(Boston, MA, January 6) – Sami Kapanen scored two goals for Philadelphia and Mike Knuble added one late in the third period, but it was not enough as the Flyers lost to the Boston Bruins at the TD Banknorth Garden on Saturday afternoon, 4-3.
Trailing early, Boston scored three times before the end of the first period to take a 3-1 lead.
First, Marc Savard threw the puck towards goaltender Robert Esche from the corner, and it deflected off of the Flyers' goaltender and across the line at 12:28.
Savard had a hand in the next goal as well, making a beautiful backhanded pass to Glen Murray in front of the net just 34 seconds later. A power play goal by Patrice Bergeron with 37 seconds left in the frame on a one-timer from the faceoff dot gave Boston its two-goal cushion.
"Marc Savard makes a living on finding people with that puck, and he was the difference there," said John Stevens.
"It's been helpful for us to get the first rather than being down immediately. We still came out of the period down 3-1, and there are definitely some plays we'd like to have back," said Knuble.
Despite a shaky first period, Esche kept Philadelphia in the game in the second period while Kapanen's second goal of the game cut the Bruins' lead to 3-2.
Esche robbed P.J. Axelsson midway through the period with a diving pad stop, and shortly after stopped Marco Strum skating alone towards the net by quickly closing his pads together.
Another unassisted goal by Kapanen came when the Flyers' right wing grabbed a turnover by Boston's Milan Jurcina along the boards. Kapanen made some nifty moves through the defense before lifting in a wrist shot over the short side of goalie Tim Thomas at 5:17.
The Bruins scored the only goal of the third period in what turned out to be the game-winner, when the rebound of a shot by Bergeron went right to the stick of Savard who put it in at 2:21. Savard finished with four points on the afternoon.
Philadelphia applied good pressure throughout the third period while trailing 4-2. Thomas' best save of the game came when he made a diving stop on Simon Gagne with the Flyers on the power play with about seven and half minutes left in the game.
The Flyers did get one back, when with 1:55 left in the game a shot by Jeff Carter bounced around and in off of the leg of Knuble.
It was not enough, however, as Philadelphia fell to 3-3 on its season long eight-game road swing.
Philadelphia ended the night 0-for-6 on the power play while allowing two goals on the man advantage to Boston.
"We had the chances. If we could at least get a goal we're right there," said Hatcher of the Flyers' power play.
"Our power play had a good opportunity to get us going, but I just thought our execution even getting up the ice was not at the level it needed to be to have success," said Stevens. "When we did get it in, we didn't come up with enough loose pucks."
Kapanen's first goal of the game opened the scoring. He forced a turnover by Paul Mara in the Flyers' defensive zone, then raced up the ice and ripped a slap shot just inside the far post at 4:11 for a shorthanded goal.
This was the first of four meetings between the Flyers and Bruins, and the game also marked the midway point of Philadelphia's season.
The Bruins snapped a three-game losing streak, which included a 10-2 loss to Toronto in their last game on Thursday night.
The Flyers have two games left on their road trip, when facing the Ottawa Senators on Sunday afternoon and the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night. Philadelphia returns home on Thursday, January 11 against the Montreal Canadiens.
FLYERS NOTES The Flyers were 0-for-6 on the power play, while Boston was 2-for-5. … Peter Forsberg missed his second straight game with a mild right groin strain. … Boston was without defenseman Zdeno Chara due to a lower body injury. … Stefan Ruzicka played in his first game since December 28 in Tampa, while Eric Meloche was a healthy scratch. … The Flyers have not played in a game that has gone to overtime since December 2 (14 games).