Jake DeBrusk dragged his foot before letting go of a chip shot over Carter Hart to give the Boston Bruins a, 5-4, shootout victory Thursday night at TD Garden.
It was Boston’s home opener and second shootout win of the season– just their second shootout win since beating the Vegas Golden Knights, 3-2, in a shootout victory on the road on Feb. 20, 2019, as the club went 0-7 last season in shootouts.
Tuukka Rask (2-1-0, 2.23 goals against average, .892 save percentage in three games played) made 22 saves on 26 shots against for an .846 SV% in the shootout win.
Hart (2-1-1, 3.66 GAA, .902 SV% in four games played) stopped 39 out of 43 shots faced for a .907 SV% in the shootout loss for Philadelphia.
The Bruins improved to 2-1-1 (five points) on the season and jumped from 6th in the MassMutual NHL East Division to 5th place, while the Flyers fell to 3-1-1 (seven points) on the season and remained in command of the MassMutual NHL East Division.
Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made no changes to his lineup from Monday’s, 1-0, loss to the Islanders in New York.
As such, Greg McKegg, Par Lindholm, John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen, Connor Clifton, Dan Vladar and Karson Kuhlman remained out of the lineup as taxi squad and healthy scratches.
David Pastrnak missed his fourth game since undergoing a right hip arthroscopy and labral repair on Sept. 16th, while Ondrej Kase missed his second game of the season due to an upper body injury sustained in New Jersey on Jan. 16th.
Early in the opening frame, Claude Giroux tripped DeBrusk and presented Boston with the first power play of the night at 3:42 of the first period.
The Bruins did not convert on the resulting skater advantage, however.
A few minutes later, Sean Kuraly was penalized for holding Mark Friedman at 6:57, yielding the Flyers their first power play of the game.
Philadelphia was also unsuccessful on their first skater advantage of the night.
Late in the period, Nicolas Aube-Kubel slashed B’s defender, Kevan Miller, and cut a rut to the penalty box as a result at 18:13.
Boston couldn’t muster anything on the power play as time winded down, expired and signaled the start of the first intermission.
After 20 minutes of action, the game remained tied, 0-0, though the Bruins outshot the Flyers, 14-3.
The B’s also had the advantage in blocked shots (4-3), takeaways (5-4) and faceoff win percentage (77-24), while the Flyers led in giveaways (4-1).
Both teams had eight hits aside.
Philadelphia was 0/1 and Boston was 0/2 on the power play entering the dressing room for the first intermission.
David Krejci caught Nolan Patrick with a high stick and cut a rut to the sin bin at 4:45 of the second period.
Late in the ensuing power play Giroux (1) fired a snap shot from the faceoff circle over Rask’s blocker on the short side while Patrick screened the Bruins goaltender to give the Flyers the first lead of the night.
Ivan Provorov (1) had the only assist on Giroux’s power-play goal as Philadelphia took a, 1-0, lead at 6:17 of the second period.
It was the first goal allowed by Boston’s penalty kill this season, ending their run of 14 consecutive successfully killed infractions.
Miller was assessed a minor for holding six seconds after Philadelphia scored the game’s first goal. With Miller in the box at 6:23, the Bruins went back on the penalty kill.
This time the Flyers weren’t able to capitalize on the skater advantage.
Midway through the period, Friedman initiated a wrestling match with Brad Marchand in the open ice of the neutral zone before falling awkwardly, bleeding and exiting the game.
No penalty was called as a result of a usual event when two players get near each other while going for a line change without realizing they were charted on a collision course that ultimately went wrong.
Though Friedman did not return to the game, Flyers head coach, Alain Vigneault, noted that he was held out as a precaution and should be fine.
Anders Bjork hooked Jakub Voracek at 15:24 of the second period and was assessed a minor penalty.
In the vulnerable minute after special teams action, the Flyers caught the Bruins behind the play as Voracek sent a pass to James van Riemsdyk (2) that was promptly redirected from its sloppy off-speed original path to one that guided the puck to the back of the net from point blank.
Voracek (3) and Kevin Hayes (4) tallied the assists as Philadelphia jumped out to a two-goal lead, 2-0, at 17:31.
Through two periods of action, the Flyers led, 2-0, despite trailing the B’s in shots on goal, 18-11.
Philadelphia held the advantage in shots on goal in the second period alone, 8-4, while both teams had eight blocked shots and six takeaways each.
The Flyers led in giveaways (5-4), while Boston led in hits (17-15) and faceoff win% (62-38).
Philly was 1/4 and Boston was 0/2 on the power play heading into the second intermission.
Less than a minute into the final frame of regulation, Jack Studnicka (1) redirected a pass from Krejci off of Hart’s leg pad before gathering his own rebound and pocketing it in the twine while crashing the net.
Krejci (2) and Nick Ritchie (1) notched the assists on Studnicka’s first career NHL goal 57 seconds into the third period and the Bruins cut Philadelphia’s lead in half, 2-1.
It was also the first goal at 5-on-5 for Boston this season.
A mere 69 seconds later, Charlie Coyle (1) spun and fired home a rebound from inside the faceoff dot to the right of the Flyers netminder– tying the game, 2-2, in the process.
Craig Smith (1) recorded his first point as a Bruin with the primary assist, while Miller (1) tallied his first point in almost two years with the secondary helper on Coyle’s goal at 2:06 of the third period.
The game didn’t remain even for long as Voracek fired an intentional shot off of Travis Sanheim’s (1) skate past Rask to give Philly the lead once again, 3-2, at 7:13.
Voracek (4) and Patrick (3) had the assists on Sanheim’s goal.
Moments later, Scott Laughton cross checked Jakub Zboril at 13:04 of the third period and presented Boston with another power play opportunity.
It didn’t take long for Patrice Bergeron to find Ritchie (2) wide open in the low slot, banking a shot off of Hart’s glove and into the open net behind the Flyers goaltender.
Bergeron (2) and Krejci (3) had the assists on Ritchie’s power-play goal as the Bruins pulled even, 3-3, at 13:22.
Less than two minutes later, Brandon Carlo (1) rocketed a slap shot from the point under the crossbar to give Boston their first lead of the night, 4-3, at 15:18 of the third period.
Matt Grzelcyk (2) and Marchand (3) notched the assists on Carlo’s goal, but despite taking their first lead of the night, the B’s didn’t hold onto it for long.
Kuraly delivered a cross check on Giroux and was assessed a penalty at 15:24.
van Riemsdyk (3) went unchecked by Charlie McAvoy and Carlo before connecting on a power-play goal from in front of the net to tie the game, 4-4.
Voracek (5) and Hayes (5) each picked up another assist while the Flyers knotted the game up with another power-play goal at 16:28.
Boston led for all of 70 seconds in regulation.
With 20.4 seconds left in the third period, Vigneault used his timeout, but the Flyers weren’t successful in the execution of whatever plan they drew up to win the game in the dying seconds.
Overtime was necessary for the third time this season for the Bruins and for the first time for the Flyers.
After 60 minutes, with Boston leading in shots on goal, 40-21, including a, 22-10, advantage in the third period alone, the game remained tied, 4-4.
Philadelphia led in blocked shots (13-8), takeaways (9-7) and giveaways (8-5), while the Bruins held the advantage in hits (24-19) and faceoff win% (61-39) going into overtime.
As no penalties were called in the extra frame, the Flyers finished Thursday night 2/5 on the power play, while the Bruins went 1/3 on the skater advantage.
Vigneault started Giroux, Laughton and Provorov in overtime, while Cassidy countered with Bergeron, Marchand and McAvoy.
In the end, Boston mustered just three shots on goal in the five minutes of 3-on-3 action, while Rask stood tall– denying Hayes on a one-timer with an aerial leg pad save.
After overtime, the score remained, 4-4, while Boston finished the night leading in shots on goal, 43-26, despite trailing, 5-3, in shots in OT.
Philadelphia finished the night leading in blocked shots (15-9) and giveaways (8-5), while the Bruins wrapped up Thursday’s action leading in hits (24-21) and faceoff win% (63-37).
A shootout was necessary to determine a winner and Cassidy opted for his team to shoot first.
He sent out Smith to get things going for Boston, but Smith’s shot was stopped by Hart as he tried to sneak one in through the five-hole.
Voracek was Vigneault’s first round response, but despite his off-speed approach, Rask stoned him cold with a pad save on Voracek’s backhand shot.
Coyle kicked things off in round two of the shootout with a shot wide on Hart’s glove side.
Travis Konecny answered back with a shot that grazed Rask’s glove and also went wide.
Finally, DeBrusk hit the back of the net with a chip shot over Hart’s blocker side after a nifty toe-drag approach to give the Bruins a, 1-0, advantage in the shootout.
All that was left was for Rask to make a save and Boston would win.
Vigneault sent out Giroux.
Giroux waltzed his way into the attacking zone for his attempt, feigned a slap shot, slowed up and went for Rask’s glove side, but the Bruins goaltender denied him with a save.
Boston emerged victorious with the, 5-4, shootout win.
The B’s improved to 2-0 in shootouts this season and 2-1 past regulation overall, while the Flyers fell to 0-1 in both categories.
Boston also improved to 1-1-0 when tied after the first period, 1-0-0 when trailing after two periods and 1-1-1 when allowing the game’s first goal this season.
The Bruins began their four-game homestand with a, 5-4, shootout victory against Philadelphia on Thursday and will host the Flyers again on Saturday before hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 26th and Jan. 28th.