BOSTON — The Bruins were talking so much about getting off to a fast start in Game 3 this morning, they practically were ordering it up like Chinese takeout.
Little did they know that instead of 15 minutes it would take just 63 seconds for them to race out ahead of the Flyers at the TD Garden.
Just 30 seconds into the game Zdeno Chara buried a one-timer from just above the left hash mark, and then 33 seconds later David Krejci cashed in from the slot.
The Bruins jumped out to a 2-0 lead en route to taking Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series with Philadelphia, 5-1, for a 3-0 series lead. The two goals were the quickest pair to start a playoff game against the Flyers in that franchise’s history.
“Yeah, we knew they were going to come out hard and we did a great job countering that, getting two goals the first two shifts, so that was huge for our team,” said winger Brad Marchand, who set up Chara’s goal. “We were able to kind of hold them off for a while and I think that’s what kind of took the game for us.”
There was some talk, mostly from Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette, that the pressure had shifted to Boston’s side after the Bruins took a 2-0 series lead in light of what happened last year with that 0-3 lead the Bruins historically squandered. Head coach Claude Julien admitted after tonight’s victory that he didn’t have a solid read on his players’ demeanor for Game 3 during the morning skate.
“I’d say this morning we were little bit quieter than we had been in the past in our morning skate. 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,” he said. “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.”
Chara wasn’t worried about his team’s behavior this morning.
“Well there are some mornings that guys have more jump and they are more chatty,” said the captain, who added a second goal and an assist before the night was out. “And there are mornings that you can see the excitement and focus is there and I think that’s what it was this morning.”
Obviously, the Flyers had plenty of time to make a comeback. And we’ve seen plenty of two-goal leads evaporate in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs in games involving the Bruins and all the other teams. But Claude Giroux hit a post and the Flyers wasted a couple power-play opportunities. At 13:39 of the second period, Daniel Paille extended the lead to 3-0 Boston.
It was all demoralizing to Philadelphia.
“Obviously they got the first two shifts and two goals. It’s the worst possible start you can imagine,” said Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen. “But still, 59 minutes left, it’s a lot of hockey. But overall I thought, like I said, it looked like we were skating in the sand today. It was heavy. We looked a little tired today somehow. But, you know what? There’s still hope as long as there’s games. We’re going to regroup and we’re going to put everything forward and fight the next game.”
If the Bruins can fill another order for another fast start Friday night in Game 4, they might take all the fight out of Philly.