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Bruins Battle Back, Take Two Points From Flyers in Shootout Slugfest

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The commercials on Boston TV touted the New England Patriots, recently crowned AFC Champions for the first time in four years.

But the more hard-earned victory came about 350 miles to the south.

In front of a sellout crowd of 19,537 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, the Boston Bruins gave up a two-goal lead to a depleted Flyers lineup and came from behind to win an epic battle when Tim Thomas stopped Wayne Simmonds' bid to extend the shootout.

Scott Hartnell had a natural hat trick in the second period, but it wasn't enough to get the Flyers - playing without forwards James Van Reimsdyk (concussion), Danny Briere (concussion) and Jaromir Jagr (lower-body injury) - the win.

But that's not to say that the win didn't toll Boston, either.

With Andrew Ference out for three games after being suspended for a hit on the New York Rangers' Ryan McDonagh, Nathan Horton was removed from the game in the second period after a high hit by Tom Sestito targeted his head.

Horton skated most of the rest of his shifts in the second period, but was removed before the third period started and head coach Claude Julien said that he was being evaluated for a possible head injury, without any confirmation that he was actually injured either on the hit or at any point after it.

Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Gregory Campbell (via Ilya Bryzgalov) each found the net behind Bryzgalov for Boston, which took a 3-1 lead just nine minutes into the game.

Hartnell's three goals in the second period - two on the power play - gave the Flyers a 4-3 lead heading into the third period and Max Talbot's deflection beat Thomas halfway through the third to even the game at five.

Hartnell's late, high hit on Chris Kelly drew Shawn Thornton's ire, but Hartnell went to the ice before Thornton could get any punches in.

The turtle didn't deprive the game of its expected violence, however; Boston and Philadelphia combined for three fights and 68 penalty minutes, including two to Bryzgalov for punching Brad Marchand with his blocker in a first period scrum and two to Kimmo Timmonen for tackling Krejci in overtime.

The Bruins have one more game before the all-star break, Tuesday at Washington. They'll visit Barack Obama at the White House on Monday, although it wouldn't be surprising to see most of the team miss the meet because they'll be stuck in the trainers room.

Krejci and Seguin had Boston's shootout goals, while only Claude Giroux found the net for the Flyers.