Bruins Hold Serve, Edge Pesky Flyers
If that's the case, we're still waiting for the Flyers and Bruins to "really" get underway. Boston held serve in Game 2 Monday night, getting a late Milan Lucic goal to win 3-2 and take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
As you would expect, the Eastern Conference's No. 7 and No. 6 seeds have played two closely-contested hockey games, and it isn't much of a surprise that the one-goal matches went the way of the home team.
Don't mistake it for some kind of Bruin dominance, however. There is no reason to think this series is going to be a cakewalk in any way.
The Flyers beat New Jersey in the first round by avoiding big deficits and playing a large chunk of the series with the lead. Boston didn't score first until the sixth and final game of their series against Buffalo, and they trailed 2-0 in Games 2, 3, and 4, all of which Boston won.
In this series, it's been the Flyers playing the role of the resilient team that won't quit. The difference is that they have fallen short in both games so far.
In Game 1, deficits of 2-0, 3-1, and 4-2 went by the wayside with a third-period Philly comeback. A returning Marc Savard won the game in overtime for the Bruins, but the Flyers had made their point.
There would be no laydown in this series.
Boston never trailed Monday night. Johnny Boychuk put Boston up in the first period, and Miroslav Satan -- you know, the guy who didn't sign an NHL deal until Jan. 2 -- broke a 1-1 tie with his fourth goal of the playoffs. Each time, the Flyers answered, as goals by captain Mike Richards and Daniel Briere kept them close.
Give the Bruins credit, because their best period of the series so far might have been the third. They did a great job limiting Philly's offensive chances, keeping them largely away from goalie Tuukka Rask, even after pulling their goalie for the last 80 or so seconds of regulation.
Lucic's game-winner, his first of the playoffs, was a quick shot on a rolling puck that got through low on Philadelphia goalie Brian Boucher. In a third period where the Flyers were outshot 11-5, Boucher was a big reason why it stayed a 2-2 game until the 17:03 mark.
The real intrigue came during the second period, when Savard mixed it up with Flyer agitator Daniel Carcillo. The two took some pops at each other, and at the end of the scrum, Carcillo accused Savard of biting his finger. Nothing came of the accusation, but it was brought up on both TSN and Versus, the national television outlets broadcasting the game. Obviously, more could come of it if the league finds good video of the incident, but the only shot immediately available didn't show anything that would incriminate Savard.
Game 3 is Wednesday night in Philadelphia. If the series won't be truly interesting until the home team loses, the Flyers hope things stay nice and boring until at least Game 5.