With an early start time Saturday afternoon, it did not take long for the crowd to get into the game. After being mostly a healthy scratch of late, Matt Beleskey was inserted into the lineup for an injured Tim Schaller and made his presence felt. On his first shift, he made a great body check on Flyers defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere. Brandon Manning took exception to the hit and challenged Beleskey to a fight.
Beleskey took the challenge and dropped hit mitts with Manning. Just 2:02 into the game, the crowd was fired up and ready for the matinee affair.
After the fight, the Bruins got the first powerplay of the game as Brad Marchand made a slick move around Radko Gudas. Gudas contacted Marchand’s leg and took him out for the tripping call. The first man advantage was not a very good one for the Bruins as they did not get much offense going.
It appeared that the Flyers got on the board first as Jakub Voracek got behind the Bruins defense and on a breakaway. Rask made a huge pad save, but Voracek followed up the play and shot the puck on net. Rask scrambled to the post as Brayden Schenn was digging and started to celebrate. The referee did not rule it a goal, but did review the play at the time keeper's area. The refs determined it was no goal and the two team remained scoreless.
The Flyers then had another golden opportunity to score as they got a lengthy 5-on-3 powerplay situation. Brandon Carlo was sent to the box first for hooking against Wayne Simmonds. Marchand was awarded a penalty just 17 seconds later for high sticking. The Flyers had possession majority of the powerplay, but the Bruins penalty killers were up to the task. Tuukka Rask made some huge saves and Adam McQuaid made some huge block shots. Bruins killed off the penalties without allowing a goal.
After the lengthy kill, the Bruins were able to draw a penalty of their own as Travis Konecny tripped up Colin Miller. The top unit was able to make the Flyers pay as Pastrnak scored his 28th goal of the season. On the dump in, Marchand got in on the forecheck and sent the puck to Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron found a streaking Pastrnak coming down the slot, who one-timed the puck past Flyers goaltender Steve Mason for the 1-0 lead. With the goal, it extended Pastrnak’s point streak to eight straight games.
The Flyers came out ready to play in the second period and took it to the Bruins for most of the period. They were able to get the equalizer early into the second period. Little under a minute and half in, Jordan Weal got his third goal of the season. Weal was in the right place at the right time as Simmonds put the puck out front after Rask sprawled out to make a save. Weal shot it into the empty net to tie game at one.
The Bruins challenged the play as coach Bruce Cassidy thought the play was offsides on the initial rush. Simmonds appeared to have his skate in the air as the puck crossed over the blue line. After a lengthy review from the referees, they determined that Simmonds was onside and the goal will stand.
Rask was able to hold off the other attempts from the Flyers as they outshot the Bruins 9-5 in the second period. Most of the Bruins shot came on a powerplay and they were lucky to head into the third period tied.
The Bruins came out in the third ready to go as Cassidy switched up the lines to get the offense going more. The changes worked as the Bruins were much more crisp with the puck and were getting the Flyers pinned into their end.
With time running down, it seemed like the game was going to head into overtime. Stafford had other ideas. Kevan Miller hit Stafford breaking into the Flyers end. Stafford curled up along the boards and fired the puck on net. The puck was deflected by Manning’s stick and past Mason for the 2-1 lead. The goal came with just 5.6 seconds remaining in the period to break the hearts of Flyers nation. The Bruins won the ensuing faceoff and flipped the puck into no man’s land to seal the victory in regulation.
The Bruins will get back to work Monday night in western Canada. This is the second West Coast trip for the black and gold in the past month. The first game will take place where the Bruins captured the Stanley Cup championship back in 2011, Vancouver. Puck drop is at 10:00PM.