Bruins Nip Flyers 2-1

Published on March 27th, 2011

by Mike del Tufo

Sunday, March 27, 2011
The Boston Bruins edged the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1.  This was the 4th of 4 meetings between the Flyers and the Bruins this season.  The Bruins had won 2 of the first 3 times they had played this season.  For this game, Tim Thomas started in net for the Bruins and Brian Boucher for the Flyers.

Flyers forward combinations:
Briere-Leino-Hartnell
Carter-Giroux-Nodl
Richards-Versteeg-JVR
Betts-Powe-Carcillo

Flyers defensemen pairings:
Timonen-Coburn
Boynton-Carle
Meszaros-O’Donnell

The Flyers started strong and got on the board first when captain Mike Richards faked a big blast and found a wide-open Kris Versteeg to the left of the Bruins’ net.  He easily knocked it in at 4:45 of the 1st period for his 20th goal of the season.  There was a lot of rough-and-tumble hockey in this period as the disdain between these two teams was quite evident.  At 18:22, the Flyers got their 1st power-play of the game when center Patrice Bergeron got a 2-minute minor for hooking.  Versteeg had a big hit on former Flyer Mark Recchi during this man-advantage.  The Flyers had some chances but were unable to convert before the period ended.

The Flyers were unsuccessful in the power-play that carried over from the 1st period.  Around one minute into the 2nd period, Versteeg had a breakaway but was stopped by Thomas.  Versteeg seemed to be all over the ice.  JVR fresh off of a hat-trick last night fed Versteeg a nice pass that sent him in alone.  The Bruins tied it up at 7:40 when winger Nathan Horton knocked in a loose puck on the power-play.  It was another physical period for both teams as this game really took on a playoff feel.  The Bruins got the better of the Flyers in this period as they scored the lone goal and outshot them 14 to 7.

The 3rd period was more defensive-minded by both teams as neither wanted to give up an odd-man rush.  The Bruins seemed to have the upper hand in this period but could not get the lead.  The Flyers then took a crucial penalty at 15:33 when Richards high-sticked Bruins defenseman Tomas Kaberle.  Forward Brad Marchand made the Flyers pay by scoring at 16:17 after he corralled a loose puck in front of Boucher and snuck it around him.  Both Bruins goals were on the power-play.  Flyers defenseman Matt Carle made a stop that got by Bouch with just over a minute left in regulation to keep them in the game.  With Bouch pulled and with the extra attacker, the Flyers struggled to gain the zone though.  The Bruins’ forecheck was ferocious as they ran out the clock and claimed a well-deserved 2 points.

On the loss, Flyers Head Coach Peter Laviolette said, “It was one of our better games in a while and that’s the type of game we’re looking to play and the identity of the game we’re looking to play, and you know we were not up to that.   I think some lines generated, Mike’s line probably generated the most tonight, but as a group we need to go over the boards and consistently bring it line after line in the attack.   Because of that missing in our game, the game’s gotta be played somewhere else, and it’s being played in our end.”

This was the Flyers only regulation loss in the last 10 games (5-1-4).  Their next game is at Pittsburgh vs. the Penguins on Tuesday March 29th.

Brian Boucher made 34 saves in the loss | Source: Joe del Tufo

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