January 23, 2012

Bruins pull out 6-5 win in shootout over Flyers

Final: Boston 6, Philadelphia 5 (SO)

Recap: After jumping out to a 3-1 lead thanks to goals from Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic in the opening frame, the second period was downright disastrous for the Bruins. Scott Hartnell had a natural hat trick in the middle frame, striking three times on eerily similar shots from the left circle as Philadelphia bounced right back to take a 4-3 lead into the third period.

In the final frame, David Krejci and Greg Campbell scored 3:40 a part to put Boston up 5-4, but Max Talbot’s second of the game with 9:22 left in regulation knotted things up.

After a scoreless overtime, things went to the shootout. After Krejci and Claude Giroux each tallied, Tyler Seguin put Boston on top. Wayne Simmonds was then stoned by Tim Thomas, as the Bruins narrowly escaped with the victory.

Records: Boston 31-13-2, 64 points; Philadelphia 28-14-5, 61 points

Key Play of the Game: There should’ve been a dozen back-breaking moments for Boston, but somehow the B’s persevered. Campbell’s strike in the third certainly had the Flyers on the ropes in the third. Adam McQuaid did a good job of joining the rush, even winding up behind the net with the puck before Dan Paille found Campbell out in front for the goal.

Connolly’s Commendations: Lucic earns full marks for his performance in this one. The hulking winger had a goal, an assist and a fight – good for yet another Gordie Howe Hat Trick for the Bruins.

Zdeno Chara, despite being held without a point, was an absolute monster. The captain had nine shots on goals, a game-high rating of plus-3 and a game-high four blocked shots.

Boston did a solid jobs on faceoffs, but Rich Peverley’s performance at the dot was simply dynamite. Peverley won 10-of-11, which was good for a 91 percent success rate.

Connolly’s Critiques: Not the greatest day at the office for Thomas. Boston’s netminder allowed a season-high five pucks past him. No. 30 looked considerably sharper in his last start against the Devils.

Wasn’t exactly a fun day to be Chris Kelly, either. The pivot won just 2-of-8 faceoffs and got rocked by a high, questionable hit from Hartnell.

Notes: Nathan Horton did not play in the third period after take a high, late hit from Tom Sestito. Steve Kampfer saw just 3:15 of ice time, as the d-man left in the first period after getting trucked by Brayden Schenn.

Final Thoughts: Oftentimes ugly and undoubtedly a rollercoaster throughout, the Bruins victory was hardly an unblemished performance that Claude Julien won’t take any issues with. Nevertheless, the coach must be glad to get the two points as his team has just one game remaining before the All-Star break.

Next: Boston’s final tilt before the All-Star festivities will be Tuesday night in Washington, as they’ll take on the Capitals for the first time in 2011-12.