That win was never in doubt. Not for one second. Just kidding. It was in doubt for the entire second and third periods but the Bruins got a nice, hard fought, 3-2 road win over the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. All three members of the Bergeron line scored, with Bergy himself, Brad Marchand, and Brett Connolly putting up the points. Once again the refereeing was questionable at times all night, specifically when the the Flyers scored the 2-2 game tying goal in the third period. Coach Claude Julien challenged that the goal shouldn’t count because Philadelphia was offside on the play, which they clearly were. The entire human population with good eye sight was surprised when it came back that it was ruled onside and a good goal. But with a late goal by Connolly, and surviving two more missed offside calls, the Bruins hung on and got it done.
Here are BostonPucks.com 3 Thoughts from tonight’s game:
1) Tuukka Kept Boston In It
For a guy who was a game time decision vintage Tuukka Rask was on display all night. After a relatively easy and quiet first period for the Rask the entire game changed completely in the second period when Brad Marchand took a penalty just two second in. Tuukka went on to face four consecutive Flyers power plays, 15 shots, and a never ending wave of attack time in the middle frame as the Bruins game began to slip. In the end, Tuukka finished with 34 saves for a .944 save percentage and stole a victory from the Philadelphia Flyers. More importantly, the Flyers are chasing the Bruins for a playoff spot and weren’t even able to get the game to overtime and scrape together a single point.
We’ve said it all along here, if the Bruins make the playoffs it’s because Tuukka Rask is their MVP and tonight he was exactly that. Some one buy the guy a shot. Case in point right here:
2) Connolly Comes Up Huge
The player fans love to hate sealed the win for the Bruins tonight. With just 1:54 left in the third period Brett Connolly redirected a Zdeno Chara softball, who got his second assist of the night, past Neuvirth:
I’ve yet to give up on Connolly and haven’t been hard on the guy one bit. Yes, it sucks he hasn’t scored more, but Claude Julien, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron’s recent comments on Connolly sure speak to how he is still valued with his play away from the puck and helping create room for the 63-37 duo to do their thing. This may be the goal that heats up 14 and gets him back on track. Unfortunately for him it came when there’s only one more game to go before the 6 day All-Star break.
3) Jekyll And Hyde Play Continues
It’s the same ol’ story; Bruins dominate, then get dominated, then hang on, then… who knows? Boston outshot Philly 16-8 in the first period and ran the show despite a few bad turnovers. But in the second period it turned into “Opposite Day”. They were atrocious, taking penalty after penalty while being out shot 15-6. They completely became a shell of themselves from the first period. But with a better third period they gave some push-back and generated some real good scoring chances on the way to the game winning goal. It’s just a wild roller coaster ride nearly every night out for this team and most of it starts with a young blue line making some costly decisions that lead to mistakes, which often lead to penalties or gimme goals. Tonight they were just enough of their good self to get the win.
- As I was saying, the growing pains still exist. In the first 5 minutes of the game Kevan Miller had two clean chances to get the puck out of the D-zone and didn’t. And Zach Trotman nearly set up Philly for a quick break on Tuukka when he had delivered a breakout pass right to the Flyers. Jonas Kemppainen was content making turnovers tonight as well. Most all were unforced errors to boot. That has to end someday, right?
- Bruins power play is back. The Bruins were 2-4 on the power play and were generating good scoring opportunities. The return of David Krejci has made a huge difference for the first unit and they got a goal from the second power play unit as well when Chara found Marchand for a one timer.
- Ryan Spooner again looked good playing the wing. Tonight he was on the left side with Krejci and Eriksson. Regardless of what line he is on he increases the skill level. He is turning into a really dynamic player for the Bruins.
- The Giroux, Simmonds, and Voracek burned the Bruins again. Simmonds had both Flyers’ goals. That line always plays well against the Bruins. Man, it would be nice if the Bruins could get Simmonds some how.