BOSTON — Knowing that the Flyers were treating Wednesday’s contest as they would in a Game 7 situation, the Bruins were determined to match their desperation going into Game 3.
Well its safe to say that the Bruins did just that as Zdeno Chara and David Krejci scored the two goals in the opening 63 seconds.
And that start proved beneficial in their 5-1 victory in front of another sellout crowd of 17,565 at the TD Garden.
“Obviously we got the momentum right away with those two goals, and I thought it was going, and I thought we stayed with it,” said Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron, who tallied an assist on Chara’s goal 30 seconds in. “We scored two goals, and then we kept putting the pressure on, kept going at them, and I thought it was a great effort.
“I thought we also took it one period at a time, instead of just playing one period and sitting back for the second. I thought we played well for 60 minutes and it showed in the result.”
“We always want to get a good start — especially at home — and to score on the first two shifts is always huge,” said Chara, who also scored the Bruins first power play goal in 31 attempts on a 5-on-3 advantage late in the third period. “I felt that we had very good momentum and it was a very good start for us.”
With things clicking instantly, the Bruins were able to use their depth on all four lines to their advantage. They got contributions from all three members of the top line of Krejci, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic, all of whom each tallied at least one point in the contest. Horton, who recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick, pulled the Bruins ahead 4-0 at 15:14 just 1:35 after Daniel Paille snapped a shot past Flyers goalie Brian Boucher on a 3-on-2.
We’ve seen the top three lines have their share of moments during the course of the postseason, but getting the fourth line involved was pretty satisfying. On top of their goal, the trio of Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton played a good, solid, physical game and — despite being on the ice for the Flyers’ only goal from Andrej Meszaros at 16:26 of period two — generated some good opportunites in the offensive zone.
“They were a good line for us tonight, no doubt,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “That goal against they gave up stung them a little bit, but we had a chat with them after the second period and they did everything right there was one little mistake they made on that play. They came out and they still had a couple of good opportunities to score as well. Soupy [Campbell] had a couple good chances in particular. They did a good job — especially in the offensive zone — they kept the puck in and they made some plays.
“This is a line that we counted on all year. And its a line that has been one of the better fourth lines in the league; and when we need them then they are there for us.”
With an edge on the scoreboard, the Bruins felt they were in their comfort zone, and in a good way too. Now, they hold a 3-0 series lead for the second straight season and go into Game 4 Friday looking to sweep the Flyers and advance to face the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Of course, many remember what happened around this time last year when the Flyers started their comeback after trailing 3-0.
But even with the commanding 3-0 series lead again, Chara and company are looking to put the final nail in the coffin on the Flyers without looking back.
“We are glad that we are in the position that we are,” the Bruins captain said. “But there is still on more win we have to accomplish to move on. And that is where our focus is right now.”