BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron‘s night summed up the team’s recent run of play. His goal early in the second period put the team ahead 2-1. His stumble in overtime led to Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim‘s breakaway game-winning goal with 1:52 remaining, giving the visiting Flyers the 3-2 win and valuable extra point in front of 2,191 at TD Garden.
However, it was defenseman Jeremy Lauzon whose recent play has mirrored that of the Bruins’ season. A solid start to the year was side-tracked due to injury. Since returning, the youngster has struggled to regain his form. His second Holding penalty of the night in the third period led to Philadelphia’s game-tying power-play goal.
For the sixth straight game, the Bruins found themselves in the hole by allowing the game’s first goal. Travis Konecny banged home a rebound of a Claude Giroux shot at 10:15. The goal was the eighth of the season for the 5′-10″ winger from London, ONT. Bruins goalie Dan Vladar (29 saves) made the initial stop on Giroux, but the rebound fell to Konecny at the far post.
The Bruins would answer at 17:33 when Karson Kuhlman sniped a shot top-corner past Flyers goalie Brian Elliott (27 saves). The play started when Bruins defenseman Jakub Zboril tripped up Flyers forward Jakob Voracek in the Flyers zone. The loose puck went to Charlie Coyle at the blue line, and the veteran forward dished across the ice to Kuhlman, who walked in and beat Elliott glove-side high for his second goal of the year.
Boston opened the second period with 1:19 left on an overlapping Tripping call on Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. It only took the Bruins forty-six seconds to capitalize on the fresh sheet of ice. Bergeron redirected a David Pastrnak pass past Elliott in front of the Flyers’ goal to make it 2-1 Bruins. Bergeron’s 12th of the season moved him into fourth on the Bruins All-Time scoring list with 899 points (364 G 535 A), trailing only Ray Bourque, John Bucyk, and Phil Esposito.
The Flyers has multiple scoring opportunities during the second, but Bruins goalie Vladar was stellar all period. The biggest stretch came with Lauzon in the penalty box for Holding. Vladar went post to post in succession to stop first Giroux and then Konecny.
In the third, Lauzon was called again for Holding. This time Vladar couldn’t bail out the young defenseman. Sean Couturier tied the game with a snapshot that beat Vladar glove-side high at 6:56. Couturier corralled a pass from Ivan Provorov above the left circle, walked in, and unloaded the tying goal just inside the circle. The goal was the eleventh of the season for the 10-year veteran from Phoenix, AZ.
The Flyers and Bruins traded quality scoring opportunities in overtime before Sanheim’s game-winner. Vladar made a toe save at the post on Sanheim at one end. Elliott turned back a Bruins bid by Matt Grzelcyk, and then Bergeron had his slip.
Boston is in fourth place on 44 points, while Philadelphia is nipping at their heels on 41 points. The two teams conclude a home and home series Tuesday in Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center at 7 pm.
“There were some good things,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “We took a lead into the third; we took a bad penalty. The same guy (Lauzon), a similar type of penalty. He’s going to have to do a better job with his one on ones. We’re going to have to do a better job of identifying what you can get away with, but that’s been an issue.”
“That hurt us, obviously. It was the only chance we gave up in the third period,” added Cassidy. “Unfortunately, in overtime, we had a couple of pucks on our sticks that we weren’t able to get to the net or past the goalie, and they (Philadelphia) did.”
“Our power play found a way to tie it up,” said Flyers coach Allain Vigneault. “We had some real good looks in overtime. Travis (Sanheim) was able to score a big goal there that gave us this win. Now we have to hurry up and get home and get ready for tomorrow. Because tomorrow’s just as important as today.”