It was a beautiful night for outdoor hockey at Lake Tahoe Sunday night, as the Boston Bruins came away with a dominant 7-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Bruins showed up in style to the rink located on the 18th hole of a golf course, wearing colorful 90’s attire. That swagger carried over to the game where they hammered the Flyers, beating them for the 5th time in a row this season. The night was pretty close to perfect for the Bruins as they got to play on arguably the coolest outdoor rink that has been used in the NHL, and they got to assert their dominance on national TV against a division rival.
The Bruins have had the Flyers number all year, and Sunday night was no different. Both teams were without key players, most notably Claude Giroux and Oskar Lindblom for the Flyers and David Krejci and Kevan Miller for the Bruins. The Flyers certainly missed their inactive players more than the Bruins as they were outplayed for pretty much the entirety of the game. The B’s outshot the Flyers 35-19 and were simply the stronger team, capitalizing on more scoring chances and having a better offensive strategy.
The star of the night was none other than David Pastrnak, who tallied his second hat trick of the year, with the first also coming against Flyers. Pasta now has 9 goals in his first 9 games this year. He keeps proving why he is right up there in the conversation of best goal scorer in the league with Alex Ovechkin and Connor McDavid. His second goal was his best of the night, a snipe from the top of the faceoff circle. This goal was evident of the shooting skill he possesses because the puck was sitting on edge, and he was able to put just as much velocity and accuracy on the shot as he would have if it was flat on the ice. Tucked right above Carter Hart’s left shoulder, the goal would turn out to be the game winner.
Trent Frederic also netted a goal tonight, the first of his NHL career. Frederic has been grinding hard all year, playing really important minutes for the Bruins. He consistently brings energy to the lineup night in and night out, so seeing him score his first goal in such a cool setting was a nice moment.
The second period has been the Bruins worst period all year, but tonight the offensive onslaught brought on in the second was inevitably what won the game for the B’s. The first period was relatively even, ending at 2-2 with the Flyers actually outshooting the Bruins 11-8. Coming out of the locker room going into the second, the Bruins seemed to be on a mission to completely take the Flyers out of it. Once the Bruins got their third goal of the night, the air seemed to come out of the tires of the Flyers wheels, and the Bruins outworked them in every aspect of the game. The win was a good sign that the Bruins are able to close a game out and not let teams creep back in after taking a lead.
The Bruins will have a nice layoff after their big win at Lake Tahoe, as their next game will come Thursday against the New York Islanders who have beat the Bruins twice this year. They will play 3 games in 4 days next weekend, with the other 2 coming against the New York Rangers. A solid weekend would give the Bruins a comfortable lead at the top of the division. They should be able to take at least 2 out of 3 on their trip to New York, against a couple of fringe playoff teams.
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