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Flyers drop series opener to Bruins 5-4 in shootout

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What a ride.

Philadelphia Flyers v Boston Bruins Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Boston Bruins 5 - Philadelphia Flyers 4

[full stats]

Scoring

1st: None.

2nd: 6:17, Claude Giroux (Ivan Provorov) PP. 17:31 James van Riemsdyk (Jake Voracek, Kevin Hayes).

3rd: :57, Jack Studnicka (David Krejci, Nick Ritchie). 2:06, Charlie Coyle (Craig Smith, Kevan Miller). 7:13, Travis Sanheim (Jake Voracek, Nolan Patrick). 13:22 Nick Ritchie (Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci) PP. 15:18 Brandon Carlo (Matt Grzelcky, Brad Marchand). 16:28 James van Riemsdyk (Jake Voracek, Kevin Hayes) PP.

OT: None.

Recap

The Flyers were back in action tonight, and though still depleted by injury—Morgan Frost and Philippe Myers are out and Connor Bunnaman and Mark Friedman came into the lineup—they were looking to keep building on Tuesday’s performance. The early looks though... were not good. The Flyers again came out looking pretty flat, and didn’t really have a whole lot going on. In fairness, the Bruins weren’t able to put up a huge number of chances themselves—both sides even swapped chances on lackluster power plays—but they did still decidedly come out of the first period with the edge.

And in the sage words of our pal Brad Keffer from our group chat: this blows. The Flyers came out for the second and still looked listless and disorganized, and it was shaping up to be a long game ahead of us.

The Flyers did get another chance on the power play early in the second, after Nolan Patrick was caught by a high stick. And while it took them a little while to get settled in, they were finally able to break through on this one, after a stellar shot by Giroux beat Rask.

The Flyers just about immediately got yet another chance on the power play after Nicolas Aube-Kubel was tripped up, but they weren’t able to find that same magic again. So it goes.

In other news, it looks like the Flyers have been cursed by a witch or something, as after Frost got hurt in his first game in the lineup on Tuesday, Friedman got hurt in his first game in the lineup.

The Flyers picked up from steam from there, and while we didn’t see them positively running the table on the Bruins, they did have some more jump and were creating more chances for themselves. They got a chance on the power play late in the second period, and while they weren’t able to convert on it, they kept the momentum from it rolling, and van Riemsdyk was able to extend their lead to two before the period’s close.

Were we having fun for a bit there? Were we feeling optimistic? That’s cute. The Bruins pretty immediately established zone time and pressure and scored two goals in the first 2:06 of the period, care of Jack Studnicka and Charlie Coyle. So that’s fun.

The middle of the the period sure was interesting, to say the least. The Flyers pulled momentum back in their favor for a bit, and were able to jump back into the lead with a goal that deflected in off of Sanheim’s skate. But then the Bruins took back over and an ill-timed penalty taken by Scott Laughton put them on the power play, and some pretty brutal penalty killing left Nick Ritchie wide open in front to tie things up.

And things continued to spin out from there—the Flyers took an icing inside the last five minutes of play, and after the face-off, the Bruins got to cycling, got the puck to Brandon Carlo at the point, who got a shot past Hart.

But the Flyers weren’t out of it! With another chance on the power play just after Carlo’s goal, the Flyers got right to work, and a stellar bit of passing culminated in a nice tap-in goal for van Riemsdyk, as he picked up his second of the night.

This game has been a weird one. There’s really no other way to say it. So of course that means this one couldn’t be settled in regulation. Off to overtime we went.

It was mostly Flyers in the overtime period, they had a couple of really nice looks, but they couldn’t find a way to beat Rask. So off to the shootout we went! Here are the results:

Smith: no goal

Voracek: no goal

Coyle: no goal

Konecny: no goal

Debrusk: GOAL

Giroux: no goal

Bruins win. Whomp whomp.

Final thoughts

Maybe we should have seen this type of game coming. The Flyers are struggling in a lot of areas, but are also still just really beat up already. Sure, we can hope that they’ll be able to incrementally improve their process as we get deeper into the season, but until they get some reinforcements back, we probably shouldn’t expect too many pretty wins where they’re just running the table on teams. It wasn’t pretty tonight, and it probably isn’t going to be for a little while here.

That said, it was nice to see some of the veterans—Giroux, Voracek, van Riemsdyk—stepping up and really leading the charge when the Flyers needed it. Maybe that feels a bit like a cheap narrative at this point, but there does feel like there’s at least a little bit of something to it.

And finally! The power play did not look great on the whole, but it did show some flashes! There’s certainly some potential there, they can look threatening when they get the puck moving well, it just hasn’t been consistent. So, we just have to ask: more of that good stuff, please?

Player of the game

We’re going to have to give this one to Voracek. Even if this game was a little messy, there were a handful of nice performances, but Voracek kind of took the cake here. He looked sharp in general, and really just seemed to be creating chances all over the place. He was a huge key to the power play finally looking like it had some life, to actually having moments of looking dangerous. His three assists on the night led the team, and really felt deserved. All in all, just a really good night.