The Philadelphia Flyers’ nine-game winning streak came to an end last night in a 2-0 loss to the Boston Bruins at Wells Fargo Center. Tuukka Rask was a brick wall in net for the Bruins and recorded his 50th career NHL shutout with a 36- save performance. Carter Hart allowed two goals on 29 shots. It was not a poor performance on the part of the Flyers by any means. The win streak had to come to an end eventually, but there were some positives to take away from the loss. Shayne Gostisbehere made his return to the Flyers’ lineup for the first time in over a month and there were a few glimmers of the old Ghost that we used to know.
Due to an injury to Philippe Myers, Gostisbehere played in just his second game since returning from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. His initial start, a 5-0 shutout loss against the New Jersey Devils back on February 6th, had some indications that his knee may not yet have been at 100%. He recorded three shots on goal and two blocks in 18:23 of ice time.
Last night was a different story. Although the stats may not jump off the page at you, his overall performance was quite solid. His skating speed and positioning have improved. Gostisbehere was initially placed in the third defensive pairing with Robert Hagg. However, it was when he was partnered up with Travis Sanheim in the third period, probably to help generate more offense, that was the most fun to watch.
Shayne looked confident and aggressive defensively making some good stops and keeping the Bruins in check. The defenseman also did a great job holding the blue line, even under pressure. He made some classic Ghost moves of old, including one about six minutes into the first period where he drew a penalty and even got a shot off from his knees.
Ghost’s play last evening was a good sign and it needed to be. It looks as if Philippe Myers could miss the next four weeks with a fractured right patella. This most likely gives Gostisbehere a steady spot in the lineup for the foreseeable future. With only 13 games left on the 2019-20 schedule, the battle for the Metropolitan Division title heating up, and the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the horizon, the Philadelphia Flyers need Shayne Gostisbehere to step up.
Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre