Heading into Wednesday night, most thought the nationally televised game would be boring and one-sided. Initially, that was true. Peter Cehlarik sent the Flyers to the powerplay early in the first. Thanks to an aggressive neutral zone forecheck which was installed to combat the Flyers five-forward powerplay unit, the Bruins only allowed one shot attempt for the duration of the two-minute minor. Brandon Carlo was even behind a dangerous shorthanded opportunity, but failed to get a shot away.
Shortly thereafter, the Bruins had their first chance on the powerplay. Torey Krug was able to connect with David Pastrnak to give the Bruins the 1-0 lead.
With the Bruins up 1-0 and playing a seemingly perfect game, Peter Cehlarik netted his first goal of the season thanks to a cross-ice pass from Jake DeBrusk.
After the Bruins went up 2-0, the game opened up. Both teams were trading chances off of the rush. Leading against a weak team, this was not the game the Bruins wanted to play. Giroux was able to find Lindblom in space who beat Halak short-side to get the Flyers on the board.
The game headed into the first intermission with the Bruins leading 2-1 and controlling play. When they came out for the second period, the script was flipped. First, a redirection beat Halak, tying the game.
Then, with all of the momentum in hand, the Flyers headed to the powerplay. After the Bruins failed to capitalize on a shorthanded chance, Sean Couterier made the Bruins pay by scoring a goal off of the rush to give the Flyers the lead.
The Bruins quickly woke up and began controlling play again. Late in the third, the Bruins would be blessed by Jori Lehtera, as he took a five-minute major for boarding Ryan Donato (As long as there are no delayed symptoms).
Unfortunately, the Bruins couldn’t get anything going and went the whole five minutes without a goal, or a notable scoring chance. The powerplay became a frustration for the Bruins, and shows how far the Flyers have come on their penalty kill since the last time these two teams met in October.
Sean Couterier completed the hat-trick for the Flyers late in the third, putting the game out of reach at 4-2.
Peter Cehlarik was able to score a goal late, but it wouldn’t be enough as the scoreboard showed four Flyers goals to three Bruins goals when the clock hit zero.
This was certainly a frustrating loss for the Bruins, so let’s look at some of the positives.
- Brendan Carlo had an excellent night. He was responsible on the back end while also joining the rush and creating chances. This was arguably the most confident he has looked so far in his career, let alone this season. We’ve been waiting to see his offensive abilities for awhile now, and hopefully they continue to come out.
- Peter Cehlarik had two goals after being called up. The recent roster movement seemed to have a negative tone. Losing Colby Cave for nothing left a bitter taste in some fans’ mouths. Scratching David Backes may have made some fans happy, but was certainly a tough decision for the coaching staff. Cehlarik’s goals certainly makes the last couple of days look better.
- The Bruins out-shot and out-chanced the Flyers. I realize this became a hot topic on Twitter by a Boston sports writer following the game. Taking into account the score of the game and the Flyers’ home-ice advantage, the Bruins controlled 68% of the shot attempts and 62% of the scoring chances at 5v5. While the Bruins didn’t do enough with their chances, they were certainly there.
- The kid line was solid. According to Natural Stat Trick, the Donato, JFK, and Heinen created 8 scoring chances together. They need good performances out of that line, and they got one tonight. Donato left a goal or two out there as well as Heinen, but they are getting to the spot.