BOSTON – At first, the Bruins seemed to have moved on from the glitz and glamour from the banner night festivities at the TD Garden against the Flyers Thursday night. After all, at 9:42 of the first, Brad Marchand put the Bruins ahead 1-0 with a power play tally.
But two goals in 47 seconds from Flyers forwards Claude Giroux (19:10) and Jakub Voracek (19:57) in near the end of the first period and a frustrating final 40 minutes resulted in a 2-1 loss for the Black and Gold in front of a sellout crowd of 17,565.
“Tough finish tonight,” Marchand said. “We got an early goal there and we let our guard down a little bit. We just have to regroup and bounce back.”
Certainly after the first period the momentum shifted to the Flyers, who outshot the Bruins 25-12 during the first two periods. Despite having very few shots, the Bruins created some chances on new Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (22 saves), including Marchand midway through the second.
In the third, the Bruins outplayed the Flyers creating a few chances on the man advantage — which went 1-for-6 – and outshot the opposition, 11-4, in the last 20 minutes.
At that point, Boston was a little snake bitten after squandering some quality scoring chances.
“A goalie has to make his own luck sometimes and be at the right place at the right time,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “He [Bryzgalov] made a few pretty good saves. There were a few times where we thought we had a goal for sure, but we just couldn’t bury our chances tonight.”
While the Bruins had to deal with the festivities, the Flyers, too, had to deal with a delay of sorts before stepping onto the ice.
After getting loose in warmups, Philly had to wait nearly a half hour to step on the ice again and get things underway.
But even after coming out sloppy in the first 10 minutes, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette and company were able to snap out of it and get a victory as a result.
“I think we just had to get through it,” said Philly’s bench boss. “There could have been some jitters out there, or just hanging around and waiting. I thought we did a good job battling through and getting into the period.”
There are lessons to be learned for the Bruins after the loss. After all, it’s only the first of 82 games of the 2011-12 season.
The biggest lesson in all of this, though, is that last year is now a thing of the past and the focus is now on this year.
“It’s very important,” defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said about moving on from last year. “Now we’re back to reality and we’re the hunted ones now and we just have to find a way to win games.”
One thing that the Bruins still know is that they have the huge targets on their backs as the defending champs.
“It will be tough this year,” Seidenberg said. “Everyone wants to win against a champion and we just have to be on our game and in the end it’s going to make us that much stronger I think.”