Flyers leak goals against Bruins, 6-5

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Flyers' Poehling, Hathaway, Cates celebrate.
Philadelphia Flyers’ Ryan Poehling celebrates his goal with Garnet Hathaway (19) and Noah Cates (27) in front of Boston Bruins’ David Pastrnak during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 16, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

This time, the Philadelphia Flyers (34-26-8) show more fight against one of the top teams of the NHL Eastern Conference.

“I thought we had a lot of good minutes. I thought we had patience to our game. We just couldn’t sustain it for the full sixty [minutes].”

John Tortorella; 3/16/2024

On a daunting seven-game gauntlet, the Flyers are now 0-2-0. They were decimated by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday and hoped to refocus against the Boston Bruins (40-14-15) on Saturday. Scott Laughton pointed out how Philadelphia needed to get back to minimizing mistakes:

“It’s not easy. It’s not going to get easier. We go into Boston, go home and play against Toronto, and we got the same thing. We got to figure it out, here. Take care of yourself and get ready for the next one. It’s not getting easier. We’re going to have to play a simple, disgusting road game to squeak one out there.”

Scott Laughton; 3/14/2024

Laughton was correct. This gauntlet won’t be easy, and neither would a postseason push. After the NHL Trade Deadline, the Flyers are floundering without the starting defensemen they’ve known throughout most of 2023-2024. Fortunately, the competition chasing Philadelphia experienced the same dips, but now the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals are closing the gap.

“We’re just going to get ready to play our games and try to find a way to get points. That’s the only way you can stay in the hunt. We can’t be concerned about the other stuff going on with other teams. We have to be concerned about our club.”

John Tortorella; 3/16/2024

Forcing the Bruins into overtime or a shootout would’ve been huge for the Flyers in the NHL Metropolitan Division standings and NHL Wildcard race. Now, Philadelphia has a three-point lead.

Instead, Boston broke free in the third period. The Flyers set the tone through the first two periods, but the Bruins didn’t allow Philadelphia to take momentum into an intermission. Felix Sandstrom didn’t get a ton of support during crucial moments.

Ryan Poehling converted a one-timer on a two-on-one rush with Garnet Hathaway to give the Flyers a lead, 1-0. Egor Zamula stripped David Pastrnak of the puck, then sent Hathaway on a rush to find Poehling.

Travis Konecny had a grand opportunity to stretch the lead on Jeremy Swayman. Swayman made the save, and, at the opposite end, Sandstrom had to match the same energy. Jake DeBrusk took the puck through the neutral zone and passed to Morgan Geekie, who uncorked a slapshot past Sandstrom, 1-1. Any momentum Philadelphia had vanished.

The Flyers took another lead, establishing momentum in the second period. Cam York shot from the point as the powerplay expired, and Joel Farabee deflected the puck past Swayman, 2-1. On the evening, Philadelphia finished 0/3 on the man advantage.

Tyson Foerster served a minor penalty for hooking. Boston sent out their powerplay, ranked ninth in the NHL, onto the ice. Charlie Coyle tied the game, 2-2. Pavel Zacha won the faceoff, passed over to Brad Marchand from the dot, and as Sandstrom squared up to Marchand, he dealt the puck to Coyle to dunk on an open net. Stripping the Flyers of their momentum again, the Bruins finished 1/2 on the man advantage.

Here’s where Philadelphia didn’t do Sandstrom any favors. The third period played out like a mad scramble, and it got ugly for the Flyers before any hope arrived:

In under three minutes, Coyle, John Beecher, and DeBrusk notched goals to run a 5-2 lead in favor of Boston. Coyle entered off the bench with speed on the four-on-four, splitting Laughton and Zamula, then walking past Konecny for the lead, 3-2. Beecher followed his shot after it rang off the post, 4-2. DeBrusk, :19 later, took advantage of a failed clear by Sean Couturier, tucking his shot behind Sandstrom after he waited for the goaltender to make the first move, 5-2.

Nicolas Deslauriers was the catalyst of hope. Couturier played the puck deep for Deslauriers, and off the forecheck, Deslauriers made the alert play to wrap around on Swayman from behind the net, 5-3. Then, Morgan Frost followed with the most stylish goal of the game. He went through his legs, lifting the puck over Swayman to the top shelf, 5-4. Philadelphia had a chance after going down three goals in the third period.

“I had a lot of speed. I thought the defenseman was flatfooted. Great play by Tip [Tippett] to recognize that and find me. I do a lot of that stuff all the time in practice, just messing around; not always during the drills, just when we’re messing around after practice and stuff. [It’s] kinda just instinct to do that, and luckily it went in a big time of the game.”

Morgan Frost; 3/16/2024

Danton Heinen scored the game-winner. He skated into the defensive zone on Sandstrom and buried a wrist shot, a chance that needed to be saved, 6-4.

Farabee scored another, using the wrap-around method Deslauriers dialed up earlier. During a six-on-five with more than two minutes left, Farabee put the Flyers within one goal, 6-5. That was how the score remained, and when the final horn sounded, Philadelphia fought and fell short.

Up Next

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)