in OT, but the Flyers just didn’t respond with the necessary offense.

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Tags: Boston Bruins Brian Boucher Philadelphia Flyers Tuuka Rask

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