The Bruins open the defense of their Cup on a down note with a 2-1 loss to Philadelphia, though the night will at least be remembered for a spectacular pre-game ceremony to raise Boston's 2011 Cup banner.
Boston will now set its sights on getting its first win of the season Saturday when they host the Lightning in a rematch of last year's conference final.
Third Period, 17:39, Flyers 2-1: The Bruins kill off the penalty, and now will try to mount one final charge to pull even in the closing minutes.
Third Period, 15:39, Flyers 2-1: The Bruins face an uphill struggle now as they'll be shorthanded for the next two minutes with just 4:21 left. Johnny Boychuk is the guilty party for a holding penalty.
Third Period, 14:16, Flyers 2-1: Thomas keeps it a one-goal game as he robs van Riemsdyk on a point blank one-timer from the slot.
Third Period, 12:13, Flyers 2-1: The Bruins still can't break through despite several golden chances.
Nathan Horton had a chance at the right post behind Bryzgalov, but Kimmo Timonen blocked it. Tyler Seguin later had a chance at an open net at the left post, but couldn't put it home.
Third Period, 10:13, Flyers 2-1: The Bruins will have a chance to build off the momentum of that last power play as they go up a man again with Wayne Simmonds heading to the box for hooking.
The Bruins have cut Philly's advantage in shots to 27-21, but they remain down a goal.
Third Period, 9:24, Flyers 2-1: The Bruins can't convert that chance, but much better movement and opportunities. Bergeron nearly scored after stealing a clearing attempt, and Marchand had another bid in front.
Third Period, 7:24, Flyers 2-1: The Bruins will get another chance to get something going offensively. Braydon Coburn gets called for slashing, giving Boston another power-play opportunity as the Bruins try to score the equalizer.
Third Period, 4:49, Flyers 2-1: The Bruins finally get a shot from their top line as Lucic puts one on goal. But there's still been far too little pressure from that line so far in this one.
Third Period, 0:42, Flyers 2-1: The Bruins can't do anything with the rest of that power play either, as the sides return to even strength.
Third Period, 0:00, Flyers 2-1: The final frame is under way here at the Garden, with the Bruins looking to rally from a goal down.
Boston does open with 42 seconds left on a power play, but they'll need to generate more offense than they've shown so far. The top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton has yet to produce a single shot on goal and is a combined minus-3.
End Second Period, Flyers 2-1: A scoreless second period is over here at the Garden, and the Bruins will head into the third trailing by a goal.
The Flyers outshot Boston 12-6 in the period and hold a 25-12 edge overall, but the Bruins do have 42 seconds remaining on a power play to start the third.
Second Period, 18:41, Flyers 2-1: The Bruins will get another chance with the man advantage as Wayne Simmonds is sent off for holding.
Second Period, 17:29, Flyers 2-1: The Bruins can't convert that power-play chance, and the Flyers actually had the best scoring opportunities shorthanded. the shots are now 24-10 in favor of the Flyers.
Second Period, 15:29, Flyers 2-1: It didn't stay even for long, as the Bruins will now get a chance on the power play.
Danny Briere is called for tripping as Rich Peverley draws the penalty when he's hauled down driving to the net. Scott Hartnell is serving the penalty.
Second Period, 15:11, Flyers 2-1: The Bruins successfully kill that penalty off and Seidenberg is back on the ice to put the sides back at even strength.
Second Period, 13:11, Flyers 2-1: The Bruins will be shorthanded again as Dennis Seidenberg is sent to the box for holding.
The Flyers have converted their only other power-play chance in this one.
Second Period, 12:41, Flyers 2-1: Brad Marchand with another scoring bid, getting in behind the defense for a chance, but Bryzgalov robbed him with a glove at the right post.
That was just the third shot of the period for the Bruins, who have been outshot 20-9 overall.
Second Period, 10:46, Flyers 2-1: Shawn Thornton with the big hit on Andreas Nodl as the fourth line gets physical trying to pump some energy back in the Bruins.
Second Period, 7:26, Flyers 2-1: Things finally get a little nasty as Zdeno Chara nails Claude Giroux into the boards in the Boston end. James van Riemsdyk takes exception and shoves Chara, who drops the gloves.
van Riemsdyk doesn't want anything to do with that, but Braydon Coburn jumps in to rescue him and a big scrum develops, but no fights. Chara and van Riemsdyk each get two minutes for roughing.
Second Period, 4:42, Flyers 2-1: Marchand with a great deke around Pronger to get in alone, but can't get off shot and Peverley's follow from the high slot sails high.
Second Period, 2:11, Flyers 2-1: Marchand with a bid for his second goal of the night with a good look from the slot, but Bryzgalov makes the stop to preserve the one-goal lead for Philly.
Second Period, 0:00, Flyers 2-1: The middle frame is under way here at the Garden. the Bruins were outshot 13-6 and outhit 10-6 in the opening period.
End First Period, Flyers 2-1: The first 20 minutes of the season are in the books, and the first 19 went almost perfectly for the Bruins.
Boston dominated play early and struck first on a power-play goal by Brad Marchand. But the final minute was a disaster, with Philadelphia scoring twice to take a one-goal lead into the locker room.
First Period, 19:57, Flyers 2-1: The Flyers strike again with 2.4 seconds left as Jakub Voracek quiets the crowd with a rebound in front.
Andrej Meszaros fired in a shot from the right circle that was knocked down in front, but Voracek gained control and slipped it past Thomas with a turnaround shot just before time expired in the period.
First Period, 19:10, 1-1: The Flyers pull even with a power-play strike of their own as Claude Giroux ties it.
Giroux deked around Chara at the blue line, broke in alone, then deked around Thomas.
First Period, 18:43, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins will be shorthanded for the first time as Nathan Horton is sent to the box for slashing.
That penalty came just after Thomas denied Scott Hartnell on a bid at the left post. The Flyers' shot advantage is up to 10-6.
First Period, 14:48, Bruins 1-0: Thomas getting his first serious work of the night, but he comes up with a pair of saves as the Flyers create their first sustained pressure. Philadelphia actually has a 7-6 edge in shots despite the Bruins dominating play.
First Period, 10:43, Bruins 1-0: Seguin now appears to hit the crossbar on a shot from the right wing. Seguin is off to a flying start this year as he has been creating chances every time he steps on the ice.
First Period, 9:42, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins do look a lot better on that power play, as Brad Marchand scored the first goal of the year.
Tyler Seguin set it up with a beautiful feed from the right side inside his own zone to Marchand on the left wing at the Philly blue line. Marchand broke in behind the defense and buried a backhander for the goal. Joe Corvo gets the second assist for his first point as a Bruin.
First Period, 9:00, 0-0: The Bruins will get the first power play of the new season, as Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo goes to the box for holding the stick.
The Bruins struggled mightily on the man advantage last year, but looked much better in the preseason.
First Period, 7:52, 0-0: The Bruins come close again as Kelly and Seguin break in on a 2 on 1. Seguin passes to Kelly at the left post, but Kelly fires just wide.
The shots are just 3-3 despite the Bruins dominating the chances as Boston has missed the net on the bulk of its shot attempts.
First Period, 4:31, 0-0: The Bruins with a pair of near misses, first with Peverley just missing on a crossing pass through the crease intended for Chara, then Lucic firing just wide off a nifty drop pass by Krejci.
First Period, 1:54, 0-0: Strong start for the Bruins, with each of the top two lines creating chances on their first shifts of the game. the Flyers are back on their heels early as the Bruins are obviously feeding off the energy in the building from the pre-game ceremonies.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: And we're off, the title defense has begun. the Bruins open the season with the top line of David Krejci between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference on defense and Tim Thomas in goal.
7:30 p.m.: And with a little help from the alumni, current players and management, the 2011 Stanley Cup banner is now up in the rafters at the Garden.
The Flyers have returned to the ice and it's almost time to get a new season under way.
7:25 p.m.: Members of the 1972 Cup-winning squad, including Bobby Orr, have joined this year's champs on the ice.
And now players from both generations are carrying the new banner over to where it will be raised to the rafters.
7:20 p.m.: It's speech time, with owner Jeremy Jacobs, president Cam Neely, GM Peter Chiarelli and captain Zdeno Chara addressing the crowd.
Andrew Ference then presents the famed jacket one last time to Mark Recchi to a huge ovation from the crowd.
7:05 p.m.: After an emotional video of playoff highlights from the Cup run, Zdeno Chara leads the Bruins out onto the ice hoisting the Cup high once more.
He passes it to Mark Recchi, in full Bruins uniform one final time, and the team recreates the Game 7 celebration as each player gets to lift it one last time.
Adam McQuaid (flu) and Steven Kampfer (knee) were healthy enough to participate with their teammates. Shane Hnidy also on hand and in his Bruins gear.
6:55 p.m.: Scenes from the parade bringing the Cup into the Garden are being shown on the screen above the ice to a loud ovation.
The festivities inside should be starting momentarily.
6:50 p.m.: The lines for the Bruins based on the warm-up:
Matt Walker did skate in warm-up for Philadelphia after missing the morning skate with an undisclosed injury. Either he or Andreas Lilja will be the scratch for the Flyers, along with suspended enforcer Jody Shelley.
6:40 p.m.: Adam McQuaid, who has been battling flu-like symptoms the last couple days, and Benoit Pouliot are not on the ice for warm-ups.
They appear to be the scratches for Boston. Matt Bartkowski and Jordan Caron will play. Pouliot will be a healthy scratch for his first game in Boston.
6:30 p.m.: The teams have taken the ice for warm-ups at the garden.
Tim Thomas and Ilya Bryzgalov led the clubs out. That will be the goaltending matchup for thsi one as teh 2011-12 season gets under way.
That won't happen until after the pre-game ceremonies though, which will follow the warm-ups.
5:45 p.m.: The festivities are well under way outside the Garden, while the fans have begun to filter into the arena.
The Bruins and Flyers will open up the 2011-12 season in about 90 minutes. But first there is the little matter of raising the Bruins' new Stanley Cup banner to the rafters. That will culminate what is sure to be a memorable pre-game ceremony 39 years in the making.
8 a.m. ET: The Bruins will put the finishing touches on one memorable chapter in their history with what is sure to be a spectacular finale, then begin a new chapter as they open the season Thursday night at the Garden against Philadelphia.
Before the 2011-12 campaign can being though, the Bruins will first finish celebrating their 2010-11 championship by raising their first Stanley Cup banner in 39 years to the rafters. The pregame ceremony is sure to an amazing spectacle, so if you've got tickets be sure to get to the Garden early. If you're not one of the lucky 17,565 with a seat to the show, then catch all the pregame festivities on NESN, starting at 6 p.m.
Once the banner is raised, the Bruins will get back to business against one of their fiercest rivals. The Flyers, who were swept aside in four straight games by the Bruins in the second round last year, are sure to be in ill humor after having to watch the Bruins celebrate their championship. And Philadelphia will also be eager to show that it is better prepared to compete with the reigning champs after the Flyers' radical roster overhaul this summer.
"They're going to be a lot tougher to play against this year," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. "They got a couple big forwards coming in. They're going to be tough to play against. A little different than last year, but the D corps is the same and they're pretty good back there."
The Bruins, meanwhile, will enjoy one final celebration of last year's accomplishments, but are equally anxious to get the new season, and their title defense, under way.
"I think everybody's excited," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "You know, training camps are not as long as everybody thinks they are and they go pretty quickly, but our guys I think are excited to turn the page and move on and start a new chapter. I think that's the feeling I'm getting from around the dressing room."
The puck drops at 7 p.m., so check back here for updates on all the action from the Garden.
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