Final: Philadelphia 3, Boston 1
Recap: After owning the advantage territorially in the first half of the opening period, Boston fell behind 1-0 with 4:41 to go in the frame as old friend Mike Knuble buried a feed in front from Brayden Schenn to stake the Flyers to a 1-0 lead.
In the second, First-line wingers Jakub Voracek and Matt Read connected for a goal, with the former setting up the latter for a clean shot from the top of the far circle that beat Tuukka Rask.
Nathan Horton cut the lead to one and gave Boston hope when he went to the net for a rebound off an initial shot from the point by Dennis Seidenberg, but the B’s comeback effort after that was hardly anything to write home about. Ruslan Fedotenko fired home an unassisted empty-netter from the blue line with 59 ticks to go, closing out the scoring and giving the struggling Flyers the much-needed two points.
Records: Philadelphia 14-7-3, 31 points; Boston 21-8-4, 46 points
Key Play of the Game: In the closing minute of the first period, Voracek and Patrice Bergeron got tangled up, prompting Zdeno Chara and the rest of the crew to come over and get involved. Chara got in a punch-free fight with Luke Schenn in an attempt to inject some life into his lackluster teammates. The Bruins responded by coming out as flat as a pancake for the entirety of the second period and, heck, most of the remainder of the contest.
Connolly’s Commendations: Not a whole lot of bright spots in this one, but we’ll tip our caps to blueliners Andy Ference and Dennis Seidenberg, the only Bruins to finish with positive plus-minus ratings in the matinee. Both d-men blocked two shots, while Seidenberg led the club with four hits.
Connolly’s Critiques: Against a defense that grows more makeshift by the day and a goaltender that’s had well-documented struggles all season, the Bruins may have put 34 shots on net, but their high-quality scoring chances were few and far between. When they did get good looks, most of them wound up hitting Ilya Bryzgalov square in the chest.
Props to Horton for driving to the net to clean up the rebound and pot the Black and Gold’s lone goal on the afternoon, but No. 18 had to do a lot more than that in the third period to get off the hook for his half-hearted effort in all three zones in the first 40 minutes of the game.
Notes: The Flyers destroyed Boston’s top two centers at the dot, with Patrice Bergeron winning 7-of-20 and David Krejci victorious on just 2-of-10 draws. The B’s have now fallen behind by two goals at the start of each of their last four games, and have gone six straight tilts without scoring in the first period.
Final Thoughts: Who would’ve guessed we’d have back-to-back emotionless games against the Flyers to reflect on? Such is the case, as the Bruins’ dull, sloppy showing once again cost them a chance to leapfrog the Habs and take sole possession of first place in the Northeast Division.
Next: The Bruins will now travel to Buffalo for a matchup with the Sabres at 7:30 on Sunday night.