By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @dairybeast
Coming into the second game of the 2021/2022 season, the Bruins had not played in four days since their season opener at home against the Dallas Stars. That rust showed as the game went on, and despite amassing 40 shots, the Bruins fell to the Flyers 6-3 tonight. Jeremy Swayman got the start for the Bruins, who wore their black third jerseys on the road against Martin Jones manning the net for the Flyers. Let’s review tonight’s action and preview what’s next for our beloved Black and Gold.
The Bruins started fast in the first period, quickly getting on top of the Flyers and using the energy they had saved up from their long rest. Despite their strong start, though, it was the Flyers who broke through first. Cam Atkinson took a stretch pass from Derick Brassard and entered the Bruins’ zone on a two-on-one with Joel Farabee. Rather than slide the puck across to his teammate, Atkinson used a leg-kick fake to freeze Swayman and slide the puck under Swayman’s pad to make it 1-0 about midway through the period.
The Bruins were able to respond, however, after failing to score on a power-play late in the period. That power-play failed to record a shot on the net, so the Bruins’ fourth line decided to throw everything on the net. That attitude paid off, and Karson Kuhlman found himself with the puck on his stick and an open net, and he made no mistake, roofing the puck for his first goal of the season and just his seventh of his career.
Just three minutes later, though, the Bruins committed a cardinal sin of hockey and let the Flyers score with less than 30 seconds left to take the lead into the intermission. The Flyers’ power-play did a much better job than their opponents at getting the puck to the net, and just as Kuhlman was able to find a rebound, so too was Joel Farabee who turned the puck into the net with just nine seconds left in the first period to give the Flyers a lead once again.
End of First Period: BOS 1 – PHI 2
Shots: BOS 10 – PHI 7
The second period was just as entertaining as the first. Less than two minutes into the game, Massachusetts native Keith Yandle made a fantastic indirect pass into the offensive zone, and his forwards did their job as well. James Van Riemsdyk won the race to the loose puck and slid a great feed to Scott Laughton. Laughton didn’t fire the puck but rather shoveled it through Swayman’s wickets and into the net to extend the Philadelphia lead.
That woke the Bruins up a bit, as they answered with a beautiful goal of their own not long after. Taylor Hall took a great pass from Charlie McAvoy and walked in on Jones all alone, faking to his backhand before flicking the puck top shelf past Jones’s gloved hand and into the net to cut the lead to 3-2.
Then, with just a minute left in the period, Brad Marchand got himself into a good position at the back post as David Pastrnak attempted a wrap-around. The puck squirted loose right to Marchand, and he did exactly what he gets paid to do, banging the puck into the net to tie the game for the Bruins heading into the third period.
End of Second Period: BOS 3 – PHI 3
Shots: BOS 28 – PHI 17
Heading into the third period tied, the game was completely up for grabs. The Bruins had the advantage in shots and effort, but the Flyers showed that the advantage of playing more games is more finely tuned. A sloppy turnover at the red line by Mike Reilly allowed Farabee and Atkinson to break into the zone on another two-on-one, this time with Farabee carrying the puck. Farabee delayed just long enough to let McAvoy slide past the passing lane before slipping the puck over to Atkinson to give the Flyers their lead back.
Sean Couturier carried the puck across the blue line and dropped it to Travis Konecny after another somewhat lazy play by Mike Reilly in the neutral zone. Konecny faked a wrist shot which buckled Conor Clifton’s knees before sniping a wrist shot into the top corner. That stretched the Flyers’ lead to 5-3 before Couturier opened his account for the year with an empty-net goal late in the game with Brandon Carlo in the box for roughing Couturier in a post-whistle scrum with under three minutes to play.
Final Score: BOS 3 – PHI 6
Shots: BOS 40 – PHI 25
The Bruins don’t have to wait quite as long for their next game, which comes this Friday in Buffalo. They’ll take on the Jack Eicheless Sabres, who have been the surprise of the season thus far, starting 3-0 and sitting in a tie for first place in the Atlantic. It will be a good test for the Bruins and may showcase Linus Ullmark against his former team for his first regular-season start as a Bruin. It also is a big divisional game early in the season against a team that many fans would expect the Bruins to take care of business against. These early divisional games are the games that the Bruins need to make sure they win to get into the playoffs.