The Flyers came into last night sitting dead last in the Metropolitan Division and second to last in the entire league. The Bruins, a team the Flyers seemingly never beat, on the other hand, came into Philly on a roll having gone 5-1-1 in their seven games in the month of January. That usually spells trouble for the Orange and Black. Well, not so much tonight it didn’t. Despite being outshot 42-19 throughout the course of the game, the Flyers were able to secure a win over the red hot Bruins. Here are my 3 Observations from the Flyers 4-3 win over the Bruins.
1. A Hart Stopping Performance:
What would the Flyers do without Carter Hart? They wouldn’t have beaten the Bruins last night, that’s for sure. Hart was spectacular, turning away 39 of the 42 shots fired his way. Hart made multiple breakaway stops in this one, including one on both Pastrnak and Bruins LW Danton Heinen. The 20-year-old phenomenon turned all 17 shots away in the 2nd period, swallowing up almost every shot fired his way.
It was a one and done situation most of the night for the Bruins. You can’t really put blame on Hart for any of the Bruins three goals. Bruins RW David Pastrnak’s power-play goal early on in the first period was made possible only because of a beautiful cross-ice pass from defenseman Torey Krug.
Later on in the 1st, Bruins LW Peter Cehlarik scored his first goal of the season off of a spectacular pass from Jake Debrusk. Cehlarik also tipped one past Hart late in the 3rd to make things interesting. Overall, Carter Hart now has a record of 5-5-1 to go along with a 2.72 goals against average and a .915 save percentage.
All five of his wins have come here at the Wells Fargo Center where he has compiled a 5-2-1 record, to go along with a stunning 2.51 goals against average and a spectacular .923 save percentage. He sure loves playing in front of the home crowd. It’s safe to say we will most likely see Hart between the pipes on Saturday night when the Flyers take on the Canadiens in Montreal.
2. A Second Period Surge:
The Flyers entered tonight’s game having been outscored 59-44 in the second period. There’s no doubt Flyers fans were a little worried coming into the second being down 2-1 to a Bruins team who had a record of 16-3-0 when leading after the first period. Last nights first period consisted of sloppy hockey and tons of turnovers. The second period was a very different story.
Despite the Flyers being outshot 17-7 in the second period, they capitalized on their chances and put two pucks past Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak. Flyers center Sean Couturier tied the game a little less than six minutes into the second period. A beautiful shot that was so simple. Jake Voracek took the shot from outside the right face-off circle, and Sean Couturier redirected it past Halak. Not even two minutes later, after Bruins center Patrice Bergeron got the gate for tripping, the Flyers converted on the power play. Sean Couturier put it past Halak after Wayne Simmonds made a magnificent cross-ice feed right onto Couturier’s stick blade. Couturier finished the night with a hat trick as he also scored one in the 3rd period. You have to make the most of your opportunities in today’s game and the Flyers made sure they did just that.
3. Flyers PK Comes Up Big:
Who would’ve thought we’d be talking so highly of the Flyers PK? Earlier on in the season, it was probably the Flyers biggest problem aside from goaltending. Now, its one of their greatest strengths. The Flyers had killed off 31 of 35 penalties on home ice dating all the way back to November 21st. Despite giving up an early power play goal in the first period, the Flyers were once again in shutdown mode. They killed off three of the four penalties, including a Jori Lehtera five minute boarding major. Give these guys some credit folks. They’ve come a long way.
Post Game Notes:
- Claude Giroux tallied his 500th career assist becoming only the second player in franchise history to record 500 assists with the Flyers (Other: Bobby Clarke).
- Carter Hart made a career-high 39 saves en route to a win over the Bruins. Hart has now been selected as one of the games three stars in five of his eleven career starts ( 1st Star: 3, 2nd Star: 1, 3rd Star: 1).
- Oskar Lindblom scored his first goal in his last 31 games. He also tallied an assist and finished with a +/- of +3. He now has five goals on the year.
- Bruins LW Peter Cehlarik scored his first two goals of the season.
- The Flyers blocked a total of 30 shots. They were led by defenseman Robert Hagg who had 7. This is only the 10th time in franchise history the Flyers have accomplished this feat.
- The Flyers second line of Lindblom, Couturier, and Voracek finished with six points (4 goals, 2 assists).
- Sean Couturier scored his third career hat trick. This one was his first in the regular season. The other two came against Pittsburgh in the playoffs (4/13/12 and 4/22/18).
The Flyers head north to take on the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night as they wrap up play before heading into the bye week/all-star break. With a win Saturday night, the Flyers will have won three straight for the first time in over two months (November 5th-November 10th). Puck Drop is at 7:00PM.
As always, Lets Go Flyers!
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports