Besides honing in on details like stick positioning and stops and starts, head coach Bruce Cassidy said power-play chemistry was a focus of this game.
“Obviously we have a spot open,” Cassidy said. “Taylor Hall was that front guy in that first unit. We’ve used [Nick] Foligno a little bit in practice so you’re searching for some combinations there.”
Both the Bruins and Flyers each netted two goals on the man-advantage in eleven opportunities combined.
The Flyers opened the scoring at 7:18 of the first period with a power-play goal. From the goal line, James van Riemsdyk backhanded a pass out front to Joel Farabee skating to the top of the paint for a quick goal past Jeremy Swayman’s blocker. 1-0 Flyers.
Special teams dominated the first period, much like the other preseason games before it. The Flyers scored on their first power play of the night, but then the Bruins took over.
The B’s had three power-play opportunities in the first period and unlike the previous games, they capitalized on the man-advantages.
The Bruins tied the game at 9:17 of the first period with a power-play goal of their own. Ten seconds into the man-advantage, Hall made a diving pass to Brad Marchand who from the center hash marks threw a wrister over the blocker of Martin Jones. 1-1 game.
The Bruins took the lead with another power-play goal at 12:23 of the first period. Nick Foligno found Craig Smith in the slot where he put a quick wrist shot past Jones’ glove. 2-1 Bruins.
The Bruins took a two-goal lead at 16:41 of the first period. Hall dished a pass to Brandon Carlo inside the right-wing circle where he had enough time to fully winded up a slap shot that went past Jones’ glove. 3-1 Bruins.
The B’s power-play units looked A LOT different tonight obviously with a stacked roster and what was closer to an opening night roster. Still, they were able to get chemistry cooking early into the power plays and some nice shots on net.
The second period was pretty uneventful for most of the frame. The Bruins spent the first half in the defensive zone and let their guard down. Puck management wasn’t the best and the team had a hard time breaking out of the zone and winning battles in the corners.
The penalty kill also had its faults with positioning and not being able to clear the puck.
Swayman’s game improved as he saw more of the Flyers’ offense during the second. He tracked the puck better as he faced seven shots in the middle frame as opposed to four during the first.
Besides the positives of the power play, the chemistry between Jake DeBrusk, Erik Haula and Foligno was a big takeaway. DeBrusk and Haula’s styles have complimented each other and DeBrusk looks like a different player with the offense he’s shown in two preseason games.
DeBrusk extended the Bruins’ lead at 18:31 of the second period. Haula battled along the corner boards to win the puck to DeBrusk who kept control of the puck and carried it to the front of the net where he snuck one past Felix Sandstrom’s five-hole. 4-1 Bruins.
Good to see Jake DeBrusk rewarded again for driving to the front of the net.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) October 1, 2021
Encouraging signs for a guy looking to bounce back.
Also, another good play along the wall for Haula.
4-1 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/eEKx58fy1e
The Bruins had some sloppy moments in the final 20 minutes and had a hard time in the neutral zone. But it’s preseason.
Haula’s line continued to be an offensive force in the period. In total, the line combined for nine of the Bruins’ 28 shots on net.
The Bruins had two more penalty kills in the third period, with one fairing better than the other.
The Flyers scored at 9:40 of the third period on Farabee’s second power-play goal of the night. Cam York sent a pass to Farabee at the top of the right face-off circle where he sent a one-timer top-shelf over Swayman. 4-2 game.
The Bruins are back in action Saturday October 2 at the TD Garden against the New York Rangers.