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Bruins Score Four Goals in 4:14 in First Period, Take Down Slumping Flyers, 6-2

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

The Philadelphia Flyers succumbed to another large first period deficit and dropped their 5th straight game after losing to the Boston Bruins, 6-2.

In their final game before the break, the Flyers started the first half of the period strong, but the floodgates opened with the Bruins scoring 4 goals in a span of 4:14 to befuddle the home team. David Pastrňák scored the first and fourth goal with Charlie McAvoy and Danton Heinen chipping in as well.

James van Riemsdyk scored at the beginning of the second period on Cal Petersen after he replaced Samuel Ersson. Tyson Foerster wound up scoring the next two goals but then Charlie Coyle dropped the nail in the coffin a few moments after to give the Bruins their 4-goal lead back.

Ersson made 10 saves on 14 shots, Petersen made 12 saves on 14 shots, and Linus Ullmark earned his 15th win of the season with 35 saves to his name.

Looking to enter the break on a high note, the Flyers hosted the Bruins in a matinee affair with a lot of emotions pulsating after Mark Recchi’s induction ceremony into the Flyers Hall of Fame having taken place pregame. Losers of 4 straight – 3 of which came on home ice – the Flyers badly needed to get their game back on track with the rest of the Metropolitan Division having games in hand and catching up slowly.

Egor Zamula didn’t have a great game against Detroit and was ill today, so he sat out in place of Rasmus Ristolainen. Samuel Ersson earned his 4th consecutive start, and the Flyers once again employed a 12/6 formation with Nicolas Deslauriers, Garnet Hathaway, and Scott Laughton patrolling the fourth line and Olle Lycksell skating alongside Morgan Frost and Cam Atkinson to start the game.

As for the Bruins, they entered today’s play tied for first in the NHL with a 30-9-9 record, were 6-1-3 in their previous 10 games, and 11-2-3 since the Christmas break. David Pastrňák paced the club with 31 goals and 69 points through 48 games, followed by Brad Marchand‘s 24 goals and 47 points, and Charlie Coyle‘s 17 goals and 41 points.

Former Flyer James van Riemsdyk had 7 goals and 29 points in 44 games to start the season and former Flyer Patrick Brown reentered the lineup for his 11th game of the season. Linus Ullmark earned the start, looking to improve on his 14-6-2 record, 2.82 GAA, and .912 SV% – a far cry from his Vezina-winning numbers from last year.


2:14 into the game, Scott Laughton – who took 3 minor penalties last game – was whistled for a hooking penalty, sending the 4th ranked Boston Bruins power play onto the ice. The Flyers’ penalty kill limited the Bruins to just one shot, a James van Riemsdyk net-front opportunity.

With 5:51 remaining in the first period, David Pastrňák ripped a hard shot through Travis Sanheim‘s legs and past Samuel Ersson’s blocker from just inside the face-off circle. The goal represented Pastrňák’s 32nd goal of the season and 25th of his career against the Flyers in just 29 games.

Just 1:37 later, Charlie McAvoy – with the Pastrňák line again – struck after he made a beeline for the weak-side post where Pavel Zacha found him with a perfect pass for his 7th of the season. Ersson had to make a few stops prior but the Flyers weren’t able to find the puck as the Bruins set back up and doubled their lead.

To make matters worse, just 1:01 after McAvoy’s tally, Brandon Carlo‘s point shot through traffic was deflected off a Flyers defender and then off Danton Heinen past a befuddled Ersson with Jesper Boqvist trailing into his crease. A delayed penalty was going to be called against Sean Walker for high-sticking Boqvist.

It wouldn’t be a Flyers-Bruins game if Pastrňák didn’t have a multi-goal game as he scored his 2nd of the period to give the Bruins a 4-0 lead after his shot just squeaked through the arm of Ersson. 1:36 after Heinen’s tally, Pastrňák scored the Bruins’ 4th goal in 4:14 – incidentally his 2nd goal in 4:14 as well – for his 33rd of the season and 26th career tally against the Flyers.

Well, the Bruins jumped to a 4-0 lead in quick order to flatten the Flyers who have fallen to another large first period deficit. Shots were 13 apiece but the story continued to surround Ersson who has not looked sharp in recent games, which made you wonder if Cal Petersen would find his way into this game, which he did.


Welcome to the game, Cal Petersen, as van Riemsdyk scored just 1:15 into the period. Carlo’s initial point shot was deflected wide by Pastrňák, but he got the puck back off a friendly bounce before feeding it right to van Riemsdyk, who was parked in the blue paint. The goal represented van Riemsdyk’s 8th of the season.

McAvoy was called for an interference minor with at the 7:11 mark of the second period, sending the Flyers onto their first power play of the game. They registered a couple shots but the Bruins’ aggressive penalty kill thwarted most of their dangerous opportunities.

After the referees waived off the icing call, Sanheim quickly grabbed the puck and sent it forward to Tyson Foerster, who made a power-forward move on Parker Wotherspoon before curling and dragging a hard shot through Carlo’s legs and through Ullmark’s five-hole with 4:37 left.

The Flyers held a 16-5 shot advantage in the period and were up 28-19 after 40 minutes but the Bruins led where it mattered most, 5-1.


Morgan Geekie was called for a tripping minor just 1:56 into the final frame of regulation. The Flyers failed to set up but their lone scoring chance came in the dying seconds when Ryan Poehling attempted to deflect a Sanheim pass attempt, but Ullmark was able to hold on.

The Flyers hopped right back onto another power play with Kevin Shattenkirk being found guilty of a high-sticking minor at the 4:39 mark. No shots on goal were registered in another failed attempt.

With frustration boiling over, Travis Konecny got the gate for unsportsmanlike conduct with 12:59 remaining after taking a whack at Hampus Lindholm. After missing on his odd-man opportunity, Laughton was guilty for a goaltender interference minor with 27 seconds on Konecny’s minor. The Flyers survived with Petersen having to stop a few testers.

Foerster scored his 2nd goal of the game and 9th of the season with 8:36 remaining in the period after a fantastic shift from him, Lycksell, and Sean Couturier. The puck was bouncing, the Bruins were converging, but the strong forechecking from the trio kept the play alive before he fired a shot of Matt Grzelcyk‘s stick and past Ullmark.

If there was ever a chance for a comeback, Charlie Coyle ended that after he finished up the loose change in front of the net for his 18th goal of the season. Trent Frederic‘s initial shot was stopped, but Sanheim bumped into Petersen, which allowed Coyle to score one of the easier goals he’ll be credited for this season with 5:15 remaining.


The Flyers will slump into the break on a 5-game losing streak and won’t return to the ice until the 6th of February when they head out to face the Florida Panthers (7:00pm ET, NBCSP) at Amerant Bank Arena.

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