Philadelphia went 0-for-9 on the man-advantage against the Bruins and could have easily walked away from TD Garden with a win if it weren’t for their flat-out failures with the man advantage.
Travis Sanheim provided the only offense for the Flyers with a third period tally that was quickly answered by the Bruins within a few minutes. In overtime it was a Kenny Agostino breakaway that would seal the 2-1 win for the Bruins 3:20 into the period.
The Flyers’ first power play unit got some early time thanks to an interference call on Jesse Gabrielle, but Claude Giroux and crew looked out of sorts and managed just one shot on the man-advantage. The man who took the hit was Travis Konecny, who missed a few shifts but returned later in the period.
Jake Voracek drew a penalty by using his speed to pounce on a loose puck near the Bruins blue line and get in on Tuukka Rask, but he was hooked and didn’t generate much of a scoring chance. On the ensuing faceoff Wayne Simmonds got called for slashing to end the Flyers’ second power play before it really began. The officials are really on point with the slashing calls in the preseason, that’s been pretty clear.
Brian Elliott made a nice glove save on Anders Bjork off a quick rush up ice from the Bruins’ rookie at the 11:13 mark. The veteran made another nice save off Bjork in close on the following possession, moving well laterally to get in position with bodies in front of his crease.
With Wayne Simmons off for yet another slashing call, the Bruins power play got setup in the Flyers zone but couldn’t capitalize thanks to a few good blocked shots from the Flyers defense to hold Boston scoreless. Radko Gudas, in particular, had a good shift on that kill, registering a clear and a shot on goal just after the penalty expired.
The Flyers’ best chances came late in the first period with Wayne Simmonds and Michael Raffl being stopped in front of the crease by Rask. Raffl got a nice feed from Travis Konecny from near the goal line but couldn’t elevate the puck in tight on the Bruins’ netminder.
Thanks to five penalties in the frame, the first period was largely disjointed for both clubs and none of the 19 combined shots on goal were particularly dangerous. The Flyers did a nice job in the faceoff dot though, winning seven-of-ten draws.
Konecny was at it again to start the second period, setting up Sean Couturier for a scoring chance in front but Rask was up to the task just after intermission. Couturier’s redirection found the belly of the Bruins’ goalie, but it was nice hookup by the two Flyers forwards.
With Radko Gudas off for tripping the Bruins setup their top power play unit and peppered Elliott only to be turned away by the Flyers’ new goalie. In particular Elliott was strong in denying Patrice Bergeron on a jam play in close at the tail end of the penalty.
The Flyers were yet again unable to generate anything on the man-advantage after Claude Giroux was hauled down by Paul Postma, failing to generate a single shot on goal during their fourth power play of the night. But if zero shots on a power play is bad, the Bruins turned a three-on-one from center ice into a straight turnover with no shot or chance a few minutes after that Flyers power play. On replay it was a great back check by Michael Raffl to make it a three-on-two essentially.
Michael Raffl with a back-check. pic.twitter.com/F0StZzod3B— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) September 22, 2017
In the second half of the period the Flyers really started to gain their legs, creating some extended zone time and forcing Boston into a couple of back-to-back penalties. The Flyers ended a six-minute power play shot drought with shots from Valtteri Filppula and Wayne Simmonds and established good zone time only to be turned aside by Rask with Bjork in the box.
The Flyers were 0-for-6 on the power play through two periods, though the last of the which turned up a few nice chances only to be denied by Rask, who was very sharp in making 12 stops in the frame. Elliott wasn’t tested as much as his counterpart, doing the bulk of his work early in the period but turning aside all eight shots he faced.
Alex Lyon took over in net for Elliott, who stopped all 18 of the shots he faced in his debut with the Flyers. Lyon is, of course, in the mix for a potential NHL call up from Lehigh Valley should the Flyers need one this season.
Playing at 4-on-4 Travis Sanheim finally opened the scoring with a wrist shot from the left circle that fooled Rask to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead at the 4:57 mark. It looked like an innocent shot from the Flyers’ prized prospect, but it found the back of the net behind Rask and that’s all that matters really.
Travis Sanheim scored a goal, it was pretty and you should watch it. pic.twitter.com/pgMQz33FFB— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) September 22, 2017
The bad news was that the Flyers’ 1-0 lead didn’t last long, just 1:42 in fact.
Paul Postma answered with a seeing-eye point shot that found it’s way past Lyon to tie the game at 1-1 with 13:15 left in the third. Lyon was screened and likely never saw the shot. Riley Nash and Kenny Agostino assisted on the tying goal.
Lyon came up with perhaps his best save on a Bruins two-on-one at the 11:14 mark, standing tall at the top of his crease to stop Jesse Gabrielle and keep the Flyers even. Gabrielle then got a interference call and 10-minute misconduct for grabbing the stick of a Flyer from the Bruins bench during play.
Despite a late flurry from the Bruins, extra time was needed to decide this one.
Claude Giroux nearly ended it just under a minute into the extra frame, but the captain’s shot from the right circle rung of the post to the left of Rask, who was beat on the play. Moments later it was Filppula’s turn to hit the post after being sprung on a breakaway.
The Flyers wish they buried either of those chances because Kenny Agostino skated in all alone on Lyon, beating the goaltending with a great deke to score and give the Bruins the 2-1 win. It was a bad pinch by Andrew MacDonald and bad coverage by Giroux that allowed Agostino the open ice.
The Flyers will be back in action on Monday, starting back-to-back games against the Rangers starting with a visit to New York and then hosting the Rangers on Tuesday.