HUMAN, what a game - this one started out like it might be a snoozefest of Bruins cycling and Flyers mad-dash attempts to score. If only the game could’ve continued without penalties, because in the end, that sank the Flyers and effectively handed Boston the OT win last night.
David Pastrnak scored VERY early in the game. Quicker than it took to type these two sentences. It was a little awkward, as Provorov was recognized as a prime young defenseman in the NHL during the pregame kitsch, only to score on his own goalie.
Boston showed some hard north-south speed to start the game, with a wild three-zone skate by Kevan Miller to charge play forward. The B’s had to survive a few challenging turnovers, as Philly pushed back - Zboril, in particular, passed the puck to nowhere from his own slot - though, often, it really didn’t seem to matter. Boston didn’t struggle for long; much of the middle of the frame was firmly under control, despite the stressful pace of play. Kevan Miller is a player possessed, as if he hasn’t played hockey in two years.
Given the amount of punishment that knee has taken over the last two years, it's pretty absurd Kevan Miller is still able to move like this. pic.twitter.com/VBdp7QeMDy— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 4, 2021
Things did not improve for the Flyers, as Boston repeatedly marched the puck through the neutral zone and onto the attack. Not for a lack of effort, though - the Flyers were getting the puck deep on Boston, if not sustaining play. Oh, and they brought the heavy on the way in:
Nicolas Aube-Kubel lays the boom. pic.twitter.com/1kZtynWJld— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) February 4, 2021
The first wound down with a couple more turnovers by Philly, but you could tell that they could taste a goal near the end of the frame. This is not a team to sleep on.
More of the same, really. Philly managed to get some zone control, so Boston’s possession advantage was hampered a bit. A penalty was finally called on Boston, so Philadelphia had a powerplay opportunity, but tradition ensued and Sean Kuraly almost scored a shorthanded goal. All is well with the world.
Philly’s best chance came with about five minutes to go, where a strong 3-on-2 developed in their favor. This catalyzed a great shift, and the hot hands of Kevin Hayes finished off some great cycling around the Boston zone. The 1-1 tie carried into the second intermission.
Hollywood Hayes gets the Flyers on the board. pic.twitter.com/YXhvPSU2qD— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) February 4, 2021
Fortunately for Boston, the Flyers’ leading scorer James van Riemsdyk took a penalty out of nowhere, and the Bruins enjoyed the first ¾ of a power play before taking some free time into the third.
Philly came out HOT. Just a minute in, Jake Voracek scored the go-ahead goal after Boston’s coverage left him alone, only to appear out of nowhere from behind the net.
Jakub Voracek scores early in the third to give Philly their first lead of the night. pic.twitter.com/wWBTf3xWRp— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) February 4, 2021
The Bruins responded with some quick shots in succession, though it looked like Philly’s chances in the first - on a whim, and from less-than-preferable spots around the offensive zone. PHI goalie Carter Hart had looked sharp, he was simply not getting any sort of defensive performance in front of him through the first two periods. An outstanding stop at the right post on Sean Kuraly (nevermind the breakaway chance earlier in the game) should make his highlight reel for the year.
Just before the halfway point, an aggressive play by the Flyers produced a beauty of a 2-on-1, and not in Boston’s favor. Joel Farabee capped off a great rush, ripping home a one-time slapshot past a flailing Rask.
Joel Farabee with a rocket to give the Flyers a two-goal lead pic.twitter.com/1aJDvOfwh8— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) February 4, 2021
Naturally, the Perfection Line just swarmed the net and decided the red light behind Hart needed a wakeup call.
A penalty to Kevin Hayes with just 2 minutes to go gave Boston an opportunity to tie the game, but YER DAMN RIGHT THEY DID!!!! Pasta closed out the hat trick with this piece of golden garbage!
Then, after the tying goal, Scott Laughton took an interference penalty, giving the Bruins the advantage going into OT... and of course, Perfection begets Purrfection. We don’t even need an OT section of this recap because this happened so quick.
What. A. Game. Bruins complete the comeback and Patrice Bergeron wins it in OT. pic.twitter.com/3DIOUdEZaG— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) February 4, 2021
Game, Bruins. The big takeaway in the moment is that Boston needs to figure out what to do with this pace of a game. I bet a Matt Grzelcyk would help out, as would the return of Jake DeBrusk. They’ve done a great job of adapting and are finding sneaky ways to win games. Keep up the good work... especially when you see this team again in two days.