O'Donnell was upset with the inexcusable start by his Flyers. Before they could even take a deep breath, the Bruins had opened a 2-0 lead just 63 seconds after the opening faceoff. Although the visitors still had an entire game to battle back, the home team denied them any life.
Following practice on Wednesday morning, the Flyers discussed how the third game of this best-of-seven series should be treated like a Game 7. But it was Boston that exhibited more energy and desperation en route to taking a 3-0 series lead.
"We're digging ourselves a hole and unfortunately the spotlight is on the goaltending," O'Donnell said. "Unfortunately, Boosh (Brian Boucher) has to pay the price but I can't fault him for either of those two goals … no one can."
O'Donnell, who attempted to get his team going when he engaged in a fight with Boston's Nathan Horton 3:31 into the second and his team trailing, 2-0, spoke to the media after the game.
Q: Sean, (Flyers coach) Peter Laviolette called a timeout after those two quick goals. Was it because of bad defensive breakdowns?
A: One hundred percent it was. I don't think you can allow (Zdeno) Chara to come down the slot like that and let him blast it. There aren't many goalies who can make that save. And the next one was a breakdown where (David) Krejci was five feet away. It's just disappointing we had breakdowns like that and in a must-win tonight. We had two breakdowns and really kind of threw Boosh under the bus. That was unfortunate.
Q: Is there anything that surprises you about this Boston team?
A: I don't know them that well since I wasn't (with the Flyers) last year, but they're playing well. They don't create a whole bunch on their own, they're just a hard working team. When you make a mistake, or when the D pinches down and you don't have the coverage, or if there's a bad pinch, they're a good counterpunch team and they make you pay. We had a couple of breakdowns in the first (period) and it was 2-0. They didn't do a lot to manufacture those goals; they're just breakdowns and they pounced.
Q: Can you blame your goalies?
A: I don't want to get into every single game, but you look at tonight, we were down 2-0 and obviously with the way the playoffs have gone, they're going to pile on Boosh. But I think even Tim Thomas at the other end wouldn't have stopped either of those two goals scored on Boosh. It's unfortunate but that's kind of the way things have been going. Boosh will take a lot of the heat for that but we weren't ready to start. We made some defensive breakdowns and gave them a two-goal lead. But it isn't that big a deal with 59 minutes to play, but we just couldn't seem to get back on track for whatever reason."
Q: How many times can you guys overcome these deficits?
A: "I think it does get tiring getting down early in games like that, but we have no one to blame but ourselves. We knew they would be amped up coming out there, with all the talk about last year and they wanted to take a 3-0 lead in this series. We knew the way they were going to come out in the first period and to have the kind of breakdowns we had in the first minute is not playoff hockey. We got what we deserved."
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale