The Philadelphia Flyers kept it close against the Boston Bruins on Sunday despite missing several of their top forwards. Well, it was close for most of the game at least.
The Bruins eventually broke through and put up a seven-spot on the board, including David Pastrnak‘s second hat trick of the season against the Flyers.
Carter Hart wasn’t on his game, getting pulled after allowing six goals on 23 shots in two periods of play. The team in front of him didn’t play much better in the final two periods of the 7-3 loss.
What really changed the game was a 99-second span late in the second period. The Bruins were driving play in the period and it felt like only a matter of time before they extended their lead.
Once they doubled their lead from 3-2 to 4-2, they quickly put the game out of reach with three goals in 99 seconds.
The first of the three goals was a result of both a bad defensive play as well as poor goaltending.
The Bruins rushed up the ice after a defensive-zone faceoff win, but Robert Hagg denied the zone entry and the Flyers took over at their own blue line.
Coyle confuses Carter
Gustafsson controlled the puck and passed it across the ice to Hagg. Hagg would’ve been able to move up the ice with speed if he corralled the puck. Instead, the puck bounced off of Hagg’s stick and right to Charlie Coyle, who made a nice spinning pass to Craig Smith to gain the zone. This happened as Hagg fell down, which was a precursor of things to come.
As can be seen above, Smith gave the puck back to Coyle, who was able to dance around Patrick. The unfortunate sequence ended with a goal that shouldn’t have gone in.
Hart did take away the net, but he made himself small. Coyle’s shot rang off the post, then bounced off of Hart and into the net.
That’s a save that needs to be made after a few defensive plays that could’ve been better.
Up to that point, the second period was dominated by the Bruins. The lead felt much wider than just one goal – or even two – and the Bruins quickly made that feeling a reality.
Frederic fires his first
The Flyers’ fourth line took the next shift and got the puck in deep. But they couldn’t win a battle in the offensive zone and the Bruins took over. Then, they couldn’t win a battle behind the net, leading to a cycle for the Bruins.
Samuel Morin actually got his stick on the cross-ice pass intended for Trent Frederic, but the Bruin was able to reach back for the puck. He turned and fired a shot with the puck on edge. It may have deflected off a stick as well. Nevertheless, it went past Hart for his first career goal.
That deflection may have thrown Hart off, but he just whiffed on the save attempt and the Bruins were up by three.
To make matters worse, Andy Andreoff took a roughing penalty after the goal to put the Bruins on the power play.
Andreoff is only in the lineup because of multiple players on the COVID list. That penalty simply cannot happen.
Of course, the Bruins made the Flyers pay.
Ritchie cashes in
They entered the zone on the rush and got set up. Hayes just missed breaking up a bouncing cross-ice pass and Hagg stepped up to pressure Pastrnak a bit before defending no one in the circle.
Nick Ritchie easily deflected a point shot past Hart for the Bruins’ sixth goal.
He was camped out in front of the net with no one within six feet of him.
Hart couldn’t have done anything about this one.
The Bruins had the better of the play throughout the second period and it culminated in three goals in 99 seconds.
The Flyers were the underdogs coming into the game and losing wasn’t surprising. It was the way that they lost that was frustrating.
If you remember, the Flyers actually had a lead in the game at one point – for 39 seconds at least. There was hope late in the first period and even during the first intermission. The Flyers had kept up with the Bruins in the opening 20 minutes. However, once the Bruins settled in in the second period, it all went downhill.
But the three goals in 99 seconds is excessive.
For starters, Andreoff needs to control himself and not take a penalty after his team just allowed two goals in 33 seconds to go down by three. A three-goal deficit against Boston has been overcome before. A four-goal deficit is just about impossible.
Even before that, perhaps Alain Vigneault should’ve called a timeout or even made a goalie change after the goal by Coyle or Frederic. Hart was clearly not on his game and waiting until the intermission was essentially waving the white flag. The game could’ve been slowed down and maybe things would’ve unfolded differently if Vigneault took a timeout to reset the group,
There are always “what if” and “should’ve” moments in a game. Unfortunately, the Flyers fell victim to three of them in quick succession to sink them at Lake Tahoe.