Krejci’s OT goal gives Bruins 2-0 lead over Flyers

By the time the scoreboard flipped to OT, Tim Thomas felt

unbeatable.

He stopped the Flyers 46 straight times in a sizzling run that

let the Bruins tie Game 2 and force the extra period. David Krejci

rewarded his goalie with an in-and-out goal that gave Boston a

seemingly commanding lead on the Flyers for the second straight

year.

Krejci scored 14:00 into overtime to back a phenomenal game by

Thomas, helping the Bruins beat Philadelphia 3-2 on Monday night to

take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

”The goalie is always team dependent, and that’s what the

biggest difference is now,” Thomas said. ”The team is playing so

well in front of me.”

Boston led 3-0 in the East semis a year ago before the Flyers

won four straight to advance – including a rally from a 3-0 hole in

Game 7.

Thomas, a Vezina Trophy finalist, was on the bench for that

collapse.

He is determined not to let that happen on his watch. Thomas,

who finished with 52 saves on Monday, was tested under pressure all

game and shook off two early goals to stop everything fired his

way.

”They got a couple of quick goals, a couple of good bounces,”

Thomas said. ”But, as the game went on, I just tried to

build.”

The series now shifts to Boston for the next two games on

Wednesday and Friday.

Krejci fired a one-timer from one knee that ricocheted off the

back off the net and back onto the ice. Play continued until

officials could review the call. But the goal was clearly good.

”I picked it up, and I just tried to get a good one-timer and

it worked,” Krejci said. ”I thought it was in the whole time, but

I just wanted to finish the shift, and wait for the ref to look at

it.”

James van Riemsdyk had a breakout game with two goals for the

Flyers. He was all over the ice trying to help the them win at

least one at home.

Instead, they have to rally from another deficit.

”I think we’re going to go into Boston, we’re going to play a

strong hockey game and we’re going to win the game,” Flyers coach

Peter Laviolette said.

Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand also scored for the Bruins.

Thomas stood strong when the Flyers outshot the Bruins 13-3 to

open the third and took 22 overall in the period.

It was the one they didn’t shoot that haunted them. Danny

Briere, who has seven goals this postseason, fanned on an easy look

off a faceoff. Thomas was out of position after a blocked shot sent

the puck to Briere, and the All-Star seemingly just had to connect.

His second attempt was stopped by Thomas as the final seconds of

regulation ticked off.

Brian Boucher couldn’t hold off the OT charge.

”It’s the perfect scenario to be able to win the first two

games on the road,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. ”But we know

they’re not going to give up.”

Boucher won games this postseason as a starter and reliever. He

mixed both in Game 2. Boucher stopped 21 shots before he left the

game in the middle of the second period after he appeared to hurt

his wrist.

It was the fifth time in nine playoff games the Flyers made a

goalie switch – the first because of injury rather than

ineffectiveness. The score was 2-2 when Boucher left and when he

returned.

The crowd was rocking from the start after they heard the usual

stirring rendition of ”God Bless America,” live by Lauren Hart

and on video by the late Kate Smith. Fans chanted ”U-S-A! U-S-A!”

after lineups were introduced, and again after the song was

finished, a day after Osama bin Laden was killed.

”That was pretty cool, as an American,” van Riemsdyk said.

”And the fans are pretty passionate about sports and our country.

That was pretty cool to be a part of.”

Van Riemsdyk kept 20,000 orange-clad fans roaring when he scored

only 29 seconds into the game. He beat Thomas again midway into the

period, mixing the power play with a dose of pride and patriotism,

for the fast lead.

In these playoffs, a 2-0 lead almost seems like a 2-0 hole. The

Flyers are forced to keep attacking because the goaltending has

been so porous.

Sure enough, Boucher and the Flyers blew it in a hurry.

Kelly scored off a rebound, and Marchand’s wrister through

Boucher’s legs gave Boston goals only 1:25 apart and a tie.

After a four-goal first, the teams settled down until Krejci’s

winner.

The Bruins pounded Sergei Bobrovsky in his limited relief role,

but the rookie stopped all six shots.

Boucher and Thomas both made game-saving stops at various

points. Boucher stuffed Daniel Paille on the breakaway in the

first; Thomas made a sliding, sweeping leg save to deny Nikolay

Zherdev in the second.

Flyers captain Mike Richards missed on all 10 shots.

”He was hot,” Briere said. ”He was seeing every shot. I

really believe if we keep playing the same way, we’ll get good

results.”

The Bruins hold the 2-0 lead after rallying from the same hole

to beat Montreal in the first round.

”It’s good to be on the other side of 2-0 now, and we get to go

home,” Krejci said. ”And it’ll be great to be in front of our

crowd, they will be a great seventh man for us.”

The Bruins lost defenseman Adam McQuaid in the first period

after he slammed headfirst into the boards. McQuaid tried to throw

an elbow at Mike Richards, but the Flyers captain sidestepped him,

and McQuaid went down in a heap. He was motionless on the ice for

several minutes and needed a trainer and help back to the locker

room.

He went to the hospital, but was set to return with the team to

Boston.

That evened the score on injured defensemen.

Philadelphia’s Chris Pronger sat out with an undisclosed injury.

Pronger missed games in the Flyers’ first-round series against

Buffalo while he recovered from a broken right hand. The Flyers

sent out an injury report after Monday morning’s pregame skate that

stated Pronger was ”OK.”

Guess not.

NOTES: The Flyers set a team record for shots in a period in a

home playoff game with 22 in the third. The overall record is 28

set in 1997 against Pittsburgh. … The Flyers are 3-13 in series

they have trailed 2-0.