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Sanheim’s overtime winner gives Flyers massive 3-2 win over Bruins

It wasn’t always pretty, but it was effective as the Flyers beat the Bruins for the first time in six tries this season.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Important matchup and both teams putting stock in the first five minutes as both teams looked not to make a big mistake early on — plenty of icing calls to go around.

Good chance for the Flyers and Joel Farabee on a 2-on-1 around six minutes in but Bruins goalie Dan Vladar swallowed up the attempt that went high. Hey, at least he shot it right?

Through the first nine minutes the teams combined for both six shots and six icing calls, real fire wagon hockey.

But just as the boredom set in, Travis Konecny injected some life as he pounced on a loose puck in front of the Boston crease and ripped one past Vladar to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead with 9:43 left in the first. It’s TK’s first goal in 12 games, and from the celebration you can tell he was relieved to get that monkey off his back.

Couple good chances for the Flyers to add later in the frame, but Vladar turned aside Scott Laughton on a pair of shots setup by Kevin Hayes as that line generated some nice rushes.

They’d have wanted to pot one of those as Boston would even things up at 1-1 with 2:27 left as Karson Kuhlman beat Elliott after a Flyers turnover in their own zone. Looked like the Bruins got away with a trip on the replay, but when you’ve racked up six icing calls in one period, the refs aren’t likely to give you the benefit of the doubt.

And, because of course, the Flyers got called for an (obvious) tripping call not long after with 41 seconds left in the period. Welp.

After 20: Flyers 1, Bruins 1

Armed with the power play to start the second, Boston would take advantage and take a 2-1 lead with Patrice Bergeron tucking one past Brian Elliott. That pushed the Bruins to nine-for-17 on the power play against the Flyers this season.

Trailing for the first time on the night, the Flyers responded with a nice batch of shifts but Vladar came up with a dandy of a stop on Konecny on the power play to keep the Bruins’ lead intact as the first five minutes of the second coasted by.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel’s net drive a few shifts later set the Flyers up with yet another look on the power play as he dragged off David Pastrnak for hooking. They wouldn’t score, because the Bruins penalty kill is on an insane run right now.

Somehow Justin Braun found himself in on a breakaway with 4:23 left in the second and Vladar needed a big save to prevent the Flyers’ stay-at-home defenseman from evening things up in what would have been a highly unlikely finish.

After 40: Bruins 2, Flyers 1

Sensing a key two points there for the taking, the Bruins pushed hard to try and bury the Flyers early in the third but Elliott — and the pipes behind him — were up to the task early.

A little over five minutes in and Michael Raffl earned the Flyers a power play after being hauled down along the boards. Wouldn’t be a bad time to break the Bruins’ mojo on the penalty kill after failing on their first two power plays of the night.

They’d do just that as Sean Couturier beat Vladar with 13:04 left in the third, using a screen in front from James van Riemsdyk to even things up at 2-2. It’s Couturier’s 11th of the season, and perhaps one of the biggest of the season for the Flyers.

The equalizer gave the Flyers instant life as they pressured the Bruins hard on the ensuing shifts in search of a go-ahead marker.

Both teams played relatively careful down the stretch with at least a point seemingly worth their troubles despite the Flyers’ disadvantage in the standings.

As it were both were pleased taking at least a point and would needed extra time to decide a winner in yet another riveting three-point matchup.

After 60: Flyers 2, Bruins 2

Heck of a push from the Flyers to start the extra session, but Vladar was rock solid in the Bruins’ cage to deny Travis Sanheim in alone as the defense was intent on multiple breakaway chances.

But he’d get another chance and Sanheim wouldn’t deke on this one, instead ripping a wrist shot past Vladar to give the Flyers badly needed 3-2 win in Boston. Sanheim broke the ankles of Bergeron around the red line and then wasted no time beating Vladar to earn a key extra point for the Orange and Black.

Final: Flyers 3, Bruins 2

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