BOSTON -- Former Flyer Mark Recchi tipped in a bomb from Derek Morris late in the third period to tie the 2010 Winter Classic and send the game into overtime, where Marco Sturm put the game winner past Michael Leighton to give the Bruins the 2-1 victory. Fans at Fenway Park exploded, as did the fireworks from atop the storied baseball stadium.
The Flyers held the lead for most of the game on a goal from -- no, this isn't a typo -- Danny Syvret at the 4:42 mark of the second period. Tim Thomas took himself out of the play by cross-checking the pesky Scott Hartnell in the back, allowing the Syvret shot from the top of the circle to hit the back of the net.
Claude Julien defended his goaltender after the game, saying that nine times out of ten, his on-edge play will lead to saves instead of game-jeopardizing mistakes. Thomas was lucky that it didn't cost his team the game, considering the offense was quite weak on each side.
The puck bounced around like a tennis ball for the whole game, and there were a ton of quirks on the Fenway ice that led to uncertainty by the players when it came to taking risks. The players seemed to get more comfortable in the environment as the game went on, but early on things were very hesitant.
"I think for everybody it settled in after a little bit," said Peter Laviolette post game. "The shots were pretty low and the scoring chances were pretty low for the first seven or eight minutes. I think they generated maybe three shots and we generated two. There wasn't a lot going on. I think everybody wanted to play safe hockey and make sure they didn't have an gaps defensively."
Still, the ice was in excellent shape according to everybody who spoke about it, and with both teams facing the same advantages and disadvantages, the minor problems with bouncing pucks didn't really give anybody an advantage.
The Flyers absolutely dominated the Bruins in the second, outshooting them 12-6 in the session. But sitting back in the third period and taking a few weak penalties ultimately cost them in the end.
Kimmo Timonen was called for a tripping penalty late in the game that led to Recchi's goal, a call that many Flyers fans in attendance were not happy with. It was pretty inevitable that the orange and black would take a penalty or two, though, considering the way the Bruins took them to the task in the third.
"I thought that was probably their best period," Laviolette said. Still, the Flyers held the lead until late, but in the end it came down to not burying their own scoring chances, mostly thanks to being too fancy with the puck.
"I thought we played a sound offensive game right until the end," said Laviolette. "We had our opportunities, even in the overtime, and we couldn't get the second goal."
Dan Carcillo gave Shawn Thornton a beating in the first period in the first ever outdoor fight in NHL history. As he entered the penalty box, he raised his arms in celebration while turning to the Flyers fans situated along the third base line.
Carcillo told us yesterday in the locker room that he'd fight if the situation in the game came up, but according to two Flyers fans I talked to after the game who met up with Carcillo at a bar on New Years Eve, he wanted to fight all along and he "promised" them the first Winter Classic fight. Reports here today say that Thornton and Carcillo were winking at each other during warmups and that they planned on fighting all along as well.
After the jump, questions with answers and the comment of the day.
Questions With Answers
- How does the weather effect today's game? The weather today was absolutely perfect. It wasn't too cold and there was no precipitation.
- Do we see the first ever Winter Classic fight today? Yes. Dan Carcillo, as mentioned, beat up on Shawn Thornton.
- Are Flyers fans visible and vocal, especially through the camera on national television? Flyers fans were loud and proud all day, and even after the loss, they're still causing a ruckus on the streets outside of the ballpark.
- The Flyers have played simple road hockey over the last four games. Can they keep it up? For most of the game, yes, the Flyes played a solid road game. At times, though, they tried to get too fancy in the offensive end, making extra, unnecessary passes. Those extra passes thwarted scoring chances more often then they created them.
- How does Simon Gagne follow up his hat trick from the other night? Gagne performed admirably, but he too was a culprit in the trying to get too fancy department.
- Both teams pitched shutouts on Wednesday night. Does the offense go cold for both teams? It certainly did. Who knows how much the outdoor aspect of the game played a part in that, and the puck certainly bounced a lot. Because of that, players had to be cautious in not taking big risks.
- Is Matt Carle named to the USA Olympic team today? Nope, Carle was snubbed by Brian Burke and the USA brass.
Comment of the Day
Danny Syvret, offensive dynamo.
We're not done from Boston just yet. Later tonight or tomorrow we'll have a full post-mortem of the event, from fan reaction, all the pomp and circumstance and other fun stuff we've found out over the last few days. In the meantime, check out SBNation.com, Stanley Cup of Chowder, and Over The Monster for more coverage, and give us your thoughts on this game below.