(Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/AP Photo)

By: Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter / X @adbblue

The Boston Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 6-5 at TD Garden Saturday night in a game that featured a wacky 3rd period. It was a ruckus crowd on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, and they saw an entertaining one. It seemed as if the Bruins pulled away after three quick strikes early in the final period.

But the pesky Flyers hung around and made things interesting to the bitter end. The Black and Gold were able to gut it out and survive to earn the win. Head coach Jim Montgomery spoke about his team closing out games following the win. “We got to close out games. We can’t just think it’s over. Other teams are desperate, and it’s gonna be like a playoff game. We got to be a little bit better and more mature as a team and close out those games.”   

First Period

The Bruins had the first great opportunity of the night, with David Pastrnak ripping a snap shot wide of the goal from the high slot. Just after that, Pastrnak committed a costly turnover, which led to a two-on-one for the Flyers. They capitalized on the blunder, and Ryan Poeling gave his team a 1-0 lead after burying a feed from Garnet Hathaway.

Pastrnak had another chance from the slot, this time off the rush, but his shot went wide again. Boston finally registered their first shot of the game just over 12 minutes in on a three-on-two where Johnny Beecher almost snuck one by Felix Sandstorm. The Flyers had a chance to extend their lead when Travis Konecny got in alone behind Parker Wotherspoon, but Jeremy Swayman denied him.

On the rush the other way following that chance, Morgan Geekie tied the game 1-1 with an absolute rocket, beating Sandstorm’s top shelf on the blocker side. With just 2:05 left, Brandon Carlo was called for tripping, which was the game’s first penalty. Despite having a fluid power play, the Flyers were unable to cash in. The Bruins got key shot blocks from Brad Marchand and Andrew Peeke, which helped them kill off the man advantage. The Flyers had the edge in shots on goal 8-5.

Second Period

Boston had the first scoring chance of the middle frame, with Matt Grzelcyk joining the rush and getting a nice setup by Trent Frederic, but Sandstorm got across to keep it out. Shortly after that, Frederic had another great setup, this time hitting Geekie going to the net, but Sandstorm got his pad down. A third chance came when Jake DeBrusk threaded the needle to Marchand in front, but the puck deflected high over the net.

Philadelphia received their second power play of the net on a questionable call against Charlie McAvoy for an illegal check to the head. The Flyers scored on a Joel Farabee deflection just after the penalty expired for a 2-1 lead. With 5:16 to go, the Bruins received their first power play of the night. They took advantage of it and tied the game 2-2 after a great Pavel Zacha face-off win, which got the puck to Marchand, who fed Coyle, and he stuffed it into a gaping net. Boston had the shots-on-goal advantage 15-10 and controlled more of the play.

Third Period

Only 1:08 into the third, the Bruins took a 3-2 lead on Coyle’s second goal of the game. He made a great backhand to forehand move and went top shelf. Just over 2:00 after that, Johnny Beecher got on the board after getting a great pass from Peeke, which gave him his first point as a Bruin and made the score 4-2. The rookie touched on scoring in his postgame availability. “Huge. Just happy to get on the board and just trying to help the team win any way I can.” Then, 0:19 later, the Black and Gold made it 5-2 after DeBrusk got the puck down low and tucked it past Sandstrom. The Flyers looked to respond after Heinen was given a minor penalty for playing with a broken stick.

But the Bruins penalty killers held down the fort, and the penalty expired. After Boston failed to score on the power play, the Flyers got one back with just under 6:00 left, making it 5-3. Nick Deslauriers was Johnny on the spot and tucked the puck in from behind the net, as Swayman didn’t know where it was. The Flyers then made it a 5-4 game on a highlight reel goal by Morgan Frost, who went between his legs, beating Swayman.

The Bruins answered on a huge goal by Danton Heinen going top shelf on a two-on-one to make it 6-4, but the Flyers wouldn’t go away. They again made it a one-goal game when Farabee got his second, banking the puck in on a net-mouth scramble to make it 6-5. The Black and Gold were able to withstand one final onslaught from the Flyers and come away with a victory.

Up Next

Next, the Bruins will host the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden on Tuesday night. The puck drop will be at 7:00 p.m. and will mark the second of three meetings between the teams this season. Boston won the first game in Ottawa 3-2 in overtime.