By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff
In Game 46 of the ’11-’12 season for the Boston Bruins, they would visit the Philadelphia Flyers in a Sunday Matinee game. The Bruins were sitting at a mighty 30-13-2, but Philly was also having an impressive season as they were 28-13-5. Boston came into this game without defenseman Andrew Ference, as he was serving a three-game suspension for boarding New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. It indeed was a chaotic game that had fans on the edge of their seats. A game that featured a Scott Hartnell hat-trick, three fights, eleven total goals, and a shootout victory from Boston. So Bruins fans, let’s look back at this day in Bruins history.
Bruins Come Out Hot
The puck was dropped, and it only took Boston 50 seconds to get on the scoreboard. Patrice Bergeron was able to score his 15th goal of the season, with assists coming from Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin. A short 34 seconds later, in an effort to give the Flyers momentum, Tom Sestito dropped the gloves with Milan Lucic. Lucic connected on three straight blows and won the fight decisively.
Although Sestito lost the fight, it seemed to give Philly a boost as just 41 seconds later, Maxime Talbot put the Flyers on the board, and it was 1-1. It was Talbot’s 11th goal of the season, with assists going to Kimmo Timonen and Ilya Bryzgalov. Seven minutes later in the period after five total penalties being called on both teams, youngster Tyler Seguin scored on the powerplay and propelled Boston to a 2-1 lead. Seguin produced his 18th goal of the season and Patrice Bergeron and Benoit Pouliot got the assists.
Seconds before the halfway mark of the first period, Brayden Schenn laid a substantial open-ice hit on Steven Kampfer, and Chris Kelly didn’t like that. With the exception of that, Chris Kelly stood up for his teammate, fought Schenn, and both went to the box for five. 7:30 remaining in the opening 20, Lucic pushed the Bruins ahead by two goals after netting his 17th goal of the season, assists going to David Krejci and Adam McQuaid.
The remainder of the period ticked away, and after 20 minutes played, Boston was ahead 3-1. It indeed was an eventful first period, four total goals, two fights, colossal hits, 36 penalty minutes, and there were still 40 minutes of hockey yet to be played!
Scott Hartnell and Flyers Dominate 2nd Period
Second Period action was underway, and the Flyers were not playing nicely. Not even three minutes into the period, Tom Sestino hit Nathan Horton well after he shot the puck. Horton retaliated with a hit to the back of Sestito. Soon enough, both teams were in another scrum. Philly would end up on the powerplay as a result and Scott Hartnell took advantage by scoring on the powerplay.
It was now a one-goal deficit with 16:37 remaining. However, Hartnell wasn’t going away quietly as just four minutes later, he scored again, and now the game was tied at three apiece. Three seconds after the faceoff of the tying goal by Philadelphia, Shawn Thornton and Jody Shelley decided to go at it. Both heavyweights dropped significant blows to each other, and both were off to the box.
As the second period was in its last two minutes, Lucic was called for interference and Philly had a chance to take the lead heading into the third period. The Flyers would continue to ride the hot hand of Scott Hartnell as Hartnell netted the powerplay goal, and it was now a 4-3 Flyer lead.
The ice was then littered with hats as it was Hartnell’s third goal, and he successfully had the hat-trick. The final seconds ticked away, and after two periods played, Philadelphia held a 4-3 lead. After Boston went into the second period up two goals, they went into the third down one and had to dig deep to pull back in this game.
Regualtion not Enough, Extra Time Needed
The final 20 minutes of action was underway, and David Krejci netted his eleventh goal of the season to even the game at four. The goal came just 1:19 into the period with assists going to Rich Peverley and Milan Lucic. Boston wasn’t done yet as Gregory Campbell put Boston back up by one just three minutes later. It was Campbell’s sixth goal of the season with assists going to Daniel Paille and Adam McQuaid. Seconds before the period’s halfway mark, an excursion next to Tim Thomas led to Shawn Thornton going after Scott Hartnell.
As Chris Kelly was going to clear the puck, Hartnell decided to hit Kelly up high, and Thornton didn’t like that. Thornton pursued Hartnell and dropped the gloves, but as a result, he had to serve two penalties, and Philly was on the powerplay. The Flyers wasted no time to pounce on the opportunity, and Maxime Talbot scored to tie the game at five apiece. For the last nine minutes of the third, both teams looked to put their team ahead, but both were unsuccessful, and this game was heading to Overtime.
The anticipation was overwhelming for both teams as Overtime was underway, and 3:20 into sudden death, Boston had a golden opportunity to earn their 31st victory of the season. Kimmo Timonen was called for holding, and Boston was on the man-advantage. However, Boston was unable to convert, and Overtime was quickly over. Therefore, a shootout was upon us.
Philadephia would get the first shot and sent out Matt Read. Read skated in on Thomas but lost the puck on the backhand, and Philly’s first chance was unsuccessful. For Boston’s first shot, they sent out David Krejci. Krejci flew in and ripped it over Bryzgalov’s glove. Claude Giroux was up next for the Flyers. Giroux sped in and roofed a beautiful backhand over a sprawling Tim Thomas. In an attempt to take a 2-1 lead in the shootout, Boston sent out Tyler Seguin.
Seguin deked Bryzgalov and snuck it by his right leg pad. Then, Philadelphia decided to send out Wayne Simmonds to keep their chances of winning alive. Simmonds skated in, but Thomas stuffed him, and the Bruins would win 6-5! Not only did Boston win, but they were now on top of the Eastern Conference and were about to fly to the White House due to them winning the Cup in 2011.