The Bruins kicked the game off quickly as David Pastrnak scored the first goal of the night only 12 seconds into the game. He snuck past Shayne Gostisbehere and had the puck redirected off Ivan Provorov’s stick past Carter Hart. The entire first period looked as if the officials put out the black Mites Ice Dividers for the Bruins as they controlled the puck and suffocated the Flyers in their own defensive zone. The only glimpse of life from the Flyers was in the last two minutes, where they started taking more shots and playing more physical.
The Flyers came out in the second period and played a little bit more of a complete game. They controlled the puck a lot better than they did in the first period and spent more time in the offensive zone while creating scoring opportunities. Kevin Hayes got the Flyers on the board to erase Rask’s potential shutout off of a beautiful pass from Travis Sanheim.
The second period would end with that lone Hayes goal being scored. Just like that, we had a brand new game for the third period. Early on in the final period, the Flyers had to kill a shortened penalty by JVR and found themselves sitting in the lead just over a minute into the third off of a Jakub Voracek goal. Minutes later, a 2 on 1 with Scott Laughton and Joel Farabee found the Flyers taking a late 3-1 lead against the Bruins for Farabee’s 6th goal of the season.
In the second half of the third frame, the Flyers were dealt a delay of game penalty and, once again, Pastrnak converted to shorten the lead 3-2 with less than eight minutes to go. Kevin Hayes took a hooking penalty with two minutes remaining, giving the Bruins a powerplay to end the game. Who other than David Pastrnak to score a hattrick to tie the game and go to overtime.
It seems like the Boston Bruins are becoming a thorn in our side as they scored 31 seconds in overtime on another powerplay goal. Patrice Bergeron gets the game-winner as they shock the Flyers and erase a 3-1 lead to win 4-3.
Flyers vs. Bruins: Three Takeaways
What’s a Breakout?
For those of you that don’t know the term “breakout,” it means that when the team gains possession of the puck in their defensive zone, they can transition the play to the offensive zone.
Apparently, Vigneault and the Flyers haven’t worked on the defensive zone transition enough during practice. The forwards were typically already in the neutral zone when the defenseman had even gotten the puck on their stick. Many times, the defenseman would just put it right on a forechecking Bruins stick for an easy turnover.
Ways to correct this is to chip it off the boards or reverse the puck to the other defensive pair to open up more opportunities. If it weren’t for Carter Hart bailing out the defensive turnovers, the Bruins would’ve potted many more goals. The first period was the worst for the Flyers in transition, but it got a little better with each shift as the game went on.
For the uncharacteristically soft Broad Street Bullies, one player has stood out against the rest when it comes to playing physical. Whenever the fourth line was on the ice, it seemed like at least one Bruins player was paying the price for touching the puck.
More often than not, the player on the fourth line laying the hits was Nicolas Aube-Kubel. The Flyers have been a very soft and unphysical team this season. NAK has been the one stepping up and into the opposing team.
Aube-Kubel has become the player that does not care who is touching the puck while he is on the forecheck. He is going to lay a hit and create opportunities for his linemates. Fans should be excited that someone is finally stepping up and being physical on this team. It would be nice for another player or two to step up, but NAK takes the fourth line grinder role very seriously.
“They Bend, But They Do Not Break”
If you watched the intermission report on NBCSN between the first and second periods, you might have heard ex-Flyer and NBCS Philly Color Analyst Keith Jones say those words that titled this final thought. As a Flyers fan during that intermission, you may have felt defeated due to how the Flyers played during that opening frame.
Well, Jonesy was right after all. The Bruins put a lot of pressure on the Flyers during the first period but decided that they wouldn’t lay down and take another Boston beating. The Bruins bent the Flyers so much that they flexed and bounced right back into this game and fixed the little things as the game went on.
No matter the start for Philadelphia, they find ways to create opportunities and score goals to keep them within a game’s reach night in and night out. As Chuck Fletcher said, their record isn’t fooling anybody. They still have much to improve on with their overall game. Regardless of the start, Flyers fans should still be excited about how their team reacts and responds during a game. I know; we’re Philadelphia fans. Would it be us if we didn’t overreact?
After another disappointing loss in overtime to the Boston Bruins, the Flyers are now sitting right behind the Bruins in the standings. Even though they are tied in points, the Flyers have played one less game than the Bruins. Friday night’s matchup against the Bruins is another important game as the Flyers look to extend their point streak to six games.
James van Riemsdyk continues to stay red hot for the players after picking up another assist on Joel Farabee’s goal. Claude Giroux hit a milestone as he played in his 900th game, all while playing for the Orange and Black – in another five games, he will pass Bill Barber for second most games played by a Philadelphia Flyer.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire