A video montage. A motion picture. A chronological review. Call it what you will. A trip down memory lane of the nearly nine month season the 2011 Boston Bruins had endured was displayed on the Jumbotron prior to face-off tonight. Center ice in the TD Garden at 7:00pm tonight was the place to be. The Stanley Cup Championship banner was raised with the help of Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Andrew Ference, Tim Thomas, along with other Bruins legends.
The crowd was loud and the Garden was filled with tears of happiness and joy. What made everything more emotional was three-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Recchi rejoining his team that he retired with. Andrew Ference presented him with the "starter jacket" that the Bruins passed around last season at the end of every game to the player they thought played above and beyond on that night.
An emotional start to the night without a doubt. However, there was still a hockey game to be played.
Before the game it was announced that defenseman Andrew Ference and forward Chris Kelly will share the second alternate captaincy throughout the season. Ference will wear the second "A" at home the first half of the season and Kelly will wear the second "A" on the road the first half. Midway through the season, they will simply switch.
Jordan Caron beat out Benoit Pouliot and started on the third line with Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin. Adam McQuaid was scratched tonight due to an ongoing illness. Matt Bartkowski replaced him as one of the top six defensemen. Zdeno Chara was not paired with Dennis Seidenberg tonight because, according to head coach Claude Julien, they are "looking to spread around the minutes more this year."
The first period started with Boston coming out very strong. There was a point where the Bruins were out-shooting the Flyers 5-1. Tyler Seguin hit the post and he almost assisted on a goal scored by Chris Kelly. The kid did eventually contribute to the scoring on the power play. He sent a length-of-the-ice pass to Brad Marchand and he slid the puck past Ilya Bryzgalov (PHI) to put the B's on top 1-0.
Before the period ended, the Flyers scored two goals in less than a minute. Claude Giroux scored on the power play and Jakub Voracek scored a goal with traffic in front of Tim Thomas. On Voracek's goal, long time NHL veteran Jaromir Jagr recorded his 1,600th career point. Flyers had a 2-1 lead after the first 20 minutes.
Boston had a very sloppy second period. They had the opportunity to score by having two man advantages and yet Philly out-played them. They did not have a clear scoring chance. Zdeno Chara sent Claude Giroux shoulder first into the boards, which triggered a minor altercation. The score remained 2-1 in favor of the Flyers to start the third period.
In the third period, Boston had two more attempts at a power play. They worked the puck around the net much better, but they still could not score. Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin had great chances. The Philly defense and goaltender just got the better of them. The Flyers spoil opening night for the Bruins and their fans. They take the game by a score of 2-1.
Boston will be back in action Saturday night at the TD Garden against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a rematch from last year's Eastern Conference Final.
Gold Star: Brad Marchand (1 goal, 4 shots on goal)...he came out with a huge burst of energy by constantly putting the puck on net. He did have a late penalty called against him in a crucial point in the game, but overall not a bad game.
Black Star: Dennis Seidenberg...he finished with a -1 rating and put six shots on net. The problem was that he had several turnovers and was bumped off the puck often. Not playing with the captain made him feel out of his element.