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POSTGAME 5: Flyers Comeback Bid Falls Short, 3-2

The Philadelphia Flyers erased a 2-0 deficit but ultimately lost, 3-2, to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Thursday night. The Flyers are winless in their last six games (0-4-2).

by Bill Meltzer @billmeltzer / philadelphiaflyers.com

The Philadelphia Flyers erased a 2-0 deficit but ultimately lost, 3-2, to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Thursday night. The Flyers are winless in their last six games (0-4-2). 

David Pastrnak (14th and 15th goals of the season) tallied even-strength and power play goals to stake Boston to a 2-0 lead in the first period. The Flyers tied the game in the second period on goals by Cam Atkinson (PPG, 15th) and Joel Farabee (11th) before Pastrnak (16th) completed a hat trick on a 5-on-3 power play goal. The third period had numerous scoring chances but no further scoring. 

Carter Hart stopped 33 of 36 shots in a losing cause. Playing his first game of the season, Tuukka Rask denied 25 of 27 shots to earn the win,

The Flyers went 1-for-4 on the power play. They were 2-for-4 on the power play.

TURNING POINT

Special teams decided this game. The Bruins converted their 5-on-3 power play to break a 2-2 tie in the second period. The Flyers were unable to cash in on their third period 5-on-3. That was the difference.

The Flyers also were unable to convert a pair of breakaway opportunities: one for Farabee and a shorthanded chance for Atkinson.

MELTZER'S TAKE

1) A failed opportunity to exit the defensive zone and an errant pass proved costly at 1:51 of the first period. A wide-open Pastrnak, from the center slot took a pass from Erik Haula. The deadly sniper made no mistake. The secondary assist went to Taylor Hall.

At 4:04, Nick Seeler took a blatant holding penalty on Anton Blidh behind the Flyers net. The Bruins cashed it the power play at 5:27. The Bruins' top power play unit carved the Flyers' penalty kill and Hart had little to no chance after Marchand froze the D and made a perfect pass through a seam to Pastrnak on the right side. Hart made a desperation dive across the net but Pastrnak found the mark. The secondary helper was credited to Charlie McAvoy.

The Bruins went back to the power play at 5:48. Provorov was called for high-sticking Charlie Coyle. Strong PK work by Scott Laughton and a couple of clears got the Flyers the Flyers through the kill. Shots were 7-0 Boston through the end of the Coyle.  

At 9:19, a point shot from Cam York represented the Flyers' first shot on goal of the game. Play was fairly even for the rest of the period but the damage had been done.

The Flyers went on a power play with 4:32 remaining in the first period after a scrum in the neutral zone. Pastrnak was called for interference on a hit against Scott Laughton without the puck in Laughton's possession. Coincidental roughing minors of Zack MacEwen and Ty Lewington canceled out. The Flyers' power play never got set up. 

2) First period shots were 11-6 Bruins. Things settled down a bit after the Flyers killed the Provorov penalty but Philly never really tested Rask (4-1 high-danger chance disparity in Boston's favor, 11-6 in terms of overall scoring chances). A chance in which Travis Konecny missed the net was Philadelphia's best opportunity. The Bruins had a 62.5 percent all-situation shot attempt edge in the first period. The Flyers were credited with 10 hits to eight for the Bruins, but Boston landed the heavier body checks.

3) MacEwen and Lewington renewed acquantaines at 2:51 of the second period. This time they dropped the gloves. MacEwen got the better of the fight.

The Flyers got hemmed in about five minutes into the second period. Shots were 6-0 Boston at that point.

Shortly thereafter, Morgan Frost put on a burst of speed to the first to a loose puck in the Boston zone. However, the Flyers were unable to retain possession and the Bruins ended up with a 2-on-1 rush the other way. Brandon Carlo wasn't able to finish off the chance.

At 6:26, interference by Tomas Nosek on Konecny off an offensive zone faceoff created a Flyers power play. Philly made it pay off. At 8:02, Atkinson deftly re-directed a Provorov shot past Rask to narrow the gap to 2-1. Keith Yandle got the secondary assist for his pass to Provorov.

Tweet from @NHLFlyers: .@CamAtkinson89 is pushing to be the Last Man In at the 2022 #NHLAllStar Weekend. Vote here: https://t.co/I3P99VgoaV pic.twitter.com/E7DLQIoEzX

Play went to 4-on-4 at 9:03 on matching minors called on Pastrnak and Max Willman. During the segment, Farabee was denied by Rask on a breakaway five-hole attempt after pulling the puck between his legs.

Frost and Jack Cates switched lines in this period with Cates moving down from left wing on Laughton's line to centering the fourth line. Frost, correspondingly, rotated from center to left wing and moving to play with Oskar Lindblom and Laughton.

Farabee beat McAvoy cleanly off the rush, and decided to pass to Atkinson rather than shoot. The puck was in the skates but Atkinson kicked it back to Farabee, who deposited the puck in the net on the backhand to tie the game 2-2 at 15:00. Yandle had the second assist. 

Tweet from @NHLFlyers: .@CamAtkinson89 (@BostonCollege) connects with @FarabeeJoel (@BU_Tweets) in Boston. #PHIvsBOS | #BringItToBroad pic.twitter.com/G2OdtIddxu

Boston went back to the power play at 15:16 after Marchand drew a holding penalty on Justin Braun. The Bruins got a 48-second 5-on-3 after Willman was called for hooking Pastrnak on an offensive zone entry. After one chance in close and a loose puck (with Boston's Bergeron getting away, Pastrnak hammered home a shot from above the left circle to put Boston ahead 3-2 at 16:45. During the remaining 5-on-4 time, Rask denied Atkinson on a shorthanded breakaway. Pastrnak had two bids at a fourth goal late in the Willman penalty.

After Konecny held in a failed clear by the Bruins,Oskar Lindblom tipped a shot that Rask stopped with 1:02 left on the clock.

4) Second period shots were 17-9 in the Bruins' favor (high-danger chances were even at 6-6 including the two Philadelphia breakaways). Boston held a 60.6 percent team all-situation Corsi through two periods.

5) The Bruins came within a whisker of scoring again at 3:32 of the third period. A sprawled-out save by Hart on Jake DeBrusk erased a turnover by the goalie to Charlie Coyle behind the net. Two shifts later, a Hart flub was canceled out by Lindblom's defensive stick.At the 6:00 mark, the Flyers had some more nervous moments as a puck bounced on net and DeBrusk tried to follow it up.

With 10:06 on the clock, Hayes made a touch pass to spring MacEwen in one-on-one with Rask. MacEwen's wrist shot hit the left post. At 10:32, Frost was tied up on a rebound opportunity and then the Flyers were called for a hand pass. On the next shift, the Giroux line had a flurry near the Boston net.

Boston was called for a delay of game penalty at 12:05 after Carlo flipped the puck over the glass trying to bank the puck to safety from the D zone. Rask made a save on a routine Frost shot. The Flyers got a 51-second 5-on-1 at 13:15 after Coyle did essentially the same thing as Carlo. The Flyers called timeout. Philly sent out five forwards. With four seconds left on the two-man advantage a broken play was tipped on net by James van Riemsdyk. The Bruins got a big clear as 5-on-4 play started. The Flyers never generated anything of high or even medium danger.

Hart was pulled for a 6-on-5 with 3:45 left on the clock.The Bruins iced the puck with 2:48 remaining. Boston's McAvoy missed the empty net on a long-distance attempt to took an icing with 2:16 on the clock. Rask stopped JVR in close. York stopped a Marchand empty net stuff-in just before time expired.

Third period shots were 11-7 in the Flyers' favor. 

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