With the same lineup as last game, the B’s got after it tonight with Rask in net vs. Philadelphia. Once again, the Bruins find themselves trailing in the 3rd and once again, the Bruins find themselves mounting a victorious comeback to secure the win 2-1.
Unlike last game however, this one was a slog. The Flyers had more jump this game whereas the Bruins had some spurts but nothing consistent for the first 2 periods. The highlights of the first were Conor Clifton and the penalty kill. Cliffy dropped them with Aube-Kubel and rocked the Flyer with 3 quick rights to start the parade to the penalty box. All told, the Bruins killed off 13 shorthanded minutes in the first period alone. At one point Cliffy, McAvoy, Carlo and Wagner were all in there together. In case you don’t have your scorecard handy, that’s half of the defense and one of the top penalty killers in the box together. I don’t think that’s exactly how Butchie drew it up.
In the second, the Bruins tried again to establish a forecheck but couldn’t get anything going. The Flyers had a concerted effort to play a more North/South game and were significantly more careful with the puck having only 6 turnovers all game. Cassidy shuffled the lines a bit to try to get a jump and it seemed to have an almost immediate affect as the Bruins started to set up in the Flyers zone. Bjork was up with Ritchie and Krecji with Craig Smith sliding in with Coyle and Frederic and Wagner was back on the 4th line. Big moment for Rask (and the B’s) in the last 4 minutes of the period when the puck found Farrabee coming out of the box on a breakaway bid. Zboril hauled him down and Farrabee was awarded the penalty shot. Coming down wide on the left wing, Farrabee was looking 5-hole but Rask shut the gate and kept it even at zeroes.
The Flyers opened up the scoring in the 3rd with a power play goal by VanRiemsdyk. A tumbler from Gustafsson at the point was knocked down by JVR on the doorstep. Rask had absolutely no chance on this one. Cliffy Hockey was in full effect all over the ice tonight and played his best game of the year and the third period was probably his best of the night. Besides the fight in the 1st, he took the body when he could and was jumping in on the offensive zone all while playing his off side. He made a great play that won’t show up on any stats in the first half of the period. With Philly putting pressure on and looking to extend their lead, Clifton rode Hayes off wide of the net with no penalty and no shot to keep the deficit at one. Huge play.
I don’t know who the designated fluffer is for The Erection Line but they didn’t get to work tonight until late in the 3rd (or maybe the arena was extra cold?). At least they showed up when they did! Pastrnak with a blast from the right point led to a scrum in front of the net and Marchand stabbed the puck in from the bottom of the pile. The Nose-Face Killah got his beak greasy and tied it up with less than 8 minutes to go. Off the ensuing face-off, Kuraly got his 2nd of the year with a dot from above the left wing face-off circle: 2 goals in 27 seconds and the Bruins have their first lead of the night. But of course, it wouldn’t be a Bruins game without some edge of the seat viewing. Too long of a shift for Craig Smith leads to a lazy one handed swipe at back checking and (why not) another Philly power play with less than 4 minutes to go. The Bruins hold them off, let’s get the gear on the bus and get the phuck out of Philly.
The Bruins get a bit of a break with Buffalo getting shut down for having players in COVID protocols. That’s 2 games postponed so they won’t get back at it until they travel to NY to take on the Rangers on Wednesday. This break will be a blessing for the team as the schedules are so packed this year. Good time to get some rest and recharge heading into Madison Square Garden.
- Penalty Kill. The Flyers go 1 for 5 tonight, with skaters that log significant minutes on the PK in the box themselves, that’s a great team effort.
- Faceoffs. Bruins got back to almost 58% winning percentage.
- Rask is on another level. The guy would be stopping fucking marbles out there right now.
- Penalties. Playing more than a half period shorthanded isn’t going to work out in the Bruins’ favor too many times
- Inconsistent effort. Every point matters this year and the Bruins cannot take any periods off.
- Uncharacteristic offensive turnovers. Each line made at least one ugly turnover in the Flyers end. Have to clean that up going forward.
- This was the Bruins 4th third period comeback win in a row. I would check to see if that’s some type of a record if I had any idea of how to go about checking that stat.
- Patrice Bergeron (Tha’ God) played in his 1100th NHL game tonight.
- The Bruins next see the Flyers on the outdoor rink at Lake Tahoe on Feb 21st