PHILADELPHIA - David Krejci scored 14 minutes into overtime, Tim Thomas was phenomenal in net, and the Boston Bruins beat Philadelphia, 3-2, on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Thomas stopped 46 consecutive shots after the Flyers took a quick 2-0 lead. The series 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.
“At first I thought it was in. Then they kept playing,” Krejci said.
James van Riemsdyk had a breakout game for the Flyers. He scored two goals and was all over the ice trying to help the Flyers win at least one at home.
Instead, they have to rally from another deficit.
Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand also scored for the Bruins, who have taken a seemingly commanding lead against the Flyers for the second consecutive year. Boston led 3-0 in the East semis a year ago before the Flyers won four in a row to advance — including a rally from a 3-0 hole in Game 7.
Thomas finished with 52 saves after shaking off the slow start.
“By the third period, I was really starting to get into a rhythm which was a good thing because they were really getting off shots,” Thomas said.
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.
“I never saw the puck,” Briere said.
Brian Boucher couldn’t hold off the OT charge.
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 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 recoring artist Lauren Hart (daughter of late longtime Flyers announcer Gene Hart) and on video by the late Kate Smith.
Philadelphia defenseman Chris Pronger sat out with an undisclosed injury.