The Boston Bruins fell to the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-3, Thursday night in the TD Banknorth Garden. Boston center Mark Mowers scored a career-high two goals in less than four minutes in just the first period to give the B's an early 2-0 lead. But riding a tidal wave of 55 Flyers shots, Scottie Upshall beat Boston goalie Tim Thomas
with just 10-seconds remaining in sudden death overtime to send the Philadelphians to the airport victorious.
"We have to compete at a higher level," said a clearly frustrated Boston head coach, Dave Lewis. "I want us to be harder to play against."
Hard luck loser Thomas recognized Upshall's effort on the final goal.
"That was like a Peter Forsberg move at super duper full speed," said Thomas. "That was a heck of a move and you have to give the kid credit for that."
Boston won't get any credit for it, but despite the heartbreaking ending, the Bruins started the game very well.
Mowers, a former University of New Hampshire standout in his first year with the B's, scored his third goal of the year at 4:10 with an assist from defenseman Dennis Wideman, who was playing in his first game with the Black & Gold, to make the score 1-0. Mowers then took a feed from another first year Bruin, Jeremy Reich, and beat Philadelphia starter, Martin Biron, again at 8:09.
It was Reich's first point with the Bruins and second career NHL point and helped make the score 2-0.
"Personally, along with the team, we had a lot of ups and downs this year," said a downtrodden Mowers after the game. "I don't get a ton of chances, but I feel as if I've had a ton of chances to score and I haven't capitalized.
"Tonight, for whatever reason, they went in.
"But, we didn't win the game…so, it builds my confidence a little bit, but that's pretty much what I'll take away from it," he said.
Philly's Joni Pitkanen brought the B's back down to Earth when he scored at 10:39 of the first and started a three goal Flyers surge that continued into the second period.
R.J. Umberger scored his 15th goal, on the power play, at 4:53 of the second to tie the game, 2-2. Then Mike Richards scored a shorthanded goal for the Flyers at 11:33 to make the scoreboard read 3-2.
On the power play, however, Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara
scored his 10th goal of the season at 12:36, with help from forwards Marco Sturm and Marc Savard
, and sent the Bruins into the second break tied with the Flyers 3-3.
Thanks to Thomas and Biron (who ended with 34 saves of his own), the score stayed tied through the remainder of regulation and the two teams went to sudden death overtime.
Boston's Thomas ended up stopping 51 shots, a career-high,
Upshall took the puck from Sami Kapanen, skated the length of the ice, beat a Bruins defender and put the puck behind the outstretched last ditch effort of Thomas at the 4:50 mark of the five minute extra session.
"With 55 shots, you are not going to win many games," said Mowers. "You have to play hard to win. And we didn't play hard. We didn't play smart. And we didn't win."
Lewis praised Thomas and Mowers for their effort, but was dissatisfied with the effort coming from elsewhere in the room.
"Tim was outstanding," said Lewis. "I don't think a goaltender can put on a better performance than that.
"He and Mark Mowers won the point for us."
How about the rest of the team?
"We got outworked," he said.
The Bruins face the Canadiens on Saturday in a pivotal divisional match up.