Photo Credit: Fred Kfoury III (Icon Sportswire
After a hit up high on Frans Nielsen last game, David Backes was suspended for three games. His absence along with Bergeron and McAvoy leaves the Bruins lineup looking a lot less intimidating than it was just a week ago. After going 9-0-1 starting back on February 8th, the Flyers have started to drop off going 0-3-1 since the start of March. Rask starts for Boston while Lyon protects the other end for Philadelphia.
What I Am Looking Forward To
Boston is going through a really rough injury patch right now and it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep their winning ways going with all of the key guys they have out. I expect a grinding, hitting old school kind of game tonight. Both teams desperately want these two points. Should be a great game.
The game really started a minute and a half into the game when Kevan Miller took a double minor penalty for high sticking Wayne Simmonds and drawing blood. The Flyers power play unit was incredibly efficient scoring only ten seconds into the power play on a great pass from Nolan Patrick to Jakub Voracek. Later, the Bruins got a power play after Rick Nash’s stick was slashed, where they had a lot of shot opportunities but didn’t get too much actually on net. But that did energize the team, so when Bruce Cassidy told the top line of Marchand/Nash/Pastrnak to hit the ice, they channeled that energy into a terrific display of skill and hard work that ended up with Riley Nash scoring on a wraparound rebound. After some great offensive shifts for him, Brad Marchand was given a tripping penalty for a low hit on Gostisbehere. The Bruins killed this off, and with less than a minute left on the clock Tommy Wingels made a great defensive play on the backcheck to get the puck to Chara where the captain made a great pass to Brian Gionta, of all people, who ended up scoring on a sweet little move all alone on a breakaway to end the period.
BOS – Nash (Pastrnak, Miller), Gionta (Chara, Wingels)
PHI – Voracek PP (Patrick, Giroux)
The start of the period kicked off with a pretty questionable penalty called on Torey Krug that the Bruins were able to kill off pretty easily. After some back and forth from the teams, Rick Nash drew yet another penalty when he was slashed again, sending the Bruins to their second power play. But just as the Bruins were starting to settle into a setup in the Flyers’ end, Philly sprung Oskar Lindblom on a two-on-one where he threw the puck into Rask’s open five-hole. The rest of the period was more physical play along the boards, with lots of chances with good puck movement from both teams.
BOS – N/A
PHI – Lehtera SH (Filppula, Gudas)
Another early period penalty put Boston on the power play just a minute thirty into the final period. Chara was set up for a one-timer during the man advantage, but no one other than the goalie wanted to be in front of it so Lyon had a clear view of it all the way in to make the stop. Chara really showed off his offensive abilities around the ten-minute mark. He was pinching into the zone and using his reach and massive body to sweep around the net and throw the puck in front of the net, and he did this more than once. Sean Couturier broke into the Bruins end, forcing Marchand to slash him up in the hand/wrist area in hopes that it would cause him to miss, which it did. But this meant that he was going to the box. The Bruins were once again successful in killing it off. In the dying seconds of the third period, the hero Brad Marchand swooped in on net when there was a massive pile-up where he smacked in the puck to put the Bruins up by one with 30 seconds left in the game. And that was how it ended. 3-2 the final score.
BOS – Marchand (Pastrnak, Chara)
PHI – N/A
The Bruins played decent, not great, this game. They did have some very arguable penalties called against them and key players missing though. If Boston can do this while missing their top centermen, top 4 defencemen and arguably top 6 wingers, they will do that much better when they are all back in action.
KG’s Three Stars Of The Game
1st: Brad Marchand – Yet another game winner for him. I guess that makes him relatively elite. Another complete game from him, even though there was some funny business with penalties. And that one time he kind of gave up on a backcheck that cost the team the one-goal lead. Oh well, he made up for it with that game winner.
2nd: Zdeno Chara – Chara had a great night. It almost seemed like he turned back the clock the way that he was galloping out there. With two assists, four shots and a +/- of +2, Chara was incredible. He also played 23:55 tonight, over four minutes more than the next guy (Marchand with 19:25).
3rd: Brian Gionta – Surprisingly “Gio” played a really good game in a limited timeframe. He scored the Bruins second goal of the night and played an old school kind of grind-it-out game.
MUP (Most Under-Appreciated Player): Tuukka Rask – Right off of the start, Rask was bombarded with shots all night. He stopped 31 out of the 33 he faced and came up big when they needed him and this is all while he is supposedly still a bit hurt.
BIRDHOUSE – Round-up of the best Tweets during the game
Saturday, March 10th vs Chicago in Boston