In the eighth and final meeting of their 2020-21 regular season series, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Boston Bruins, 3-2, at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon.
For the sixth time in the eight games, the Flyers were either tied or held a lead in at some juncture of 3rd pd. Entering this game, the Flyers only had 1 win to show for it, and and that was in a game Philly trailed after two period. Tied at 2-2 after two periods on this day, the Flyers found a way to flip the script.
The Flyers took a 2-1 lead to the intermission. After Patrice Bergeron (16th goal of the season) opened the scoring, Travis Konecny (9th) and Shayne Gostisbehere (PPG, 7th) responded. Jake DeBrusk (4th) re-tied the game at 2-2 with the lone tally of the third period. Sean Couturier (12th) restored a Flyers' lead at 6:59 of the third period.
Brian Elliott was stellar in net for the Flyers. He stopped 3 of 3 shots to earn the win.
Rookie Jeremy Swayman took his first NHL loss for Boston, four days after making his debut with a win at the Flyers' expense. He stopped 19 of 22 shots.
The Flyers went 1-for-2 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the PK to win the special teams battle.
Boston entered this game with a 10-for-20 mark on the power play against the Flyers this season. On this day, however, the Flyers were perfect on four tries, including two vital kills in the third period.
1) The first period made a sharp U-turn. Boston had the first 7 shots and a 1-0 lead through seven-plus minutes. The Flyers then had seven of the 11 shots over the remainder of the period, a 53.3 percent all-situations team CORSI and, most importantly, a 2-1 lead by the end of the period.
2) The Bruins' top line opened the scoring as Bergeron scored his fifth goal over the three games against the Flyers' this week. This tally started with a Flyers' D-zone turnover and ended with Bergeron firing home a shot from the upper hash mark at 5:38.
At 11:51, the Flyers pulled even. A D-to-D pass from Travis Sanheim to Robert Hägg and a Hägg point shot that produced a juicy rebound led to a tie game at 1-1. Konecny was wide open in the left slot to claim the puck and fire it home.
At 17:31, a patient and well-organized breakout led to a Konecny shot off and a Boston penalty on Jeremy Lauzon for taking a pop at an agitating Konecny at the whistle. The Flyers entered the game at 5-for-23 (1 SHGA) on the power play against Boston this year and promptly made it 6-for-24 on a nicely executed give-and-go reat pass by JVR to Konecny to spring it in motion before Gostisbehere scored on a tip-in as he moved toward the net.
3) The second period was a grind-it-out frame with not a lot of scoring chances either way but Boston had a territorial (58.33% team Corsi), shot (11-7), prime scoring chance (3-1) and goal (1-0) edge to send the game to the third period tied at 2-2. Boston had a couple of bounces go their way off blocked/ missed shots. Then a nice pass from Smith to an open DeBrusk led to a nearly point-blank tying goal at 11:45.
4) Entering this game, the biggest difference in the season series, apart from Boston's scorching power play, was third periods. The Bruins entered with a 14-7 goal differential in their favor in third periods against the Flyers this season. The Flyers desperately needed to flip the script. For nearly seven minutes, the Bruins took the play to Philly, generating almost all of the forecheck and each of the first five shots.
That changed at 6:59, as the Flyers won a puck battle, worked the puck around from JVR to Farabee to Couturier and scored. With Swayman down and out, Couturier deposited the puck in the net from the right side for a 3-2 lead.
5) A Kevin Hayes cross-checking penalty in the defensive zone put Boston on their third power play of the game. The Flyers' long-suffering PK stepped up to kill it off. Boston held a 6-3 shot lead through a TV timeout with 9:15 remaining in regulation. With 8:15 left, Provorov was called for tripping Pastrnak. The PK stepped up yet again: both Elliott and the skaters on the ice.
At 14:21, the Flyers got a would-be insurance goal. Voracek parked in front of the net and a Gostisbehere one-timer found the net. The Bruins challenged for goalie interference, claiming incidental contact between Voracek and Swayman. The challenge was upheld and the goal was wiped out. The Flyers staged a pair of strong late shifts to keep Boston hemmed in and prevent pulling Swayman for an extra attacker. He finally went off with time ticking to the final minute. The Flyers preserved the one-goal win with a good defensive stand. Boston had no further shots on goal.