May 5, 2011

B's roar out of gate, never let up in Game 3 win over Flyers

Bruins forwards Nathan Horton and David Krejci celebrate a goal with Zdeno Chara during Game 3. (Getty)

BOSTON -- Bruins coach Claude Julien repeatedly preached on Wednesday morning that his team had to get off to a fast start in Game 3.

Boston could ill-afford to allow Philadelphia to carry play right out of the gate. They had to prove that the Flyers wouldn't be allowed to carry the momentum they possessed throughout the latter half of Game 2 into TD Garden. Diminishing their hopes of cutting this series to 2-1 early in the tilt was paramount.

With a 2-0 lead just 63 seconds into the contest, en route to a 5-1 blowout win for the Bruins, it's safe to say Julien got what he wished for.

"Well you always want to have a good start, especially at home," Zdeno Chara said, as he opened the scoring with his first of two tallies on the night just 30 seconds in. "But yeah, I mean we scored the first two, three shifts of the game. So it’s always huge and I thought that gave us really good momentum for the first twenty at least. So yeah, it was a good start."

Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen readily admitted the opening minutes were nothing short of horrific for he and his teammates.

"Obviously two quick goals and it was a really bad start for us, especially in their home rink," said Timonen. "It was the worst start you can imagine and overall it looked like we were skating in the sand today. Everything was really hard and we didn’t really get the forecheck going. We didn’t really get anything going on them. I don’t really know the reason."

While the Flyers -- now in a familiar 0-3 hole against Boston -- were at a loss for words, the Bruins had little trouble pointing out their sensational start as a key to victory.

"Yeah it was huge," said winger Shawn Thornton. "We couldn’t write it any better. Those two lines did a great job of getting pucks deep and capitalizing when they had their opportunities. It definitely made it a lot easier to play when you got a lead early. So great job by those two lines."

The B's superb effort didn't just suddenly come to a screeching halt at the 1:03 mark of a 60-minute game. For nearly the entirety of the contest, Boston continued pushing offensively, eventually chasing starter Brian Boucher when Nathan Horton made it 4-0.

"I think for all (of the) playoffs we’ve don’t a really good job of putting sixty minutes together," Thornton said. "I mean obviously the last game in Philly they kind of had us momentum wise in the third period and it’s tough. But I think the effort has been there the whole time. But you got to give everybody credit for stepping up and playing the full sixty tonight."

Julien admitted after the game that he was a little worried about the outcome in the early hours of the day, but once it was game-time he felt considerably more confident.

"I’d say this morning we were little bit quieter than we had been in the past in our morning skate," the coach said. "And basically trying to figure out whether it was guys just being really focused or the other part of it, whether we weren’t as sharp as we had been. But I think they answered that question pretty quickly at the start.

"They came in tonight and I liked our demeanor, when the guys showed up for the game tonight they felt a lot more comfortable. And they proved that they were ready. It was important for us to have a good first period and they went out there and did the job."

When Flyers coach Peter Laviolette called timeout after the two quick strikes, Julien knew full well to expect a major surge from the opposition.

"Well I think it was important for us to, first of all, to get that lead, but second of all, whenever a coach calls a time out or pulls a goalie, most of the time you get an instant reaction from that team," said Julien. "So I just told our guys that the next rotation through the four lines that were going to rotate through had to have a great shift, we had to be dominate, we had to out play the other team so that wouldn’t switch over to their side.

"And that’s basically it, you don’t want to panic, you don’t want to change anything from your game. But you just want to be able to respond to those kind of situations in a way that doesn’t give them an advantage."

The Bruins simply gave Philadelphia squat on Wednesday night and, because of that, they'll have the chance to end their season on Friday in Game 4.