BOSTON – Sometimes it is more fortunate to be lucky than good.
The Boston Bruins were a prime example of that statement Thursday night in front of another sellout crowd of 17,565 at the TD Garden in their 7-5 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
After the Bruins were a victim of a couple of unlucky breaks in the second period, Nikolay Zherdev and Jeff Carter each took advantage of the unfortunate bounces against the Black and Gold and gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead heading into the second intermission.
But, in a game that saw five lead changes during the course of the sixty minutes, things started to bounce the Bruins way.
Just 38 seconds into the third when Mark Recchi gathered the puck off a crazy bounce off the boards on a Zdeno Chara dump in and buried the puck into the empty net to tie the game at 3-3.
“I was just trying to throw the puck out there,” Recchi said with a laugh when talking about his ninth goal of the season. “I was just trying to get a good forecheck going but I got a nice lucky bounce and I’ll take it. You don’t get those too often.
“It was huge. When you see a puck like that come out you just hope it doesn’t bounce off your stick or something when you have a wide open net,” Recchi said about how lit his eyes were when he saw the puck bounce his way.
Things might not have been as fortunate for the Bruins, however, as they weren’t able to sustain their momentum from their lucky breaks.
Shortly after Recchi’s goal, Michael Ryder tipped the puck past Flyers goalie Brian Boucher on Adam McQuaid’s shot from the point to give the Bruins their second lead of the game just 1:10 after Recchi’s ninth goal of the year.
“It wasn’t the way we wanted to start the period,” said Flyers forward Mike Richards. “We would rather have a better start [to the period] but sometimes you get bounces and sometimes you don’t.”
However, exactly five minutes after Ryder’s 12th goal of the year, Flyers forward Danny Briere gathered a rebound off a shot from Braydon Coburn and buried it past Tim Thomas for his 23rd goal of the season at 6:48. Fifty-three seconds later, Sean O’Donnell (out of all people) jumped in on a Flyers odd-man rush and buried his first goal of the season to give the Flyers a 5-4 lead at 7:41.
“That’s the type of team the Flyers are,” said Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron, who scored his 14th goal of the season just 45 seconds into the second period. “They have lots of firepower up front but I thought we did a great job of scoring goals and staying up and coming in the game to earn a couple of points.”
“We started sustaining pressure and had a couple bad bounces, a couple bad shifts and they’re right back in the lead,” said Bruins defenseman Steven Kampfer, who played a huge role in the game. “It’s something we’ve got to tighten up on and we’ll work on it in practice, but we’re lucky to get two points out of here.”
And just when one thought things couldn’t get any crazier, well, it did.
After what was perhaps a questionable non-call down the Flyers end — where the puck might have been ruled out of play when it hit the protective netting — the Bruins took advantage as Blake Wheeler found a streaking Brad Marchand who netted his ninth goal of the season to tie the game at 5-5 at 11:26.
From there Kampfer played the role of the hero on this crazy night. The Bruins rookie blue-liner made a brilliant play to keep the puck in the Flyers end late in the game. From there the former University of Michigan defenseman gathered the puck and wristed a shot past Boucher’s blocker side to put the Bruins ahead for good.
“I saw the guy rimming the puck around the wall there. I had a jump on the guy – the forward up on the red line – so I jumped in,” Kampfer said about his game-winner. “I just tried to get a shot on net and I was fortunate enough to beat him far-side high.”
Gregory Campbell added his fifth goal of the year on an empty netter at 19:53 to seal the come from behind victory for the Black and Gold.