For the fourth consecutive game, the Boston Bruins mounted a comeback in the third period and for the third game in-a-row, they won– defeating the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, on Friday night at Wells Fargo Center.
Tuukka Rask (5-1-1, 2.36 goals against average, .898 save percentage in seven games played) made 23 saves on 24 shots against for a .958 SV% in the win for Boston.
Philadelphia netminder, Brian Elliott (3-1-0, 2.20 GAA, .929 SV% in five games played) stopped 21 out of 23 shots faced for a .913 SV% in the loss.
The Bruins improved to 8-1-2 (18 points) on the season and remained in command of the MassMutual NHL East Division, while the Flyers fell to 7-3-2 (16 points) on the season and stuck in 2nd place in the division.
Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made no changes to his lineup from Wednesday night’s, 4-3, overtime win against the Flyers.
Ondrej Kase (upper body), Matt Grzelcyk (lower body) and Jake DeBrusk (lower body) remained out of the lineup for their 9th, 6th and 5th games, respectively, due to injury.
Meanwhile, Greg McKegg, Jack Studnicka, Par Lindholm, John Moore, Dan Vladar and Karson Kuhlman remained as members of the taxi squad or were healthy scratches on Friday night.
Bruins captain, Patrice Bergeron, took part in his 1,100th career National Hockey League game (all with Boston).
Early in the opening frame, Brandon Carlo was penalized for holding and yielded the first power play of the night to the Flyers at 3:26 of the first period.
Philadelphia’s initial skater advantage didn’t pan out as planned.
Moments later, Scott Laughton slashed Chris Wagner and presented Boston with their first power play of the night at 8:38.
The Bruins did not convert on the ensuing advantage.
Moments later, Connor Clifton and Nicolas Aube-Kubel exchanged fisticuffs in just the third fight of the season for Boston at 13:50.
Less than a minute later, Wagner roughed up Travis Sanheim after a stoppage in play, while Travis Konecny interfered with Wagner.
Wagner and Konecny each received minor infractions at 14:22, but Philly was gifted a 4-on-3 advantage after Charlie McAvoy caught Joel Farabee with a high stick at 14:28 of the first period.
Less than a couple minutes later, Carlo hooked Jakub Voracek and cut a rut to the sin bin at 16:03.
Nevertheless, Philadelphia’s power play was unsuccessful as the two teams entered the first intermission tied, 0-0, on the scoreboard, despite the Flyers leading in shots on goal, 7-5.
Boston held the advantage in blocked shots (7-4), takeaways (2-1), giveaways (2-0), hits (8-7) and faceoff win percentage (61-39) after one period of play.
The Flyers were 0/3, while the B’s were 0/1 on the power play heading into the middle frame.
Late in the middle period, Farabee tripped Jakub Zboril and presented Boston with a power play at 14:16 of the second period.
Farabee got a breakaway as he exited the box after Philly killed his minor and was promptly tripped by Zboril, yielding a penalty shot at 16:25.
Rask denied Farabee’s five-hole attempt on the ensuing penalty shot attempt and the game remained tied, 0-0.
With two seconds left in the second period, Wagner received a roughing minor and gave the Flyers a power play that would extend into the final frame at 19:58 of the middle period.
Philadelphia pulled their goaltender for a 6-on-4 advantage to finish off the second period, but it was to no avail as the two clubs entered the second intermission scoreless.
Boston held the lead in shots on goal, 13-11, including an, 8-4, advantage in the second period alone.
The Bruins also held the advantage in takeaways (6-1), giveaways (8-3), hits (18-12) and faceoff win% (67-33), while the Flyers led in blocked shots (13-10).
Philadelphia was 0/4 and Boston was 0/2 on the power play after two periods.
James van Riemsdyk (6) deflected a shot from the point by Erik Gustafsson past Rask to give the Flyers a, 1-0, lead 27 seconds into the third period.
Gustafsson (6) and Claude Giroux (10) tallied the assists on van Riemsdyk’s power-play goal.
Midway through the third period, Brad Marchand (7) tapped a loose puck into the twine on a rebound after a flurry of activity and tied the game, 1-1.
David Pastrnak (3) and McAvoy (9) notched the assists on Marchand’s goal at 12:01 of the third period.
Shortly thereafter, Anders Bjork sent a pass to Sean Kuraly while the two entered zone before Kuraly (2) one-timed a shot past Elliott to make it, 2-1, Boston 27 seconds after the Bruins tied the game.
Bjork (2) and David Krejci (9) tallied the assists on Kuraly’s goal as the B’s took the lead at 12:28 of the third period.
Moments later, Craig Smith tripped Voracek and presented Philly with one more chance on the power play at 16:03, but this time the Flyers were unsuccessful on the skater advantage.
Alain Vigneault pulled Elliott for an extra attacker with 1:52 remaining and used his timeout after a stoppage with 1:29 left in the game, but Philadelphia couldn’t force overtime.
At the sound of the final horn, the Bruins had won, 2-1, despite Philadelphia finishing the night leading in shots on goal, 24-23, including a, 13-10, advantage in the third period alone.
Boston finished the night leading in blocked shots (15-14), giveaways (11-6), hits (28-22) and faceoff win% (58-42).
The Flyers finished Friday night 1/5 on the power play, while the B’s went 0/2 on the skater advantage.
The Bruins improved to 2-1-0 when tied after the first period, 2-1-1 when tied after the second period and 3-1-2 when allowing the game’s first goal this season.
Boston was scheduled to return home to face the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday and Monday (Feb. 8th), but at least four Sabres players and their head coach, Ralph Krueger, tested positive for COVID-19– rendering all Buffalo games to be postponed through Feb. 8th.
The B’s will continue on a now extended road trip until Feb. 15th, with stops in Manhattan on Feb. 10th and 12th against the New York Rangers, as well as Long Island on Feb. 13th against the New York Islanders.