Despite a slow start, the Flyers ended up dominating in a victory over the Bruins.
The Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins took to the ice for the opening game of round robin play in the Eastern Conference. Coincidentally, these two teams faced off in their last games before the season was paused.
It had the feel of their first official game as the two team’s did take a few minutes to feel each other out. But Boston soon took control of the game. They had a commanding lead in shots, outshooting the Flyers 6-1 in the first five minutes.
But Carter Hart stood tall in his first period of playoff hockey. He stopped all shots he faced. And he had to face them often as the Flyers found it hard to get out of their own zone at times during the period.
They ended up with just six shots, despite getting two opportunities on the power play. Their play was better as the period went on, but it was clear that Boston was better. Hart kept the Flyers in during the first.
The Flyers finally put the pressure on Boston in the second. They hemmed them in their own zone and beat Jaroslav Halak to open the scoring.
The Flyers weren’t done yet as they increased the lead on a Nate Thompson goal. With a player skating in, Raffl found Thompson coming in by the left faceoff dot. With a few powerful strides, Thompson ripped a one-timer past Halak.
Per usual, the Flyers seemed to need a period under their skates to get into the game. Though Hart was locked in front the beginning and continued shutting down Boston in the second.
The Bruins did get on the board with just over a minute remaining in the second. It was a tough luck bounce for Hart. Chris Wagner came around the back of the net and banked the pass from Joakim Nordstrom off Robert Hagg and past Hart.
Philippe Myers grabbed it right back with his first career playoff goal. He skated in and blasted one bar down past Halak to put the Flyers back up by two goals.
If you had the Flyers depth putting them up 3-1 going into the third period, than you were right. Two goals from the fourth line and one from the second defensive pair sent the team flying into the third.
The Flyers top-six joined the party in the third period. Kevin Hayes shielded the puck away from Brandon Carlo as he could control it. That allowed Scott Laughton to pick it up in his own zone and skate up the ice. It took it upon himself, skating into the faceoff circle and wristed the shot over the glove of Halak.
The Flyers continued to have complete control of the game as things dwindled down in the third. They even held Boston to no shots on a late power play. They did have a scary involving Raffl as he needed help getting off the ice.
He got caught up against the boards after a hit by Jeremy Lauzon. The Flyers didn’t like that as a few moments later Scott Laughton and Lauzon were given slashing minors and misconducts.
Boston was forced to go to the empty net with late and down 4-1. But it was far too late for them to come back by then. Hart shut down the chances they did have. The Bruins threw all they had at the Flyers netminder.
Winning the first round robin game gives the Flyers an advantage as they’re already starting ahead of Boston. They have off until Wednesday when they take on the Washington Capitals.