Flyers edge Bruins in season openerOct 7, 2011 - 3:06 AM
But the Philadelphia Flyers dropped the curtain on the celebration.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 22-of-23 shots in his Philly debut and Jakub Voracek tallied the deciding score late in the first period as the Flyers edged the defending champions, 2-1, in the season opener for both clubs at TD Garden.
Claude Giroux also registered a first-period goal for the Flyers, who suffered a four-game sweep at the hands of Boston in last year's Eastern semifinals.
Jaromir Jagr returned to the NHL after a three-year stint in Russia and recorded his 1,600th NHL point with the primary assist on the Giroux score.
"We feel like we've been playing a long time together," Bryzgalov said when asked if the Flyers need to forge a new identity with an altered roster. "We have a very, very good group of guys. We're very friendly. It's like one big family, you know. In a few weeks I hope it's going to be very, very good."
Brad Marchand notched the lone score for the Bruins, who couldn't sustain the momentum from a lengthy pregame ceremony which honored the club's first title since 1972.
"That was really nice. Obviously it was emotional and all very exciting for us and all the fans and the whole city," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. "I thought that they did a pretty good job to put up the nice presentation so it was very special."
Tim Thomas, the reigning Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy winner, made 27 saves in defeat.
Trailing by a goal, the hosts misfired on several chances in the late stages.
Nathan Horton whiffed facing a wide-open net from the right side on a Bruins advantage with just over nine minutes left in regulation. Tyler Seguin was then denied from the left side seconds later thanks to Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen smothering the chance with his stick.
Bryzgalov let a David Krejci drive drop from the crook of his arm inside the final five minutes, but he covered the rebound before Krejci could follow up.
Thomas went to the bench for an extra skater with under a minute to play, but in spite of heavy pressure in the offensive zone, Marchand committed a slashing infraction with 19.9 ticks remaining to kill any chances of a tying goal.
"Now we are back to reality and we're the hunted ones now and we just have to find a way to win games," said Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. "Everybody wants to win against a champion and we just have to be on our game and in the end it's just going to make us that much stronger I think."
Boston was awarded the game's first power play and collected the game's first goal at the 9:42 mark of the opening period. Seguin threaded a pass from inside his own zone up to Marchand at the Philly blue line, and the hulking forward was able to break in and slide a backhander inside the left post.
Philadelphia equalized on its own advantage with 50 seconds left in the period, when Jagr fed Giroux, and the winger moved through the middle of the ice, faked out Thomas in front and put the disc into an open cage.
The visitors then went into the locker room up 2-1. Andrej Meszaros' point drive was kicked out, but Voracek gathered the rebound, spun around in the slot and placed his shot inside the right post with 2.4 ticks left.
Bryzgalov stopped all six shots he faced in the second, including a nifty glove stop on a Marchand chance early in the period.
"Basically, he got me on the way back, you know," Bryzgalov said of Marchand's shot. "He's got pretty good speed, and I just waited and hoped he hit me in the pad or with the puck in the glove. And he did it, he put the puck in the glove. It was lucky."
The Flyers have won four of their last five season openers, including three straight on the road...The Bruins have dropped their last four home openers...For Jagr, it was his first North American regular-season point since April 6, 2008 with the Rangers against the Devils...Philly finished 1- for-4 on the power play and Boston was 1-for-5...Voracek, who played for Columbus last season, snapped a 16-game goal drought.
- PHILADELPHIA: 2
End of 2nd
Oct 6 9:04 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 2
End of 1st
Oct 6 8:10 PM
- Philadelphia Goal - Jakub Voracek, from Andrej Meszaros at 19:57.
Flyers 2, Bruins 1 1st - 0:03Oct 6 8:09 PM
- Philadelphia Power-Play Goal - Claude Giroux, at 19:10.
Flyers 1, Bruins 1 1st - 0:50Oct 6 8:07 PM
- Boston Power-Play Goal - Brad Marchand, at 9:42.
Flyers 0, Bruins 1 1st - 10:18Oct 6 7:51 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 0
1st Period - 20:00
Oct 6 7:37 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 2
Oct 6 10:02 AM
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