The scoring started early in this one and never slowed down. Goals were produced in just about every way possible, and the two clubs kept fans on the edge of their seat much of the afternoon. At the final buzzer, Boston captured a very important 6-3 victory.
It did not take long for the action to get rolling in the first frame. Bruins fans saw their opening minute woes continue as Philadelphia got on the board just 2:05 into the game. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare tipped in Ivan Provorov’s shot from the point that found its way over Tuukka Rask’s shoulder. The goal was Bellemare’s third tally of the season to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins were able to respond about five minutes later with a goal of their own. With the Flyers on the power play, Brad Marchand stole the puck at the point to give himself a breakaway. Marchand had a defender on his back, but fended him off and slid the puck through Neuvirth’s legs for his 16th goal of the season.
There was a lot of back and forth play in the first 15 minutes of the frame, but the final five minutes saw Boston put a lot of pressure on the Flyers. At the end of the period, the game was tied at one with each team registering 10 shots on goal.
There was a flurry of goals in the second frame as six pucks found the back of the net. The scoring started two minutes in with a power play goal by David Krejci. Krejci received a pass from Austin Czarnik and blasted a wrist shot over Neuvirth’s glove for his 10th goal of the year and 500th point of his NHL career.
Boston stayed in attack mode and was able to open their lead to 3-1 after a goal by Torey Krug at the six-minute mark. Krug started the rush in the Bruins’ zone by dishing the puck off to Marchand and going straight to the Flyers’ net. Marchand found Krug in front, and he deflected the puck past Neuvirth for his fourth goal of the season.
Down by two, Philadelphia needed to stop the momentum the home team was generating. Brayden Schenn answered the call by registering a power-play goal that cut the deficit back to one. Schenn was able to beat Rask with a tip shot to extend his point streak to five games.
The next goal for Boston was set up after a scary hit from behind on Kevan Miller by Jakub Voracek. Voracek received a five-minute major for the contact and Miller was forced to leave the game.
On the ensuing power play, Patrice Bergeron scored after his shot deflected off of Flyers’ defenseman Andrew MacDonald’s stick and over the shoulder of Neuvirth . Bergeron’s ninth goal of the year restored the Bruins two-goal advantage with seven minutes remaining in the period.
A little over two minutes after Bergeron’s tally, Boston scored their fifth goal of the contest off a rocket shot by Zdeno Chara. David Pastrnak helped to set up Chara’s goal by delivering a pass across the offensive zone, and the captain one-timed the puck into an open net to open the lead to 5-2.
In the closing minute of the period, the Flyers received a golden opportunity to get back into the game, and they delivered. With a two-man power play advantage, Wayne Simmonds cashed in his 18th goal of the season to bring the visitors back within two goals. The goal gave Philadelphia a much-needed boost heading into the final frame.
Even though Boston scored four goals in the second period, all the momentum heading into the third belonged to the Flyers. They started the period with a good power play effort but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities.
However, the missed power play chance did not slow their offense down as they put a lot of pressure on the Bruins. Despite the Flyers pressure, they were only able to register five shots on net in the third as the Bruins defense was able to keep the Flyer forwards away from the net.
Marchand was able to ice the game for Boston with an empty net goal late in the frame. The goal was Marchand’s fifth point of the contest and gave the Bruins a 6-3 victory.
Seven goals in five games for Brad Marchand with empty netter. Like I said, he's nuclear right now
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) January 14, 2017
PHI-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (3) assisted by Ivan Provorov (17) and Chris VandeVelde (6)
BOS-Brad Marchand SH (16) Unassisted
BOS-David Krejci PP (10) assisted by Austin Czarnik (8)
BOS-Torey Krug (4) assisted by Brad Marchand (24) and David Pastrnak (13)
PHI-Brayden Schenn PP (15) assisted by Mark Streit (12) and Claude Giroux (27)
BOS-Patrice Bergeron PP (9) assisted by Brad Marchand (25) and Torey Krug (24)
BOS-Zdeno Chara (3) assisted by David Pastrnak (14) and Brad Marchand (26)
PHI-Wayne Simmonds PP (18) assisted by Jakub Voracek (28) and Claude Giroux (28)
BOS-Brad Marchand EN (17) Unassisted
THW THREE STARS
First: Brad Marchand (two goals, three assists)
Second: David Pastrnak (two assists)
Third: Claude Giroux (two assists)
Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals
Verizon Center-1:00 p.m. E.S.T
Broadcast Channels-NBC, TVAS, CSN-DC, CSN-PH
2016-17 Season Series: Flyers Lead 1-0
New York Islanders at Boston Bruins
TD Garden-1:00 p.m. E.S.T
Broadcast Channels-NESN, SN, MSG+, 98.5 The Sports Hub
2016-17 Season Series: Islanders Lead 1-0
Anthony Pagliarulo is a Boston Bruins contributor for The Hockey Writers. He is a Massachusetts native and a Worcester State University alumni. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @APags87.