Special Teams Sink Flyers In Loss To Bruins

Apr 6, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (79) gets some help from defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (53) in covering the puck against Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) and left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (79) gets some help from defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (53) in covering the puck against Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) and left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia Flyers, fresh off an overtime victory last night against the Boston Bruins, played host to those same Bruins on Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center to finish off their home-and-home series.

The Flyers, who came into this game three points behind the Bruins for the final playoff spot in the East, lost the ground they gained as quickly as they earned it. They were defeated at the hands of Boston 4-2 to knock their deficit back to five points with just 17 games left now to play in the regular season.

There was not much offense to be found as the game’s first period began and trickled down. The Bruins were perhaps playing a bit harder than usual in front of their own cage at the beginning as rookie goaltender Jeremy Swayman was making his NHL debut for Boston. Their regular two goaltenders, Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak, are currently out of commission.

The Bruins gave Dan Vladar the start in last night’s overtime loss, paving the way for Swayman to see his first NHL action tonight after backing up Vladar last night.

Boston would only allow one Philadelphia shot to reach Swayman in the first five minutes in the period, and while the Bruins could not muster much more on offense against the Flyers’ Carter Hart, Boston finally cashed in at the 7:09 mark of the first period.

Brad Marchand would hold the puck at the blueline and made a nifty little move to stave off Justin Braun’s defensive efforts and fired the puck on net. Hart couldn’t corral the puck after Craig Smith took a whack at it as well. Patrice Bergeron was right on the doorstep to pound home the rebound to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead on his 13th goal of the year and second in two nights.

The Flyers would try to rebound as they earned the contest’s first power play just 3:06 after Bergeron’s opening tally. Boston’s Matt Grzelcyk was called for hooking against James van Riemsdyk. Philadelphia would have some great looks on net but Swayman and the Bruins’ penalty killers held off the Flyers’ power play.

Both teams would trade scoring chances shortly after but to no avail. Philadelphia had the better of the opportunities, highlighted by a couple point shots and a Scott Laughton breakaway that all eluded the Bruins’ net.

With 2:29 to play, the Bruins would increase their lead on the power play after Nicolas Aube-Kubel was sent to the penalty box for holding on David Krejci. Right after another breakaway attempt by Laughton that was fought off by Swayman, David Pastrnak found Bergeron open in the slot. The Flyers could not get back and ready up in time after Laughton’s breakaway, and Bergeron rifled home a shot through the legs of Hart and into the net for his second of the night and a 2-0 Boston lead.

The period would come to an end shortly after and the Bruins would maintain their 2-goal advantage as both teams headed to their respective locker rooms for the first intermission.

The Flyers would come into the second period with a lot more energy and it showed early on, as just 1:33 into the frame Jake Voracek tipped home a slick feed from Travis Konecny off of a Boston turnover in their own end. Voracek’s sixth goal of the year cut the deficit in half and made it a 2-1 game. The Flyers were not done scoring just quite yet either.

Just 3:30 after his goal, Voracek was once again involved offensively as he somehow spotted Shayne Gostisbehere from across the ice and delivered an incredibly beautiful feed to the Flyer defenseman. Gostisbehere fended off the pressure of Trent Frederic and lazered a shot top shelf past the sliding Swayman to tie the game at two goals apiece.

Boston would try to respond, with their best chance at retaking the lead perhaps being a Pastrnak shot in close that resulted from a Phil Myers turnover in the Flyers’ zone, but Hart would shut it down to keep the game tied.

Philadelphia kept their foot on the gas and absolutely dominated the period offensively, ultimately outshooting the Bruins 25-7 in the period and maintaining a 38-18 advantage at the end of 40 minutes. However, the score would remain at 2-2 heading into the 3rd period.

Boston would hold the Flyers at bay at the beginning of the third period and played with more composure defensively as time wore on. They eventually broke through on a shorthanded opportunity at the 8:21 mark of the frame.

With Kevan Miller in the box for tripping, the Bruins would gain possession and Lauzon would rush up ice with the puck with Marchandx joining him for a 2-on-1 chance. With only Gostisbehere back for Philadelphia, Lauzon was able to feed the puck to Marchand and he danced in on Hart and beat him through the five-hole to give Boston a 3-2 lead.

The Flyers tried their best to fight back despite the Bruins’ pushback and questionable officiating. The most egregious call of the night was called against Sam Morin, who was sent off for “holding” after delivering a routine check on Trent Frederic with 6:48 to play in the third period. There was no roughhousing after the play, there was no jawing, it was just a regular hit that the officials decided was somehow an infraction.

Philadelphia would kill off Morin’s penalty and later in the period they would get Hart to the bench for the extra attacker still trailing by one. The Flyers threw everything they had at the Bruins and tried hard to rally back, but a Bergeron empty-netter with 22.9 seconds left for the hat trick all but dashed the Flyers’ hopes at sending this one to overtime.

Bergeron’s third goal of the night would make it 4-2 Boston and that would seal the deal for the Bruins as they escaped South Philadelphia with a victory despite 42 Flyers shots on goal. This devastating loss has now put the Flyers in an even tougher position as the playoffs are coming quick and the trade deadline looms just less than a week away.


  • Jake Voracek – Voracek racked up a goal and an assist in tonight’s effort. He seemed smarter with the puck and played one of his better games of the season tonight. Voracek is now up to 31 points in 35 games and has points in five of his last six games. He has quietly been a bright spot for the club this season despite the usual criticism from some fans.
  • Shayne Gostisbehere – Gostisbehere racked up his sixth goal of the season and was the Flyers’ best blueliner this evening in my eyes. He was involved on both sides of the puck and looked to be skating really well. He has now eclipsed his goal total from last season in 14 less games and has now recorded 12 points in 28 games this season, good for second among Philadelphia defensemen.
  • Carter Hart – Hart played very well and gave the Flyers a fighting chance in the game despite allowing three goals on 25 shots. He had some real testers among them and was overall solid on a night where he needed to be, but it apparently just wasn’t quite enough to push the Flyers over the top.


  • Officiating – I know I discussed this in last night’s recap as well, but the officiating was once again awful tonight. The crew let way too many easy things go, including an obvious delay of game penalty against Boston for clearing the puck over the glass earlier in the contest. They also let the scrum for the loose puck toward the end of the third period go for at least 15 or 20 seconds when in any other timeframe of the game, they’d whistle the play dead and call for a faceoff, but they decided to swallow the whistles and “let the boys play” at the end. There was also the awful roughing call on Sam Morin that I eluded to earlier that was in no way roughing at all. It’s just incredibly frustrating to see the officials take over games and not be held accountable, and there seems to be no end of it in sight.
  • Special Teams – The Flyers’ penalty kill allowed another goal to the Bruins’ power play, which now brings Boston’s total to 9 for 19 on power play opportunities against Philadelphia this season. The Flyers’ power play also let up Brad Marchand’s game-winning shorthanded goal after they had some golden chances, and that seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back tonight despite their best efforts to try and tie the game late. Special teams have been a constant issue all season long and this game was just another example of how their power play and penalty kill have cost them dearly.
  • Scott Laughton – I actually thought Laughton played a really solid game, but I just wish he scored on at least one of his three breakaways tonight. It just stinks when you get that many chances alone with the goalie in a game and can’t score on any of them. Maybe next time, Scott.

The Flyers return to the ice on Thursday night in Uniondale, New York as they visit the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Philadelphia will enter that game in sixth place in the East Division as the New York Rangers have finally leapfrogged them via a tiebreaker for fifth place.

The Flyers will need to go into that game with more must-win attitude to try and keep up their playoff push, and as former coach Peter Laviolette would say, they’ve got to play with some jam.