GOLD STAR: Tuukka Rask, without question, stole the game for the Bruins with 36 saves in the win. The B’s were definitely better in the third period, but it was Rask who stopped everything he saw when the B’s were getting outshot 24-14 in the first 40 minutes of the game.
It was Rask who stopped Travis Konecny cold at the post after a slick cross-ice pass from Jakub Voracek. It was Rask again stuffing Ivan Provorov in the third period as the Bruins were holding a slim one-goal lead. Rask finished strongly with the 36 saves for his fifth shutout of the season (50th of his career) and earned the best 33-year-old birthday present he could've asked for.
BLACK EYE: Konecny’s most memorable play was getting stuffed by a Rask leg-pad save in the first period on a chance at the post. That ended up being Philly’s leading scorer’s only shot on net of the game in 17:10 of ice time as the Bruins did a very effective job of bottling up the Flyers' best attacker.
The Flyers also missed on a number of great scoring chances as well, so there was that in the first 40 minutes, along with the strong performance from Rask. But there wasn’t enough from Konecny to beat the Bruins and that leaves him as one of the more disappointing figures for Philly in the loss.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins really took over in the third period. After an opening 40 minutes where they were outshot and outplayed by the Flyers despite taking a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal, the Bruins finally turned it on for the final 20 minutes. They outshot the Flyers 15-12, they continued to play aggressive, mistake-free hockey after looking sloppy early and they tacked on another goal to put things out of reach.
It was an encouraging sign for the B’s against a very good Flyers team. They still had something in the tank in the third after playing an emotional game against Tampa Bay over the weekend. That’s a good sign that Boston’s energy reserves are in a good place at this point in the season.
HONORABLE MENTION: Patrice Bergeron had the bullet goal in the third period to extend the lead on a big shot from the high slot. It was his 31st goal of the season and capped a strong night for No. 37 after a quiet first period from the Perfection Line.
Bergeron finished with three shots on net and six shot attempts that all came in the final 40 minutes. He also had three blocked shots in 16:52 of ice time. He was under 50 percent success rate at the dot on one of those rare nights, but he hung in there, grinding things out to make certain Boston came out with the two points. Bergeron is just two goals away from a career-high that seems as if it’s going to happen with a month left in the regular season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 100 – The Bruins become the first NHL team to get to 100 points this season as they continue their march toward the Presidents' Trophy.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “That was one of our best in a long time.” –Bruce Cassidy to NESN about a third period against the Flyers where the B’s extended the lead and outshot Philly 15-12 to finish strong.