“We don’t talk about lineups,” Laviolette said.
Boucher worked himself back into the conversation Saturday night by stopping 20 of 21 shots in a 5-4 victory that evened the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series at 1. He did that in relief of Bobrovsky, yanked after allowing three goals on seven shots 12:30 into the first period.
And just like that, two games into the playoffs, the second-seeded Flyers are suddenly confronted with a goaltending quandary they had hoped was finally behind them after Bobrovsky claimed the No. 1 role following a solid rookie season.
The questions are nothing new for Boucher. He has become accustomed to goaltending carousels in his two stints in Philadelphia split over five seasons.
After going 11-7 in helping the Flyers reach the conference finals as a rookie in 2000, Boucher appeared in only three playoff games over his next two seasons before being traded to Phoenix in June 2002.
“You just prepare every day the same regardless of last night,” he said. “This is how we do it and it’s nothing new. It’s not an issue. You come to the rink preparing to play, and if you don’t, you don’t.”
Boucher provided a stabilizing presence during a frantic first period. He stepped in with the Flyers trailing 3-2 and in jeopardy of falling into an 0-2 series hole following a 1-0 loss in Game 1 on Thursday night.
In Buffalo, the Sabres paid little attention to which goalie they will be facing.
“It doesn’t really matter to us,” forward Mike Grier said. “We’re going to have to still get traffic and find a way to get the puck by the guy who ever’s in there.”
Then again, the Sabres have more pressing concerns of their own to address. It starts with a rash of undisciplined play that has led to the Flyers‘ 15-9 edge in power-play chances.
Though the Sabres’ penalty-killing unit has bailed them out in allowing just one goal, the penalties have cost Buffalo by keeping the team’s star offensive players off the ice.
After scoring twice in the first period, Thomas Vanek was limited to five shifts and 4:18 of ice time during a second period that featured a parade of six Sabres players sent to the penalty box.
“I think from time to time, we let our emotions probably get too high and get the better of us,” Grier said. “We’ve got to be emotionally high, but be able to still be in control and not take so many penalties.”View Entire Story
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