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Flyers’ Offensive Outburst at the End Not Enough as Bruins Hold On For 6-5 Win

(Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

Through 40 minutes, the Philadelphia Flyers were hanging in there with the Boston Bruins before an early outburst in the third period was just enough for Boston to hold on for a 6-5 win.

Ryan Poehling scored the game’s opening goal before Morgan Geekie responded before the first period ended. Then Joel Farabee reclaimed the lead for the Flyers in the second before Charlie Coyle re-tied the game before the period ended.

The third period started out terribly with the Bruins scoring three goals in a span of 2:56 with goals from Coyle, John Beecher, and Jake DeBrusk. Nicolas Deslauriers and Morgan Frost then brought the Flyers to within one goal with tallies 62 seconds apart before Danton Heinen scored the eventual game-winner 1:47 later.

Farabee brought the Flyers right back just 57 seconds later but that was all she wrote as the Bruins held on for a 6-5 win. Jeremy Swayman allowed 5 goals on 29 shots while Felix Sandström allowed 6 goals on 30 shots.

The gauntlet continued as the struggling Flyers visited the Bruins at the nightmarish venue of TD Garden. The Flyers were 3-10-2 in their last 15 games against the Bruins and 1-5-1 in their last 7 games in Boston. After getting trampled on Thursday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, John Tortorella returned from his two-game suspension and brought about a few notable lineup changes.

Not much could be done on the back-end with Rasmus Ristolainen, Jamie Drysdale, and Nick Seeler still sidelined, however he brought back Nicolas Deslauriers and Cam Atkinson and they were united on a line with Scott Laughton on what was their makeshift fourth line. Bobby Brink and Denis Gurianov were made healthy scratches and Felix Sandström earned the start with Samuel Ersson having struggled over his last few games.

As for the Bruins, it’s been an odd stretch of late as they entered tonight having gone 7-2-5 over their last 14 games – they had gone to overtime in eight of them. The offense is run by Flyer-killer David Pastrňák, who was leading the club with 41 goals, 54 assists, and 95 points. Brad Marchand was a distant second with 27 goals and 59 points with Charlie Coyle chipping in with 21 goals and 52 points.

The goaltending tandem made way for Jeremy Swayman to earn the start as he looked to improve on his 21-7-8 record, 3 shutouts, 2.49 GAA and a .920 SV%. He was 3-2-0 all-time versus the Flyers with a 2.62 GAA and a .916 SV%. As for the Flyer-killer, Pastrňák had 26 goals and 42 points in just 29 games all-time against the Orange and Black – both numbers being the most he’s recorded against any single team.


It was the start that the Philadelphia Flyers desperately needed as they opened the scoring at the 4:18 mark after Ryan Poehling finished off a one-timer that was set up by Garnet Hathaway. David Pastrňák turned the puck over to Egor Zamula with a negligent deke attempt at the blue-line, which allowed the Flyers to jump on the odd-man rush.

It was a near picture perfect start for the Flyers after what was a disastrous first period against Toronto on Thursday. The shots were 5-0 for the first 12 and a half minutes of the game until the Bruins’ first shot on goal was a one-time opportunity from John Beecher, who was robbed by Felix Sandström.

After Travis Konecny was stoned twice on a breakaway opportunity, the Bruins went from defense to offense which culminated in a Morgan Geekie bomb down the right side to tie the game with 4:09 left to play in the period. Jake DeBrusk danced his way into the offensive zone and brought a few defensemen towards him before he found Geekie unmarked in the corner.

With 2:05 left to play, Scott Laughton was tripped up by Brandon Carlo, sending out the 32nd-ranked power play to reclaim the lead. The Flyers didn’t register a shot on goal but they had about five shots blocked, two that went high and wide, and one that went off the pipe courtesy of Morgan Frost.

The period came to a close with the both teams tied at one apiece and the Flyers holding the edge in shots at 8-5.


It was a reverse start to the second period as the Bruins created dangerous scoring opportunities one after the other. Sandström was tasked with making a sliding one-timer stop on Matt Grzelcyk, a net-front opportunity off a faceoff from DeBrusk, followed by three quick chances from the Bruins’ third line in the first six minutes.

Tempers really started to flare midway through the second period, especially after Charlie McAvoy was called for an illegal check to the head minor against Konecny. Travis Sanheim then went after McAvoy, which brought Charlie Coyle to the forefront with both players each receiving coincidental roughing minors. Out of it all, the Flyers received the power play with 10:02 left to play.

The Flyers re-took the lead after Cam York’s point shot was redirected in front by Joel Farabee. There wasn’t much time left on the power play but York was able to keep the puck in the zone and played pitch and catch with Owen Tippett before he fired the shot from the point with traffic in front of the net as the McAvoy minor expired. The goal represented Farabee’s 20th of the season.

With 5:16 left to play, Tyson Foerster was whistled for a hooking minor, sending a very dangerous power play onto the ice for the first time tonight. 37 seconds into the man advantage, Coyle collected his 22nd goal of the season after Brad Marchand found him on the doorstep with an open net. The goal would never have happened if Pavel Zacha didn’t do the dirty work off the faceoff win against Laughton.

The period came to a close with the teams tied again but this time at two apiece. The Bruins fired 15 shots to the Flyers’ 10 in the middle frame and held a 20-18 shots lead through the first 40 minutes.


With both teams playing 4-on-4 after York and DeBrusk received coincidental minors at the end of the second period, the Bruins took the lead after Coyle danced around the defense in the offensive zone before roofing the puck top-shelf over Sandström just 68 seconds into the final frame.

The Bruins added another tally just over two and a half minutes later after Sandström made a fantastic save on Beecher, but the Bruins forward was able to flip the rebound over the sprawling goalie for a commanding two-goal lead with just over 16 minutes left.

Lo and behold, the floodgates fully opened and DeBrusk took advantage of the sloppy defense and tucked in a nice finish past a sprawled out Sandström for a 5-2 lead. Four white jerseys were caught in the middle of the ice as the puck found its way to DeBrusk before he was able to take advantage of the situation. It was their second goal in 19 seconds and third goal in a span of 2:56.

26 seconds laster, Danton Heinen was called for a playing with a broken stick minor. The Flyers were scrambling, they were aggressive, and they created chances but Konecny was the only one who registered shots on goal and both of them were right on Swayman.

Foerster was called for another minor penalty wth 9:07 left to play and after the successful kill, the Flyers inched back with a goal courtesy of Nicolas Deslauiers. Couturier did the dirty work behind the net where he was able to set up Deslauriers with an open tuck past a befuddled Swayman who was looking the other way with just under six minutes to play.

Shortly afterwards, Frost scored an absolutely dazzling goal through his legs as he roofed it past Swayman to bring the Flyers back to within one with just under five minutes to play. He was set up with a perfect feed from Tippett to set him up all alone with the goaltender before he collected his 11th goal of the season in tight.

With the Flyers buzzing in the offensive zone, Sanheim’s one-time shot was blocked and it led to the Bruins going the other way on an odd-man rush before Heinen roofed a shot off the wing glove-high past Sandström with 2:59 remaining – a probable backbreaker.

With the net empty, the resiliency of the Flyers tacked on another goal as Farabee collected his second of the night with about two and a half minutes remaining. Farabee passed it to Konecny along the wall who then one-touched it to Tippett in the slot. His deflected shot went to Farabee behind the net before he finished off the wrap-around attempt.

The Flyers pulled the goalie again but they had issues trying to set up in the offensive zone, which allowed the Bruins to hang on for a nail-biting 6-5 victory.


The Flyers return home and welcome back the Toronto Maple Leafs (7:00pm ET, NBCSP) on Tuesday night, looking to avenge two losses this season and avoid a season-series sweep while trying for their first win against Toronto in nine attempts.

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