Boston, MA – A Saturday night affair between the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins is usually a rock’em sock’em event at TD Garden. Tonight the Flyers were the only ones to get socked as Boston won handily, 6-1. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron had 2 goals apiece, and Jaroslav Halak only needed to make 16 saves in the win.
Overall, the home team played a well-rounded game: three power-play goals and three five-on-five goals coupled with a stout defensive zone game.
“I sure liked what I saw today out of all the groups,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy.
Philadelphia defenseman Mark Friedman was sent off for Hooking at 7:55. The Bruins power-play wasted little time in capitalizing on the man advantage. Bergeron notched his second goal of the young season when he lifted a rebound over a sprawled out Carter Hart (20 saves). Brett Ritchie and Charlie McAvoy were credited with the assists.
At one end, a Bergeron bid turned into an innocuous bid by the Flyers at the other end until Kevin Hayes redirected a Jakub Voracek shot through Halak’s legs as he tried to track the puck at 1:14.
Boston answered at 2:30 when Craig Smith buried a rebound into an empty Flyers net. Charlie Coyle and Jeremy Lauzon assisted Smith’s first goal as a member of the Bruins.
Coyle was called for Tripping at 12:37. Other than a Voracek shot off the face-off, the Flyers power-play could not generate much against the Bruins penalty kill. The Flyers generated very little offense, in general, all night.
Shortly after serving his penalty, Coyle added to the Bruins lead when he tipped in a Trent Frederic pass in front of the Flyers net. Frederic and Smith assisted Coyle’s second of the season. The assist for Frederic was his first NHL point in 22 career games.
In the third, Marchand caught a long stretch pass and raced in on Hart, but Hart made the save. A solid forecheck by Jake DeBrusk in the Flyers zone led to a turnover. Bergeron then found Marchand alone in front of Hart at 4:13. Bergeron and DeBrusk assisted on Marchand’s first of the night.
In between plays, Frederic goaded Friedman into an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty.
Another Marchand goal, this time on the power-play, made it 5-1 Bruins at 7:59. Marchand caught a Ritchie cross-ice pass at the top of the right circle, walked in, and snapped a rocket over Hart’s glove. Ritchie and Jakub Zboril assisted on Marchand’s second of the game, third of the season. For the 6′-0″ Zboril, it was the first NHL point of his young career.
Philly forward James van Riemsdyk was called for Tripping at 13:07. Bergeron scored on a rebound at 13:33 to make it 6-1. Marchand and McAvoy assisted Bergeron’s second power-play of the game.
“Well, Philly’s a big team,” said Cassidy. “I thought we pushed them hard tonight…We have to try to do that every night.”
“Our whole line-up, we’re trying to make sure we’re hard to play against,” added Cassidy. “We said Thursday night we weren’t hard to play against offensively. Now we seem to build some of those traits into our game. If we can do it on both sides of the puck, we feel we can be as good as anybody.”
The Flyers travel to New Jersey to take on the Devils at Prudential Center on Tuesday. The Bruins will host The Pittsburgh Penguins for the first of two on Tuesday as well. Both games start at 7:00 pm on Tuesday.
Cover photo appears courtesy of Brian Fluharty.