By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
Following back-to-back regulation losses to the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, the Boston Bruins are back for the much-anticipated outdoor game at Lake Tahoe. The Bruins hold a three-point lead on their opponents, the Philadelphia Flyers heading into the game, with the Flyers having a game in hand.
Philadelphia lost in their most-recent game out, a 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday, but would like to not only get back in the win column, but earn their first win over the Boston Bruins this season after falling short in the first four meetings.
Arena: Lake Tahoe, USA
Home: Boston Bruins (10-3-2; 1st in MassMutual East)
Away: Philadelphia Flyers (8-3-3; 2nd in MassMutual East)
Bruins’ Last Game: 3-2 loss vs NJD
Bruins’ Gameday Lineup:
Forward David Krejci (lower-body, day-to-day), defenceman Kevan Miller (load management), defenceman Matt Grzelcyk (lower-body), forward Ondrej Kase (upper-body) and defenceman Jakub Zboril (upper-body) are all out of the lineup for the Bruins. Jack Studnicka will center the third line, Coyle the second line while Vaakanainen enters on the second defensive pairing.
Absolutely no time wasted. Brad Marchand picks up a blocked shot and immediately takes it down the ice on a 2-on-1, feeding it across to David Pastrnak who scored 34 seconds into the game. Hard to start a game better than that.
Philadelphia started to find their game shortly after the goal. Aube-Kubel got an edge around a defenceman, driving towards Rask but Tuukka makes the stop. Minutes later, Joel Farabee grabs a pass off the boards and manages to get a shot off while falling to his back, catching Rask off guard and tying the game at one six minutes in.
Past the midway mark of the frame, both teams each have offensive zone time and get a few shots towards each goaltender, but both Hart and Rask look solid in the crease after their early goals against.
With 7:26 to go in the period, Sean Couturier gets his leg caught on Brad Marchand’s leg, resulting in a tripping penalty and the Bruins heading to the game’s first power-play. Boston got a few setups early on, but nothing came of it – penalty expiries.
Seconds after the penalty ends, Sean Couturier brings the puck down the ice, drops it back to a teammate and a few rebound chances later, Couturier buries the loose puck past a sprawling Tuukka Rask to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead late in the period. Bruins collapsed defensively and looked lost, Philly’s passing undressed them all.
Not long afterwards, Brad Marchand does an excellent job shielding the puck from a Flyer behind the net and gets the puck up high to Charlie McAvoy on the point. McAvoy unleashed a bomb that hits nothing but the mesh in the back of the net. 2-2.
Boston nearly scores again off a few decent chances late in the period, but the opening frame ends the same way it started – tied.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 9 PHI: 11
Score: 2-2 – Goals: Pastrnak (7) Assists: Marchand (10), Bergeron (12); Farabee (8) Assists: Couturier (4), van Riemsdyk (12); Couturier (3) Assists: Hayes (8), van Riemsdyk (13); McAvoy (2) Assists: Marchand (11), Clifton (1)
Again, less than two minutes into the period the Bruins strike. David Pastrnak gets the puck on edge and rips a gorgeous snipe short-side past Carter Hart for his second goal of the game, Bruins take a 3-2 lead.
Soon after the goal, Trent Frederic picks off a pass in the defensive zone and races it down the other way, passing it to Sean Kuraly. Kuraly dumps it off to McAvoy across the point for a quick one-timer, but Hart makes the chest save. Solid rush for the Bruins fourth-line.
Just about six minutes into the middle regulation period, the Flyers get called with too many men on the ice and Boston returns to the man-advantage. Hayes gets a shorthanded bid, but McAvoy with a solid defensive play deflects it out of play. B’s, however, can’t score on the power-play. Back to even-strength.
Late in the frame, Charlie Coyle picks off a pass and feeds it right away to Craig Smith. On a nifty give-and-go, Coyle rips a shot with Nick Ritchie net-front. Coyle’s shot hits the post, but bounces off the rear of Carter Hart and into the net. Coyle ends a nine-game pointless streak and Boston takes a two-goal lead.
Right after, Trent Frederic rips a shot off the faceoff circle that appears to surprise Hart and beats him glove high. Frederic scores his first career NHL goal and Boston exploded for a three-goal advantage.
After the play, the Flyers take a roughing penalty and the Bruins will go straight to the power-play. Bruins don’t take long to pass around the Flyers’ zone, eventually giving John Moore a bomb one-timer from the top of the point. Ritchie, net-front, tips the puck past Hart for Boston’s third goal in 99 seconds. 6-2.
Anders Bjork took a roughing penalty with just less than two minutes remaining in the period, but the Bruins look great throughout the penalty-kill – taking it to the second intermission. Philadelphia will start the third with a shortened power-play.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 23 PHI: 14
Score: 6-2 Bruins – Goals: Pastrnak (8) Assists: Ritchie (7), Vaakanainen (1); Coyle (3) Assists: Smith (3); Frederic (1) Assists: Moore (1), Clifton (2); Ritchie (6) PPG Assists: Moore (2), Smith (4)
Third and final regulation period begins with Brian Elliott in net for the Flyers. Carter Hart pulled after allowing six goals on 23 shots against.
Boston continues to control this game nine minutes into the third. Constant shots towards the Flyers traffic in front, just shooting at absolute will at this point. Bruins also looking great on all lines Flyers seem to be struggling to generate any offence.
At the 10:29 mark, Anders Bjork takes his second minor penalty of the night as his stick gets around Shayne Gostisbehere, bringing him down to the ice and leading to another Flyers’ power-play. Sean Kuraly had some great shorthanded forecheck that nearly gave Frederic a chance in front of Elliott, but puck stays out. Bruins go back to 5-on-5.
Brandon Carlo takes an interference penalty later in the period and directly off the offensive zone faceoff win, James van Riemsdyk with a deflection right in front of Rask goes through his own legs, then off the leg of Urho Vaakanainen past Tuukka, Flyers cut the lead to three.
With just less than three minutes to go on the scoreboard at Lake Tahoe, Jack Studnicka does a great job selling a shot only to feed it to his left to a wide open David Pastrnak. Pastrnak does not miss, burying the one-timer from his knee for the hat-trick and the Bruins lead 7-3.
Bruins finish the game, big win.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 35 PHI: 19
Final Score: 7-3 Bruins
Max’s Three Stars:
1st Star: BOS F David Pastrnak – 3 Goals, 4 Shots, 18:09 TOI
2nd Star: BOS F Brad Marchand – 2 Assists, +3 Rating, 16:53 TOI
3rd Star: BOS D Connor Clifton – 2 Assists, +3 Rating, 4 Blocks, 23:06 TOI
Bruins extend their lead in the MassMutual East Division to five points. Up next, the New York Islanders on Thursday.