The Boston Bruins snapped the Philadelphia Flyers’ nine-game winning streak with a, 2-0, shutout at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night.
Tuukka Rask (26-8-6 record, 2.12 goals against average, .929 save percentage in 41 games played) made 36 saves en route to the shutout victory for the Bruins on his 33rd birthday.
It was also his 5th shutout of the season and the 50th in his NHL career.
Flyers goaltender, Carter Hart (24-13-3, 2.43 GAA, .913 SV% in 42 games played), stopped 27 out of 29 shots faced for a .931 SV% in the loss.
Boston improved to 44-14-12 (100 points) on the season and became the first team to reach the 100-point plateau this season, while Philadelphia fell to 41-21-7 (89 points) and remained in 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division.
The B’s also improved to 22-10-3 on the road this season.
The Bruins were without the services of Kevan Miller (knee), Brandon Carlo (upper body) and Torey Krug (upper body) in Philadelphia.
Miller has yet to make his season debut and has missed all 70 games this season.
Meanwhile, Connor Clifton returned to the lineup for the first time since being injured in a game on Dec. 29th against Buffalo.
B’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, adjusted his defensive pairings with his usual second pair on the blue line out of the action on Tuesday.
Matt Grzelcyk and Jeremy Lauzon were moved up to the second pairing, while John Moore and Clifton slid into the third pairing role with Moore on the left side and Clifton on the right side.
Anders Bjork and Anton Blidh were the only healthy scratches for Boston against the Flyers.
There were no other lineup changes from Saturday night’s, 5-3, loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning to Tuesday night’s matchup in Philadelphia.
Tuesday night also marked the 400th career NHL game for Bruins winger, Joakim Nordstrom.
Chris Wagner tripped Shayne Gostisbehere and presented the Flyers with their first power play opportunity of the night at 6:20 of the first period.
Philadelphia did not convert on the ensuing skater advantage.
Almost ten minutes later, Brad Marchand cut a rut to the sin bin for holding Jakub Voracek at 16:06 and the Flyers didn’t score on the resulting power play.
Late in the opening frame, Ivan Provorov caught Ondrej Kase with a high stick at 19:50, but Boston did not convert on their first power play of the game– despite the advantage carrying over into the second period.
Heading into the first intermission, the Bruins and Flyers were still tied, 0-0, on the scoreboard, despite Philadelphia holding the advantage in shots on goal, 12-8.
Boston held the advantage in blocked shots (5-2) and hits (9-7), while Philly led in takeaways (2-1), giveaways (5-4) and faceoff win percentage (61-39) after one period.
The Flyers were 0/2 and the B’s were 0/1 on the power play entering the middle frame.
Past the midpoint of the second period, Marchand went back to the box for holding against Sean Couturier at 14:12.
Once more, Philadelphia was not able to convert on the skater advantage as Rask and Boston’s penalty kill stood tall.
Less than a minute after the two clubs resumed even strength action, Justin Braun was penalized for interference at 16:55 of the second period.
Late in the ensuing power play, Boston worked the puck around in the attacking zone with an umbrella formation.
David Krejci tossed the puck to David Pastrnak who gave it to Grzelcyk (4) for the shot from the point that beat Hart to give the Bruins the first lead of the night, 1-0, on the skater advantage.
Grzelcyk’s power play goal was assisted by Pastrank (47) and Krejci (30) at 18:39 of the second period.
Through 40 minutes of action in Philly, the Bruins led the Flyers, 1-0, on the scoreboard, despite Philadelphia holding a, 24-12, advantage in shots on goal.
Entering the second intermission, Boston led in blocked shots (11-7), while the Flyers led in takeaways (4-3), giveaways (10-6), hits (16-13) and faceoff win% (62-39).
Philadelphia was 0/3 and Boston was 1/2 on the power play heading into the final period.
Late in the final frame of regulation, Patrice Bergeron (31) received a pass, broke into the attacking zone and wristed a shot over Hart’s blocker side to make it, 2-0, for the Bruins at 14:40 of the third period.
Marchand (59) and Zdeno Chara (9) notched the assists on Bergeron’s goal and the B’s had their insurance marker for the victory.
Just 20 seconds later, the Flyers were on the penalty kill as a result of Scott Laughton catching Pastrnak with a high stick at 15:00 of the third period, but Boston wasn’t able to convert on their last power play of the night.
With 2:40 remaining in the game, Flyers head coach, Alain Vigneault, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker, but Philadelphia couldn’t find a way to breakthrough Boston’s defense and goaltender.
At the final horn, the B’s had won in Philly and defeated the Flyers for the first time in their last five regular season meetings.
Boston won, 2-0, despite trailing in shots on goal, 36-29.
The Bruins finished the night leading in blocked shots (12-11) and hits (23-22), while Philadelphia wrapped the night up with the advantage in giveaways (15-12) and faceoff win% (62-38).
The Flyers finished 0/3 on the power play, while Boston went 1/3 on the skater advantage.
With the win, Boston became the first team to reach the 100-point plateau and marked the third consecutive season of 100 points or more in a season for Cassidy in his third full-season with the club.
Meanwhile, the Bruins improved to 26-7-8 (14-5-2 on the road in that span) when scoring the game’s first goal, 14-2-6 (7-1-0 on the road) when tied after one period, 28-1-6 (16-1-2 on the road) when leading after two periods and 17-4-5 (8-3-2 on the road) when being outshot this season.
The Flyers, on the other hand, fell to 13-14-3 (5-3-4 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 17-3-3 (12-3-2 at home) when tied after one period, 2-21-4 (2-6-2 at home) when trailing after two periods and 22-15-4 (15-5-2 at home) when outshooting their opponent this season.
Boston wraps up their two-game road trip (1-0-0) in Buffalo on Friday before returning home to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday and hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets next Monday (March 16th).
The Bruins then venture out to California for their annual West Coast road trip.