Flyers-Bruins: Postgame Review
Make it six straight wins for the Flyers, this one coming in come-from-behind fashion.
The Flyers did it again, getting a third-period power-play goal to tie things up and scoring on the power play in overtime to get the win, in a building that has been a horrific place to play in recent years, especially in late-game situations just like the one presented on Thursday night.
This was a character win for the Flyers, who got contributions up and down the lineup and stuck to a game plan that proved to pay off in the end.
More in our Postgame Review.
- Claude Giroux - The Flyers captain scored a goal late in the first period to tie the game, but the things that were more impressive in his game on Thursday were the things that don't show up on the stat sheet.
Giroux was up on his skates all night. He played with an energy, he was strong on the puck, made smart decisions and really kind of kept the team level-headed when things weren't there and going right in the second period. The Flyers outplayed the Bruins for the better part of 50 minutes in this game, only to find themselves trailing throughout.
The play that really defined Giroux's effort came in the third period shortly after the Flyers had tied the game. It was clear Boston's best chance at the win would be with their top line on the ice, and the Bruins were charging the other way on a two-on-one with David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand leading the charge. Giroux flew back on the backcheck, disrupting the play.
Whether it was done cleanly or not is another issue -- Giroux did appear to take out the legs of Pastrnak -- but there was no call on the play. It was still the speed displayed that showed something.
The Flyers have had a willingness to sell out and make the plays as they need to in the third period. If you want to question Giroux's leadership, just watch this play. Giroux completely leads by example here.
- Travis Sanheim - With Shayne Gostisbehere out of the lineup, Travis Sanheim continues to see an elevated role, and that includes the power play. He had an assist on the game-tying goal. And the game-winner was a thing of beauty, a perfectly placed shot under the bar over the shoulder of Tuukka Rask.
The success on the power play is all a bonus. Sanheim is emerging as one of the top defensemen on this team, and playing with a lot of consistency. It was nice to see him rewarded with some power play time as a result and he made the most of it. It would be hard to imagine him being held off the power play with skills like that, even after Gostisbehere makes his return.
- Oskar Lindblom - If there was anybody who deserved a goal, it was Oskar Lindblom. The forward was a machine on the forecheck. He constantly was winning puck battles, working hard along the boards and getting in position to create scoring chances.
Power play time has been rare for Lindblom as well, but he finally had one come in the slot for him to re-direct and he put it through the pads of Rask with some help from Kevan Miller.
Lindblom is another player who has seen his game change completely in an elevated role and since scoring his first goal to snap a long scoring drought. Lindblom scored against the Bruins two weeks ago to snap a 29-game goalless drought. His goal on Thursday was his third in the last five games. But more than the numbers, it has been his ability to drive the play, outwork opponents and win battles that has been most impressive.
- Carter Hart - In a game like this, the kid almost becomes secondary. This wasn't a 30-something save performance that he stole, but it came close.
Hart finished with 23 saves, mainly because there were limited opportunities on goal for the Bruins in a 40-minute span from the last half of the first period to the midpoint of the third. Despite that, Hart locked things down again for the second time against the Bruins. He had no chance on Pastrnak's first goal on the power play. The second goal was a skilled deflection by Pastrnak that took a favorable bounce.
Otherwise, Hart remained solid and made saves on Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron down the stretch that kept the Flyers in the game or kept the game tied. Hart now has five straight wins as part of the six-game streak for the Flyers. This has been a different team since he was called up, and the rest of the players are feeding off the 20-year-old's performances.
- The Rest - It's hard to look across the lineup and find a player that played poorly. There were moments where the Flyers were sloppy with the puck and got careless, leading to turnovers, but they really played a complete team game to get the job done.
The fourth line had some good possession shifts. The line of Nolan Patrick, Wayne Simmonds and Scott Laughton did not score in the game, but had a number of chances.
Scott Gordon was also very active in changing combinations regularly. Giroux may take one shift with his usual linemates -- James van Riemsdyk and Travis Konecny. On the next shift, he may be out with Jake Voracek instead. On the next, he might be playing with Sean Couturier. The constant rotation is tough to keep up with and allows a lot of players who are threats to score to get more ice time, especially as the game reaches a critical stage.
The top nine forwards all played at least 13 minutes in the game. Seven forwards played at least 16 minutes. This was a test of durability, chemistry and character, and the Flyers passed with flying colors, really driving the play through the final 40 minutes to the point where they deserved the result.
Defensively, it was similar, with so many players grinding through long shifts and selling out to block shots and take the opponent out of the play. Sanheim played 23:53 in the game, second to only Ivan Provorov, who played a whopping 30:20 in the game. Keep in mind that Provorov played over 54 minutes between the two games earlier this week. Radko Gudas also broke the 20-minute mark in ice time.
Sanheim obviously provided the offense, but also had three blocked shots. Provorov had two blocks and three shots. Gudas had three hits and one block.
By the Numbers
The Flyers second period was dominant to the tune of a 27-19 lead in shot attempts at 5-on-5 and a 58.7 CF%. In the third, the Bruins actually had the better of the shot attempts at 5-on-5, 17-13, but the Flyers and Bruins matched each other with three scoring chances each and one high-danger scoring chance each at 5-on-5.
Stat of the Game
Scott Laughton played a solid game, finishing with 18:16 of ice time, six hits, two blocked shots and four shots on goal.
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.