Playing against a stacked Boston Bruins lineup that saw most of their NHL regulars dress, an undermanned Philadelphia Flyers squad sustained a 4-2 loss at TD Garden on Thursday evening. Special teams play was the big story of the game. The Flyers went 2-for-6 on the power play, while Boston went 2-for-5.
Joel Farabee (power play) opened the scoring early in the first period. Brad Marchand (power play) Craig Smith (power play) and Brandon Carlo (4-on-4) struck back to send the Bruins to the first intermission with a 3-1 lead.
Jake DeBrusk scored in the late stages of the second period to open a 4-1 edge for Boston. Farabee tallied his second power play goal of the night midway through the third period.
Martin Jones played the first 30:47 of the game, stopping 8 of 11 shots. Felix Sandström (10 saves on 11 shots) went the rest of the way. For Boston, Jeremy Swayman went the distance and stopped 16 of 18 shots.
The two teams had a "rehearsal" shootout despite the 4-2 final score. Boston won the skills competition in four rounds, 1-0. Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee, Scott Laughton and Tyson Foerster were the Flyers shooters.
The back-to-back power play goals by Marchand and Smith put the Bruins in control early in the game. The Flyers trailed the rest of the night.
1) First period shots were 11-4 in the Bruins favor. Although Philly opened the scoring, they spent little time in the attack zone. On a positive note, the Flyers set a physical tone in the first few shifts with two good hits by Rasmus Ristolainen and one by Nick Seeler.
2) WIth the parade to the penalty box in the first period, relatively little 5-on-5 play was able to take place. The two teams combined to score on each of the first three power plays. James van Riemsdyk made an excellent backhanded saucer pass to Farabee, who beat Swayman from point blank range. That was as good as it got for the Flyers. With Cam York in the box for a ticky-tack cross-checking penalty (as part of the NHL's crackdown), the Flyers lost a puck battle near the boards and Taylor Hall got the puck to a wide-open Marchand to tie the game. An all-too-easy entry on the rush and a good feed from Nick Foligno to Craig Smith set up the second Boston goal. Carlo's goal was one Jones should have stopped, although it might have been tipped partially by Linus Sandin. It was a bad angle goal from outside the right dot that Jones -- who was slightly off-angle and had his glove held too low --saw clearly but beat him high to the short side.
3) The Flyers did better from a territorial standpoint for the first half of the second period -- holding Boston to a single shot on net -- but continued to struggle to generate their own shots and chances. Swayman did make a nice stop on a Flyers power play scoring chance set up by good puck movement, especially on a van Riemsdyk feed to Tyson Foerster. Strong penalty killing work by Nate Thompson, especially on the forecheck, helped get the Flyers through their first of two PKs in the period.
4) At 18:31 of the second period, DeBrusk made a power move from below the goal line and stuffed the puck home near the post. With 14.1 seconds remaining in the period, Nick Seeler was called for his second hooking penalty of the game. David Pastrnak nearly scored a buzzer beater. Second period shots were 7-7.
5) Cam York didn't have a great game at 5-on-5 but he was very good on the power play. He had an excellent shift on Farabee's second goal of the game. It started with a tough keep at the left point. After crisp puck movement by the Flyers, York teed up a shot for Farabee, which was blasted into the net through a JVR screen.