PHILADELPHIA - The Bruins appeared to be well on their way to their fourth consecutive victory on Monday night as they surged to a three-goal lead midway through the second period. But two quick strikes from the Flyers late in the middle frame gave them life and set the tone for their tying tally midway through the third to send things to extra time.
And a game after breaking through their overtime struggles in Brooklyn, the Bruins once again failed to find a goal past regulation en route to a disappointing 6-5 shootout loss to Philly at Wells Fargo Center.
"Our second period was not good enough," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, who was playing in his 1,000th game in Black & Gold. "We kind of let up from the intensity and got away from our system. That's something that if you don't play a full 60 minutes that's gonna affect your results.
"I think that was definitely the case tonight…I think we've got to be a little harder and bear down in those situations. It's not just the defense. We have five guys on the ice, we have to play as a unit, play together, and do a better job defending our lead."
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was particularly peeved by the Flyers' tying goal with 7:02 remaining in regulation. Playing 4-on-4 after matching roughing penalties to Torey Krug and Joel Farabee, Philly forward Travis Sanheim cleaned up a loose puck from the doorstep, despite Boston having three players around the net.
"I don't think they did anything different, they just funneled some pucks and we couldn't keep it out of our net," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "Talk about the goaltending, talk about our D in front of him - I think they can both take their share of the blame on some of those goals, especially the 4-on-4. We've got three different guys circling out of there. It's inexcusable.
"You're in the third period, you've got a lead that's gotten away from you, we're pretty good at buckling down - I don't know what to tell you on that particular play. No compete in front of the net, no urgency to keep the puck out of our net from three of our players. Not sure if the goalie could have covered it, to be honest with you. There was a couple like that around the front of the net.
"Clearly not a good enough job. Good for Philly for going to the net and sticking around and getting inside. That's what they did at the end and we weren't able to move them out of there and we had no will to move them out of there."
Video: BOS Recap: Krejci nets two in Bruins' shootout loss
Shootout Struggles Continue
Despite four consecutive stops by Jaroslav Halak to start the shootout, the Bruins dropped to 0-7 this season as they were once again shutout across five rounds. This time around, Boston's chances were ended when Brad Marchand over-skated the puck on the final attempt.
"We're having trouble scoring, whether we collect the puck or not. You're not gonna win any shootouts if you don't score," said Cassidy. "You look at our record, I think that's probably a much bigger factor than our goaltending in the shootout. We just don't score. There's a reason why we're 0-7."
Marchand, attempting to tie the shootout at 1 after Travis Konecny's tally to kick off the fifth round, started with speed and grazed the puck as he blew by it. By rule, his attempt was counted as a miss.
"I know that rule. If you touch it on a penalty shot, that's your shot," said Marchand. "It's unfortunate. Tough way to lose on a play like that. But we've got to be better when we have the lead. Got to do a better job with that tomorrow."
Video: Cassidy, Chara, Marchand, Bjork and Krejci talk loss
Secondary Scoring Pops
The bright spot in the Bruins' success over the first 30 minutes was an explosion of secondary scoring, particularly from Boston's second line. Anders Bjork made a tremendous individual play on a delayed penalty to open the scoring at 4:15 of the first, before David Krejci cashed in with a power-play tally with 3:11 to go in the opening period to make it 2-0.
After David Pastrnak's 36th of the season made it 3-1 just 33 seconds into the second - and the Flyers pulled back within a goal - Charlie Coyle and Krejci added tallies just 2:31 apart as the Bruins opened up a 5-2 lead.
On Krejci's second tally of the night, Bjork made a terrific feed across the slot that his center finished with a one-timer. Bjork was one of five Bruins - none of which were named Bergeron, Marchand, or Pastrnak - with two-point nights.
"He's a very smart player," Krejci said of Bjork. "He's pretty strong on the puck, he sees the ice well as well. I thought he had a really strong game, especially the first half. After that, it was tough. We stopped playing. We were just kind of waiting for them in the neutral zone to make mistakes…good thing is we have time to do something about it tomorrow."
Video: BOS@PHI: Bjork fights through to bury backhand