BOSTON -- Brian Boucher thought he set the tone for Game 3.
The Philadelphia Flyers goaltender made one of the best saves of the series just 25 seconds in, as the Bruins came buzzing into the offensive zone after the opening faceoff.
Patrice Bergeron sent a hard, cross-ice pass from the right point down to Brad Marchand at the left post for what should have been a tap-in type of goal. But Boucher extended his right leg in a flash, and robbed Marchand with a beautiful pad save.
But before anyone could get the idea that it was going to be that type of night for the Bruins, Marchand sent a backhand pass to the high slot, where Zdeno Chara let go a one-timer that sniped the top-right corner and gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead just 30 seconds in.
Thirty-three seconds later, David Krejci added another when he finished a picture-perfect, give-and-go cycle that started from the right half-wall.
That's the kind of night it was going to be.
You always want to have a good start, especially at home, but to score in the first two or three shifts of the game, its always huge, said Chara after the Bruins 5-1 Game 3 win over the Flyers Wednesday night at the TD Garden. I thought that gave us really good momentum.
That was about as good a start as you can ask for, especially on home ice, said Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas. You dont know that youre going to get that. It doesnt always work out that way. But it definitely helped. It certainly helped from my perspective in goal. Thats for sure.
From Philadelphias perspective, the first 1:03 was, well, as Flyers coach Peter Laviolette put it, unacceptable.
Obviously the start was not good for us, said Laviolette. Not the way we needed to start. You give up two goals in the first two minutes of the game . . . its frightening.
Coming into their building, we knew they would come out strong, said Flyers forward Danny Briere. That was the game right there. We didnt do a good job in the first minute of play to keep them to the outside. Too many breakdowns. We tried, after that, but it's a tough start to spot them two goals to start a game like that.
Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the game that his team was unusually quiet during Wednesdays morning skate, which made him question what kind of effort he was going to get from his time.
The coaches were basically trying to figure out whether it was guys just being really focused, or the other part of it, whether we werent as sharp as we had been," said Julien.
But I think they answered that question pretty quickly.
Charas statement couldnt have been louder with his first goal of the playoffs.
Its great to see him get that offense going, because he has that potential, hes got an amazing shot, said Thomas. Ask the opposing goalies that are facing it. Its no fun to see that guy winding up on you. He gets himself in the right spots, and starts getting those goals, it just makes it easier on the whole team.
Chara added his second goal of the game with 1:22 left in regulation. It was another blast of a slap shot, this time from the left point, that went top shelf. It gave the Bruins their first power-play goal of the postseason, and their fifth and final goal of Game 3.
For me, personally, I really try to focus on our defensive game, be strong throughout the games, said Chara. Im not really worried about the points. Im just counting wins, and thats the way were looking at it in the room.
Its nice to score. Theres no question about that. But I think we all know that its all about wins.
And as long as Charas setting the tone like he did on Wednesday night, theyll certainly be a few more of those.
Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.