Series (Game 1 of 4)

Boston leads 3-1

Game 1: Thursday, October 6th
Game 2: Saturday, December 17th
Game 3: Sunday, January 22nd
Game 4: Saturday, March 17th

Flyers 2

(1-0-0, 2 pts)

Bruins 1

(0-1-0, 0 pts)

Coverage: NBCSN

7:00 PM ET, October 6, 2011

TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

1 2 3 T
PHI 2 0 02
BOS 1 0 01

C. Giroux (Flyers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

B. Marchand (Bruins - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

T. Seguin (Bruins - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Flyers-Bruins Preview


The Boston Bruins swept aside the Philadelphia Flyers en route to their first Stanley Cup title in 39 years last spring.

The Flyers have revamped their roster in an attempt to return to the finals, while the Bruins are quelling talk of a possible repeat.

Boston will raise its championship banner to the TD Garden rafters Thursday night before opening the 2011-12 season against Jaromir Jagr and the new-look Flyers.

The Bruins (46-25-11) handily defeated Vancouver 4-0 on the road in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals in June, winning their first championship since 1972. Getting there included a sweep of the Flyers (47-23-12) in the Eastern Conference semifinals after being eliminated by Philadelphia at that stage the previous year when they blew a 3-0 series lead.

Coach Claude Julien isn't worried about his team losing focus while defending its crown.

"We're certainly not a group that's overconfident. We're certainly not a group that's going to think 'We've got it made,' or that it's going to be a repeat season for us," Julien said. "We don't really want to use the word 'repeat,' because we know how hard it is. We aren't talking about the playoffs, because we've got 82 games to play before we even think about the playoffs.

"We're going to go through this year just like we did last year, we've just got a little more experience."

They also have continuity with a roster that won the Northeast Division with 103 points. Defenseman Joe Corvo and forward Benoit Pouliot were the only major offseason additions, with Michael Ryder and Tomas Kaberle (free agency) and Mark Recchi (retirement) departing.

Marc Savard remains out as he continues to suffer from post-concussion symptoms.

Boston will look for a jump in production from 19-year-old Tyler Seguin, who was inconsistent as a rookie but showed flashes of brilliance during the East finals against Tampa Bay, totaling three goals and three assists in Games 1 and 2.

The Bruins' offensive leaders, however, remain the top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. The second unit will still be anchored by Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, who signed a two-year extension last month.

"One of the things our team feels good about is we have a continuation from last year," defenseman Andrew Ference said. "We have a very tight unit here, and that's one of the big advantages we think we have over other teams."

Tim Thomas may have provided the greatest advantage last season, winning the Vezina and Conn Smythe trophies. Despite going 35-11-9 with a league-leading 2.00 goals-against average and nine shutouts -- and setting a single-season NHL record for save percentage at .938 -- Thomas will share the netminding duties with Tuukka Rask.

"There are two goalies on the team, and we don't think of ourselves as No. 1 and No. 2," said Thomas, who is 14-2-2 with a 2.06 GAA in 18 career meetings with Philadelphia, including the playoff sweep. "If the team's on a roll and both goalies are winning, obviously you play both goalies."

Unlike the Bruins, the Flyers' roster underwent a major face lift.

Goaltending was a major concern after Sergei Bobrovsky, Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton combined for a 3.33 GAA in the postseason. Boucher joined Carolina as a free agent, while Leighton -- one of Philadelphia's heroes during its run to the Stanley Cup finals in 2010 -- returned to the minors last week.

Bobrovsky will back up Ilya Bryzgalov, the anointed starter after inking a nine-year, $51 million contract following three-plus seasons with Phoenix.

"When you get a goalie you view as an upper-echelon goalie, you know you have to pay him," general manager Paul Holmgren said at the time of the signing.

The Flyers didn't stop dealing, sending former captain Mike Richards to Los Angeles for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a draft pick. They also traded Jeff Carter to Columbus for Jakub Voracek and two more picks, while luring Jagr back to the NHL in an effort to replace some of the scoring lost in the other moves.

Jagr, 39, spent the last three seasons in Russia's KHL, but he's ninth on the NHL's all-time scoring list with 1,599 points. He's seeking a third Cup title.

"I think this team has a big shot to do it," he said, "and I want to be part of it."

Chris Pronger will take over as Philadelphia's captain, while the Flyers will look for continued progress from Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk. The club signed the 22-year-old van Riemsdyk, who had seven goals in 11 playoff games last season, to a six-year extension this summer.

"It's going to be a big challenge. We lost some key guys," van Riemsdyk said. "It's something you look forward to as a competitor is those opportunities to be in those key situations and make those key plays."