GOLD STAR: David Backes didn’t score the game-winning goal, but he set it up with a smart pass to open space that allowed Ryan Spooner to both catch up to the puck and then fire it past Steve Mason for the overtime game-winner. Backes finished with an assist and a plus-1 rating in 17:26 of ice time, five shot attempts, two hits - including a jarring one on Jakub Voracek - and a blocked shot in his very first home game at TD Garden. Backes also managed to squeeze in a fight with Sean Couturier at the end of a long shot following the hit on Voracek, and did a good job of showing the Bruins Faithful exactly what to expect of him moving forward.
BLACK EYE: Radko Gudas seems hell-bent on getting suspended prior to the start of the regular season, and he once again courted supplemental discipline from the NHL with Saturday night’s hit on Austin Czarnik. This hit comes a few days after narrowly escaping punishment for a similarly violent hit on Jimmy Vesey. Gudas served a three-game suspension last season for a head shot on Mika Zibanejad, and was ejected from a number of games for borderline hits and going over the edge with his aggressively physical play. The feeling is this time he’s going to get hit with a suspension for the predatory hit on Czarnik. The only disappointing thing from a B’s perspective is that there wasn’t a bigger response from the B’s after Gudas leveled Czarnik behind the play, but then again it was so late that none of the B’s might have seen it.
HONORABLE MENTION: Ryan Spooner deserves some recognition for netting the game-winner, and will get it for using his speed to chase down the long lead pass from David Backes before burying it past Steve Mason. Spooner and his new "DReaD line" were solid throughout the game, and the fast-skating forward finished with three shots on net, four shot attempts, two takeaways and a blocked shot in 18:02 of ice time. Spooner, David Krejci and Backes looked pretty good together as a line, and were dangerous at points on the forecheck while forcing mistakes and generating offensive chance while also fine-tuning their chemistry. Saturday night’s success was Exhibit A as to why Spooner will be okay on the wing if he’s playing in a top-6 role with players like Krejci and Backes.
TURNING POINT: For the Bruins it was getting through the second period when the Flyers outshot them by a 10-3 margin, and controlled long stretches of the play while getting a few good chances against Tuukka Rask. The Bruins goaltender was sharp on Saturday night, and proved both quick with his glove and calm as the traffic piled up around the net as he turned back shot after shot. Once the Bruins managed to get through the second period, it was pretty equal play for the final 20 minutes and a brief foray into overtime before Ryan Spooner netted the game-winner.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – the number of multi-point scorers for the Bruins in the 2016 preseason that were under the age of 24 (Ryan Spooner, Austin Czarnik, David Pastrnak, Colin Miller, Seth Griffith, Jake Debrusk, Danton Heinen).
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We just have to get ourselves ready and there’s an opportunity. Tomorrow is a day off for the guys, and we have an opportunity the next three days to work on our game and continue to improve our game. My plan Monday is to work on our special teams, more of a teaching versus a high-pace practice and we’ll do a lot of teaching there. Then Tuesday and Wednesday we get prepared for the opener on Thursday. We’ll continue to work with the areas we need to, we’ll look at the video of tonight’s game and keep working on the stuff that we think needs working on.” – Claude Julien, on the plan moving forward and what’s next in order to get ready for regular season next week.