Bruins flatten Flyers in Philly
With Philadelphia playing its third game in four days and Boston having been off since Monday afternoon, Saturday’s matinee played out how you’d expect it: the Bruins (32-15-3) rolled to a 6-1 win over the Flyers (25-22-6) at Wells Fargo Center. Eight Bruins had points, led by Jarome Iginla (2 goals, 2 assists), David Krejci (3 assists) and Zdeno Chara (2 goals) while Tuukka Rask (25 saves) picked up his career-high 23rd win of the season.
This was never really a contest as Boston scored twice in each frame and Philadelphia didn’t get on the board until the third period when it trailed 4-0. The Bruins power play was much better with three goals: Chara’s attempted pass deflected in off a Flyers stick for the opening goal. Then Boston scored twice (Iginla and Chara) in the third after a double-minor high sticking penalty drawn by Jordan Caron.
Steve Mason (15 saves) gave up four goals and two of them were soft so he was pulled in the second period after his juicy rebound led to a tally from Patrice Bergeron. Ray Emery (12 saves) was a little better, but by that point, it didn’t really matter. This being a Bruins-Flyers game, there had to be some fights: Johnny Boychuk became the 11th Bruin with a fighting major this season when he dropped the gloves with Scott Hartnell and Gregory Campbell took one for the team by taking on Luke Schenn with the Flyers down 4-0.
This was the start of a very busy stretch for the Bruins with three games in four days (two on the road) and four games in six days. When we see them next, they’ll be in Long Island on Monday (7, NESN) vs. the Islanders (21-25-7).
What they’ll be saying: For their first meeting of the season, the Bruins couldn’t have caught the Flyers at a much better time. The Flyers were understandably tired while Boston was much fresher. Ryan Spooner was a last-minute scratch with an illness so Caron played in his first game since Jan. 2 (vs. Nashville). A cynical person like myself would say that him drawing that penalty was his greatest contribution of the season since it led to two goals for Boston. Dougie Hamilton was also back from his concussion, his first game in two weeks (Jan. 11 at San Jose).
Iginla isn’t the same player he once was but he has been a nearly perfect fit for Boston in terms of replacing Nathan Horton’s production on the first line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci plus the power play. Saturday was his 21st career four-point game which is a pretty remarkable stat for the future Hall of Famer. Reilly Smith’s goal tied him with Brad Marchand for the team lead but Iginla only trails them by one after his two goals vs. Philadelphia.
Chara broke a season-high 14-game goal-less streak with his pair of goals. With the extra rest between games, he played one of his better games of the season. Of course, I don’t know what he was doing out there late in the third period with the B’s up 6-1, but that is a small complaint in an otherwise flawless game for Boston.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate