Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny each had a pair of points, while Joel Farabee scored the only shootout goal in the Philadelphia Flyers’, 3-2, shootout victory over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden Sunday night.
Carter Hart (6-3-1 record, 2.71 goals against average, .893 save percentage in 11 games played) made 26 saves on 28 shots against for a .929 SV% in the shootout win for the Flyers.
Bruins goaltender, Jaroslav Halak (4-1-2, 2.68 GAA, .918 SV% in seven games played) stopped 27 out of 29 shots faced for a .931 SV% in the shootout loss.
The B’s fell to 11-3-3 (25 points) on the season, but remain in control of 1st place in the Atlantic Division, while Philadelphia improved to 10-5-2 (22 points) and rose to 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Bruins are now 7-0-2 at home this season and are in the midst of a three-game losing streak.
Boston was without Kevan Miller (knee), John Moore (shoulder), Karson Kuhlman (fractured tibia), David Backes (upper body), Jake DeBrusk (lower body) and Brett Ritchie (upper body) on Sunday, but Joakim Nordstrom (infection) and Par Lindholm (upper body) returned to the lineup against Philadelphia.
DeBrusk was ruled out for the upcoming week and not likely to return before next weekend by Bruce Cassidy hours before the game against the Flyers.
Meanwhile, Cassidy inserted Lindholm on the third line, centering Anders Bjork and Zach Senyshyn.
As a result, Peter Cehlarik, was assigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL) and Charlie Coyle was bumped up to the second line right wing with Danton Heinen sliding over to the left of David Krejci.
Nordstrom returned to his usual spot on the left side of Sean Kuraly with Chris Wagner resuming his right wing duties on the fourth line.
Cassidy kept the Bruins defense the same from the last couple of games, leaving Connor Clifton on the first pairing with Zdeno Chara and Boston University alums, Matt Grzelcyk with Charlie McAvoy on the third defensive pairing.
Once more, Steven Kampfer was Boston’s only healthy scratch.
Midway through the opening period, after dominating the game flow, the Flyers finally struck first with a goal by Konecny (8).
Konecny’s goal was assisted by Couturier (7) and Oskar Lindblom (6) at 13:50 of the first period and was marked the first time this season that a visiting team had scored the game’s first goal at TD Garden.
It was also just the 13th shot on net for Philadelphia, while Boston was limited to three shots on goal at the time of Konecny’s goal.
Less than a minute after taking the, 1-0, lead, the Flyers went on the penalty kill thanks to Farabee’s minor infraction for high sticking against Brad Marchand at 14:14.
The Bruins did not convert on the ensuing power play.
Late in the period, Philippe Myers (3) sent a laser past Halak with heavy traffic in front of the net to give Philly a two-goal lead.
Konecny (11) and Travis Sanheim (5) notched the assists on Myers’ goal at 17:56 and the Flyers led, 2-0.
After one period, Philadelphia led, 2-0, on the scoreboard and, 14-5, in shots on goal. The Flyers also held the advantage in takeaways, 2-1.
Meanwhile, the B’s led in blocked shots (4-3), hits (12-11) and faceoff win percentage (75-25).
Both teams had three giveaways each and Boston was 0/1 on the skater advantage heading into the second period.
Early in the middle frame, the Bruins thought they had scored, but the officials on the ice made no clear indication as to what the call was until after video review in Toronto automatically reviewed something they couldn’t review.
See, the on-ice officials decided there was goaltender interference on the play, which, there had been something that happened in the crease– whether it was caused by Philly bumping a Boston forward into the Flyers goaltender or simply a Bruin colliding under his own volition into Hart– and thus, no goal was the call on the ice and it could not be reviewed.
Or something like that.
The fact of the matter is fans at the rink and casual viewers at home would simply like an explanation of what is believed to have happened (a.k.a. “the call on the ice”) and why or why not there was a review (a.k.a. “further review” or lack thereof).
Regardless, Boston trudged on with better possession in the second period than the first period, but committed the only penalty of the period when David Pastrnak hooked Ivan Provorov at 8:11 of the second period.
Philadelphia didn’t capitalize on their first power play of the night and play resumed even strength with no issue.
Through 40 minutes of play, the Flyers still led, 2-0, and held a, 20-10, advantage in shots on goal– including a, 6-5, advantage in the second period alone.
Philly also led in takeaways (10-4) and hits (21-20), while Boston led in blocked shots (11-8), giveaways (9-7) and faceoff win% (70-30).
Both teams were 0/1 on the power play.
Early in the final frame of regulation, Coyle worked the puck deep into Boston’s attacking zone, then sent a bouncing biscuit to the slot whereby Heinen (4) scooped up the loose puck, spun and wrapped it into the twine from point blank– cutting Philadelphia’s lead in half, 2-1.
Coyle (4) and Chara (4) had the assists on Heinen’s goal at 5:59 of the third period and the Bruins began to surge.
Midway through the third period, Brad Marchand (11) received a pass from Grzelcyk and fired a wrist shot top shelf over Hart’s glove from the faceoff dot to tie the game, 2-2, at 12:22.
Grzelcyk (3) had the only assist on the goal.
Less than a few minutes later, Provorov slashed Pastrnak as the Bruins forward was on a breakaway and yielding a penalty shot to the young Boston winger at 15:04.
Pastrnak was denied by Hart and play resumed as the score remained deadlocked, 2-2.
Almost two minutes later, Lindblom tripped up Marchand and was sent to the penalty box at 16:40.
The B’s did not convert on the resulting skater advantage, despite taking a timeout with 1:36 remaining in regulation to draw up a last ditch effort plan on the advantage.
At the horn, the Bruins and Flyers remained tied, 2-2, and headed for overtime.
Shots on goal were even, 27-27, despite Boston’s, 17-7, advantage in the third period alone. Blocked shots were also tied, 12-12, after regulation.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia held the advantage in takeaways (14-8) and hits (29-26) and Boston led in giveaways (13-9) and faceoff win% (65-35) heading into overtime.
The Flyers were 0/1 on the power play and the B’s were 0/2.
Philadelphia head coach, Alain Vigneault, started Claude Giroux, Lindblom and Provorov in overtime while Cassidy opted for Patrice Bergeron, Marchand and McAvoy.
The Flyers used their timeout after a stoppage with 1:15 remaining in overtime.
Shortly thereafter, in the final seconds of the extra frame, Boston had too many skaters on the ice and was assessed a bench minor penalty.
Krejci was selected to serve the infraction and Philadelphia didn’t capitalize on the skater advantage as overtime wrapped up.
After 65 minutes of action in Boston, the score remained tied, 2-2, with the Flyers leading in shots on goal, 29-28 (2-1 in overtime alone).
Boston finished the night leading in blocked shots (14-13), giveaways (13-9) and faceoff win% (61-39), while Philadelphia finished the action leading in takeaways (16-8).
Both teams had 29 hits aside and went 0/2 on the power play as the shootout commenced.
Boston elected to shoot first in the shootout– leading off with Coyle, who deked backhand, pulled the puck back to his forehand in effort to sneak it around Hart, but was denied by Philadelphia’s netminder with the leg pad.
Farabee shot first for the Flyers and scored on Halak’s glove side while taking it nice and slow into the zone.
Marchand tried to go blocker side to lead off the second round of the shootout, but was stopped with the leg pad as he couldn’t elevate the puck enough.
Giroux shot next for Philly, but was stopped by Halak as the Flyers forward tried to fake a slap shot, then went glove side before catching Halak’s forearm.
Finally, Pastrnak worked his way in on Hart as Boston’s last chance to extend the shootout, but the Philly goaltender broke up the attempt before Pastrnak could complete his shot– winning the game in the process.
Philadelphia improved to 3-2 in shootouts on the season, while Boston fell to 0-2 after overtime this year.
The Flyers also improved to 6-0-0 when leading after the 1st period this season and the Bruins fell to 1-2-2 when trailing after one period, as well as when trailing after two periods thus far.
Boston finished their two-game homestand (0-0-1) Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers before traveling to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs on Friday (Nov. 15th).