Final: Philadelphia 5, Boston 2
Recap: With just 1:40 gone in the contest, David Krejci made a bad attempt to clear the puck out of the slot and handed it right over to Scott Hartnell, who ripped a shot past Anton Khudobin to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Boston tied it up a little more than three minutes later, as Wade Redden crashed the net and beat Steve Mason.
After Matt Read displayed some sick hand-eye coordination, batting a puck out of midair to make it 2-1 Philly in the second period, the lead was stretched to two just seven ticks later when Zdeno Chara misfired on a pass to his defensive partner and put it into his own net.
With Tuukka Rask in goal, the Flyers made it a 4-1 game when Jakub Voracek buried his 21st goal of the season with a little more than five minutes gone in the third. Boston responded with a goal from David Krejci, but Redden had an ill-advised turnover immediately following the ensuing faceoff, leading to an odd-man rush Philly capitalized on with a goal from Simon Gagne.
Records: Boston 27-13-5, 59 points; Philadelphia 21-22-3, 45 points
Key Play of the Game: Chara's own-goal was an absolute killer. Oliver Lauridsen dumped the puck in from center ice, which went around the end boards to Chara. The captain appeared to be sending the puck right back around behind the net and Khudobin simply wasn't ready for what happened next, as the B's netminder got part of his paddle on the puck before watching it sneak right through his wickets.
Connolly's Commendations: Congratulations to Lauridsen. No, seriously. How many guys can say Zdeno Chara scored their first NHL goal for them? That's literally unbelievable. To top it all off, the kid was plus-3.
Carl Soderberg picked up an assist on the Redden goal, giving him two points in the last two games. He also was solid on faceoffs, winning 5-of-9 on the night.
Connolly's Critiques: Pretty terrible evening for Chara, who looked out of sorts for most of the contest and could badly use a night off ASAP with three games remaining on the regular-season schedule. No. 33 was minus-2 and had a team-high three giveaways.
Brad Marchand was mighty quiet in this one. While his linemates (Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron) combined for nine shots, No. 63 had just one to his credit.
Notes: The Flyers won the season series two games to one. With Montreal's loss to the Devils, Boston retained first place in the Northeast.
Final Thoughts: The Bruins, who used to take such immense pride in 60-minute efforts, were strong for about 20 minutes in this one. Just like Saturday's matinee against the Penguins, the B's best -- and only solid -- stanza was the opening one. From there, they were lackluster, looked unmotivated and couldn't beat a team that had literally nothing left to fight for but personal pride. Oye.
Next: The B's will be back at TD Garden on Thursday to take on the the Lightning.