It has been a miserable week for the Philadelphia Flyers. After squeaking out a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators last Saturday, the team would drop two straight to the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. They blew a commanding 4-1 lead against the Penguins and ended up falling 5-4. If that doesn’t deplete one’s confidence, then who knows what would.
Their opponent Saturday was no other than the gritty Boston Bruins. Coming off a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, the team had 33 points on the year, 10 more than the Flyers. The Bruins sat in 4th place in the conference heading into the game while the Flyers were sitting at a disappointing 11th. To widen the gap even more, the Bruins had played four less games than the men in orange. Even though there was a large gap between them in the standings, the Flyers knew they needed to desperately get back into the win column.
The Flyers did get a boost before their game in Boston on Saturday. Philly GM Paul Holmgren announced that they had activated defenseman Andrej Meszaros from the injured reserve and he would play against the Bruins. Meszaros had missed 21 games this season with a shoulder injury. He went pointless in the 4 games he did play with the team but is still a huge addition for the club.
The game got off to a slow start where the first shot of the game didn’t come until the 13:47 mark. The Flyers would get a power-play early in the first period, however, but they couldn’t convert. The Bruins would get their own power-play later on in the period and they would be able to capitalize. Tyler Seguin would finish a beautiful passing play from Milan Lucic to bury one by Ilya Bryzgalov. David Krejci would cycle the puck down low to Lucic who would turn to the backhand to go cross-ice to a wide open Seguin. The youngster would make no mistake in low as he put the puck into an open net as Bryzgalov couldn’t get over in time.
The Bruins would use that momentum from the goal to strike again just under two minutes later. Jordan Caron would get the puck behind the goal line and center to a wide open Chris Kelly. Kelly would snipe his second goal of the season by Bryz to put his team up 2-0.
The Bruins explosive first period didn’t end there. After a brutal giveaway by Flyers sophomore Sean Couturier, Bruins Gregory Campbell would feed a speeding Daniel Paille who would fly in on Bryzgalov. He went to the backhand and slid it by the goaltender for his fourth goal on the year. The Bruins were leading 3-0 after the first frame despite only having a 6-5 advantage in shots.
It was a goalless second period but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any action. After a big hit by Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo, Bruins Shawn Thornton would take exception. The two physical players would drop the gloves and both land some pretty hefty punches. There wasn’t an obvious winner but it would seem Thornton got the better of Rinaldo.
The Bruins would hold on for the rest of the game for a 3-0 victory. The home team outshot the Flyers 28-23 and handed the Broad Street Bullies their third straight loss. Tuuka Rask stopped all 23 Flyer shots in the Bruin’s net. The Flyers get right back at it on Sunday where they face the Buffalo Sabres at the Wells Fargo Center.
- Bruins forward Rich Peverley notched his 200th career NHL point with an assist on Chris Kelly’s first period tally. Peverley has had a disappointing season after leading the team in scoring during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs
- Jakub Voracek’s three game point streak came to a haul Saturday. He still has an impressive 29 points in 26 games on the year
- Claude Giroux failed to register a shot on goal against the Bruins. This gives the captain only 2 shots on goal in his last four games. There is some speculation that the all-star is playing injured but it is likely we won’t know until the end of the season if this is the case
- Andrej Meszaros looked good as he returned to the line-up. The defenseman put three shots on goal while notching 16:46 of ice time. He also contributed with three blocked shots and three hits. He was one of the anchors on the teams second unit power-play
- The Bruins three goals came in a span of 2:18 in the first period