Boston Bruins: 3 Takeaways from Their 3-0 Win over the Philadelphia Flyers
The opportunistic Boston Bruins raided an otherwise rigid rampart during its brief, uncharacteristic letdown Saturday afternoon, bagging three goals in a span of 2:18 en route to a 3-0 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Outside of a 13-shot second period and four registered power-play stabs in the third, the visiting Flyers did not percolate much on offense. They were, however, overwhelming on the other side of the puck, with 41 hits and 25 blocked shots, as opposed to 31 hits and 18 blocks by Boston.
It wasn’t until 10:50 of the opening frame that the Bruins chalked up their first shot on goal, courtesy of Daniel Paille. They finished the day with 28.
But beginning with the Bruins’ first man advantage in the 12th minute of action, there was a time when pucks and puck carriers were consistently permitted to pester and singe Philadelphia goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
With a five-on-four tally by Tyler Seguin and two even-strength strikes via Chris Kelly and Paille, the hosts buried three consecutive attempted shots. That stretch saw no saves by the netminder, no blocks by the orange-and-black-clad praetorian guards, nothing wide and only two hits endured in between.
That would be the topmost difference in the game, but not without the aid of other important aspects of Saturday’s performance that came within the 45 minutes and 49 seconds after Paille’s goal. Three of those are reviewed as follows.
Redemption for Rask
Entering this season-series opener, the Bruins were 6-1-1 in the previous two years against Philadelphia. If you include the playoffs, it was a 10-1-1 romp.
Tuukka Rask took the nod to face the Flyers for the first time since taking the albatross in Boston’s 2010 postseason collapse. Uncannily enough, it was also his first outing overall since the Bruins spilled another 3-0 lead en route to another 4-3 drawback in Washington on Tuesday.
As it happened, just as Thomas and his skating mates did in their first post-2010 playoffs rematch with the Flyers on Dec. 1, 2010, Rask rinsed out any residual vinegar with a 3-0 shutout victory.
Rask thus improved to 3-0-1 in his regular-season career versus Philadelphia with a 23-save effort, including four saves on a pair of unanswered penalty kills in the closing frame.
Granted, it was his fourth-lowest workload of the year and lowest of all since Feb. 6, but he never succumbed to frostbite after any slews of inactivity and responded appropriately to each challenge.
Seids and Strength
To no small extent, the Bruins would need to match Philadelphia’s uncompromising defensive stinginess to keep those two minutes and 18 seconds decisive. Home blueliner Dennis Seidenberg exemplified that effort with a team-high 7-of-31 hits while tying Johnny Boychuk with four blocked shots.
That, along with credit for one of Boston’s eight takeaways, was good for Seidenberg to garner a "third star" badge courtesy of the Bruins’ radio broadcast network. In addition, he and Boychuk were each rewarded with a plus-one rating, being on the ice for the second and third goals, respectively.
Joining Boychuk and Seidenberg in the multi-block department were fellow defenseman Adam McQuaid, Rich Peverley and 2013 debutant Jordan Caron. The third-year professional winger saw his first NHL action since the end of the Bruins’ 2012 playoff run and, with the primary assist on Kelly’s goal, his first point at this level since April 5, 2012.
One Way, Their Way
Philadelphia slightly out-disciplined Boston, as evidenced by a 3-2 edge in the penalty department. It garnered the first power play of the game only 63 seconds into the action and had two chances to whittle down the deficit via the man advantage in the closing frame.
Yet it could not cultivate anything out of its top 10 power-play brigade, which has now converted 22.6 percent of its chances. It entered Saturday’s action having pounced on and buried 24 out of 103 opportunities for a 23.3 percent success rate.
On the flip side, Boston beefed up its league-leading penalty killing percentage to 92.1 while Seguin tied Brad Marchand for the team lead with three man-up strikes on the year. The identical 1-of-2 ratings for the Bruins power play and the Flyers’ PK docked the latter to No. 11 in the league with 82.6 percent efficiency.