The Boston Bruins were able to snap a two game losing skid at the TD Garden on Saturday afternoon with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Bruins were lead by top line wingers Loui Eriksson and Milan Lucic. Eriksson, who filled in for Jarome Iginla on the top line, had four assists on the day while Lucic added two goals and an assist. Tuukka Rask was his normal self in between the pipes and stopped 24 of 26 shots on the day.
The Bruins took the lead at the 15:56 mark of the 1st period and never trailed the Flyers throughout the game. The Flyers tied the game late in the second, but Milan Lucic answered just 19 seconds after Wayne Simmonds knotted up the score. The game was tied 2-2 after 2 periods, but in the third the Bruins pulled away. Johnny Boychuk scored the game winner off of a faceoff at 13:54 of the third and less than a minute later, Milan Lucic put the Bruins up by two. Chris Kelly added the empty net goal at 19:39 of the third to seal the victory.
The Bruins started out a little sluggish, but coach Claude Julien attributed that to the team only having pre-game warmups to get ready for the game. “We looked pretty slow in Toronto so I gave them the day off yesterday and no morning skate today. So they had only 15 minutes of warmups and that’s why I feel they had such a slow start.” said Julien.
Loui Eriksson, who has struggled in his first year with the Bruins, had his best game with a spoked B on his chest. “He’s been a great asset on the Soderberg line, and he was a great asset on Krejci’s line tonight.” said Julien when asked about Eriksson. “I thought he did a great job on the Bergeron line the other night and I think he got himself going on that line the other night.”
When asked about playing with new line mates, Eriksson said he had little trouble getting used to them. “It’s so easy. They’re such smart players that they’re easy to play with.” said Eriksson. “The way they play, it’s pretty simple to step right in there and help them out.”
With the win against the Flyers, the Bruins clinched home ice advantage in the Eastern Conference for the Stanley Cup playoffs. “It’s a nice accomplishment for sure,” said Bruins winger Milan Lucic. “It’s what you play for throughout the season and it’s great that we were able to win that and clinch that here tonight.”
Tuukka Rask was again a stud in between the pipes for the Bruins tonight, and when asked about the teams confidence heading into the playoffs, he said the Bruins had plenty of it. “We feel really confident. If we have a chance to play our style of hockey we have a chance to beat anybody.
Although Tuukka has been carrying a heavy work load this season, he will not be searching for any rest heading into the post season. “No it’s same old. I think they’ll try to manage everybody’s rest and I’m not going to go talk to anybody about getting [extra rest].” said Rask.
Two players who were scratched today and were listed as non-healthy scratches were Jarome Iginla and Kevan Miller. According to Julien, Iginla has a very minor issue going on and today was more of a maintenance day than anything else.
The Bruins return to action on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. Puck drops at 8 p.m.