The Boston Bruins won a strong, well-played game over the Washington Capitals Thursday evening before dropping a Saturday matinee game to the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2. Their victory over Washington brought them within six points of the division leaders, but after the Capitals won over Buffalo on Friday and the Bruins lost to Philly today, the Bruins sit eight points back in the standings, with the Flyers right on their tails just 4 points behind them for the final playoff spot. Boston’s loss to Philadelphia also marks their first regulation loss to the club this season.
Jeremy Swayman got his second start in net for the Bruins Thursday night, and he impressed once again, stopping 31 shots en route to the victory. The scoring was opened up by Jeremy Lauzon just 33 seconds into the game with a shot from the point that trickled through the legs of Washington goalie Ilya Samsonov. Winger Anton Blidh would grab the next goal for the B’s, finding the puck in a fortunate spot in front of the net for his first goal of the season. Brad Marchand would then score the third goal of the game early in the second on the penalty kill.
Once again it looked like the Bruins were sitting comfortably and would be able to cruise to a win, but after a couple of unfortunate penalties, the Capitals would score two power play goals in the second to make the game 3-2 heading into the third. After some tense minutes and scoring opportunities for both teams, Craig Smith would score his 7th goal of the year with just over 3 minutes remaining in the third to seal the game for the Bruins. Early goals from Lauzon and Blidh may get overshadowed by Marchand’s shorthanded beauty or Craig Smith’s snipe in the third, but those two 1st period goals really set the tone for the Bruins. Their goals were incredibly important as they came from depth guys who were able to make a significant impact on the game.
Things didn’t end going as well for the B’s on Saturday. Patrice Bergeron opened up the scoring Saturday afternoon with a snipe from the slot after Philly goalie Brian Elliot misplayed the puck behind the net. The Flyers would quickly answer with two first period goals of their own however from Travis Konecny and Shayne Gostisbehere. After Jake DeBrusk tied the game in the second for the B’s, Sean Couturier would score the game winning goal for the Flyers in the third as they finally beat the Bruins in regulation.
Jake DeBrusk desperately needed a goal as he has had a highly disappointing season, with only 3 goals coming into Saturday. Looking ahead to the trade deadline on Monday, the Bruins could be looking to deal DeBrusk for a veteran player who will help the team win now. Goals like the one he scored today give General Managers around the league more to consider when looking at trading for him.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers moved within just 4 points of the Bruins with their win today. The Bruins have 2 games in hand on the Flyers but giving them a win today could come back to bite them later on if the Flyers make a real push in the coming weeks. The Bruins will need to continue to pick up points when they can in order to not give the Flyers any momentum to make a playoff push.
Up next, the Bruins will take on the Washington Capitals again tomorrow, and the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.
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