David Krejci and Tyler Seguin scored in the shootout to propel the Boston Bruins to a wild a 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center in a Sunday matinee. It was a physical affair that featured 63 hits, 68 penalty minutes, and three fights.
Following a 6-0 mid-December drubbing suffered at the hands of the Bruins, it was important for Philadelphia to get a good start Sunday afternoon. Sometimes the best laid plans don't always to come to fruition.
Shortly after Chris Kelly was stopped on a breakaway in the contest's first 10 seconds, Patrice Bergeron netted his 15th goal of the season just 50 seconds after the opening faceoff to give Boston a 1-0 lead.
It was a similar start to the 6-0 game, and while the Bruins looked to build upon the quick beginning, the Flyers had other ideas.
A centering pass from the right wing corner from Maxime Talbot intended for Jakub Voracek deflected off the stick of Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg's stick and trickled through Tim Thomas' pads for his 11th goal of the year to tie the game at 1-1 at the 2:05 mark.
Seguin rammed a pass from Bergeron past Ilya Bryzgalov from the slot for the sophomore's 18th goal of the season, staking the Bruins to a 2-1 lead at 9:01.
Just over three minutes later, Nathan Horton set a pick for Milan Lucic, who used the additional open space to snap off a shot that handcuffed Bryzgalov and increased Boston's lead to a 3-1 margin after one period.
The middle frame would be tremendous for the home team with Scott Hartnell scoring a natural hat trick, giving the Flyers' winger 25 goals on the season. Two of those tallies were via the power play route, lifting Hartnell to an NHL-leading 13 goals scored while with the man advantage. His third goal gave the Flyers their first lead at 4-3 and came with just 46 seconds remaining in the stanza, which were played just prior to the start of the third as the players were sent to their respective locker rooms as the hats were cleaned up from the ice surface.
Boston flexed its muscles when the third period began. Krejci scored his and Gregory Campbell his sixth in the frame's first five minutes to give the Bruins a 5-4 lead.
After Shawn Thornton took an additional minor in a scrum with Hartnell, Talbot deflected Matt Carle's point drive past Thomas to knot the game at 5-5 with 9:22 remaining in regulation. The power play tally was Talbot's second goal of the game and 12th of the season. It was also Philly's third man advantage goal of the afternoon in eight opportunities.
Eight shots (five Boston, three Flyers) in the five-minute overtime did not yield a game-winner, so it came down to a shootout to decide the spirited affair.
Thomas made 33 saves during regulation and overtime to improve his record to 20-9-0, while Bryzgalov stopped 32 of 37 Boston offerings to drop to 18-10-4.
With the win, the Bruins moved into a tie with the New York Rangers for the Eastern Conference lead with 64 points.