BOSTON - Kimmo Timonen shook his head.

Sixty-three seconds . . . two goals . . . 17,565 fans mocking . . . one deflated team.

"It was the worst start you could possibly imagine," Timonen said. "It was a really bad start for us, especially in their rink. Overall, it looked like we were skating into sand. Still, 59 minutes left . . . that's a lot of hockey."

The way the Flyers played out the final 59 minutes of last night's pivotal Game 3, they might not have a lot of hockey left in their once-promising season.

Heading into the game, the Flyers vowed to put together a Game 7-type performance. They skated off on the thinnest ice possible: on life support.

Surely, the Flyers must have gotten their digits confused. Game 7 situation? Last night looked a lot more like the seven-spot the Bruins put up on the Flyers in Game 1.

Now, the Flyers have their very own choking situation. Zdeno Chara and designated Flyer-killer David Krejci scored only 33 seconds apart - the second with the game barely a minute old - as the Bruins rolled to a 5-1 smackdown and a commanding, three-games-to-none series lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals.

Stop us if you've heard that before.

The Flyers will look to avoid being swept for the first time since the 1997 Stanley Cup finals when they face off again with the Bruins tomorrow night in Boston.

"We have no one to blame but ourselves," defenseman Sean O'Donnell said. "We knew they were going to be amped up coming in here, all the talk about last year, and this and that. And they wanted to take a 3-0 lead. We knew that they were going to come out the first period, we expected that.

"And to have the kind of breakdowns like we had in the first minute . . . You're not going to win playoff hockey that way. We got what we deserved [last night]."

After two defensive breakdowns resulting in the puck hitting the twine in the top right corner above Brian Boucher, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette took a timeout. The goals were clearly not the fault of Boucher, who had been blindsided with the wide-open chances. O'Donnell said the Flyers threw Boucher "under the bus."

During the timeout, Laviolette did not address the rest of his team - allowing assistant coach Craig Berube the chance to voice his displeasure. Laviolette, instead, pulled Boucher aside to settle him down. The brazen Bruins faithful were already mockingly chanting "Boo-shay, Boo-shay."

"I just needed to make sure that he stayed clear and kept his focus," Laviolette said. "I just needed to make sure that his head was on straight. Our team needed to play much better in front of him."

When Laviolette whistled for the timeout, 58:57 remained in Game 3.

"There was 59 minutes left," Jeff Carter said. "That's a whole hockey game."

"We had a ton of time left," Mike Richards said. "It just didn't seem like we could find the puck, control it and make plays."

In Game 2, only 2 nights earlier in Philadelphia, the Flyers jumped out to a two-goal lead against the Bruins in the first 10 minutes. While not quick as 63 seconds, which set a Flyers franchise record for fastest two goals allowed in a playoff game, the Bruins were still able to rebound.

Not the Flyers. They settled down for a little bit - and seemed to control play for a portion of the second period that might have given a little hope to a comeback bid - but it was Daniel Paille who put the Flyers out of their misery in the second period.

"I don't think the team got deflated at all," Flyers chairman Ed Snider said. "I thought there was a fight. I don't think they quit. They played hard. But, unfortunately, they didn't score enough goals to make a difference."

"If we got the next goal, I think it may have changed the game," Carter said. "I don't think we were smart with the puck, we made some bad decisions and that left us back in our own end for extended periods of time."

Paille scored his first career playoff goal with 6:21 to play in the second period, to make it 3-0 Boston, and Nathan Horton piled it on with another tally only 1:35 later to make it 4-0. Horton's goal, which trickled through Boucher's five-hole, got Boucher the gate.

As Boucher smashed his stick into pieces on the crossbar, and the Flyers' bench sulked in unison, the depth of their hole began to sink in.

Since the advent of the best-of-seven series, 293 teams have faced a three-game deficit. Last year's Flyers are one of only four teams to beat the odds and win four straight to take the series. The Flyers are only 1-6 all-time when trailing, 3-0, in a series.

Now what do the Flyers do?

"Throw a bunch of cliches at you," O'Donnell said. "One game at a time, one day at a time, one period at a time. We can't think about winning four in a row."

The Bruins, meanwhile, have the Flyers exactly where they want them. They have been salivating to make the Flyers pay for last season's epic comeback.

"It's a brand-new year," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. "We have a new team here. It's a new season. We're writing our own new chapter."

Now, the Flyers have two options: Say uncle, or write their own storybook ending, for the second consecutive spring.

"It's certainly a difficult thing to do," Snider said. "It's an awful lot to expect. I have a lot of faith in these guys. They're not going to ever quit. Maybe we'll be the first team in history to do it 2 years in a row."

Slap shots

The Flyers were a pitiful 12-for-55 (21.8 percent) in faceoffs last night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the lowest faceoff percent of any team in one playoff game in at least the last 10 years . . . James van Riemsdyk led the Flyers with six shots on goal, giving him 63 shots in 10 playoff games . . . The Flyers are 30-34 all-time when facing elimination, but 6-1 with no room for error over these last two playoff runs . . . Andrej Meszaros' second-period goal was the Flyers' first in 68 shots against Tim Thomas. *

For more news and analysis, read Frank Seravalli's blog, Frequent Flyers, at

www.philly.com/FrequentFlyers. Follow him on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/DNFlyers.