Flyers-Bruins: Postgame Review
Getting outshot 42-19 usually doesn't get a good result on the scoreboard, but for the Flyers, some timely scoring and good goaltending made it stand out.
The Flyers got three goals from Sean Couturier and another excellent night in goal from Carter Hart on their way to back-to-back wins for just the fourth time this season, defeating the Bruins, 4-3.
More in our Postgame Review.
- Carter Hart - At the start of the game, you had a feeling Hart was in for a long night. A quick power-play goal and another goal on similar plays -- both were backdoor passes that were right on the tape -- had the Flyers in a 2-0 hole again.
For Hart, that was unfortunate, because there was nothing he could do on either goal. The Bruins had six shots and two goals early.
From there, Hart stood tall and looked every bit as poised as he has in his entire NHL career. He turned aside several quality chances and made some of the saves look easy. At 20 years old, there's no question he's the real deal.
It was just six days earlier that Hart had set a career high with 37 saves. He topped that by two, reaching 39 saves in this win, despite allowing a goal with 1:06 to play.
When you consider his last five home games, it's hard not to get excited about the kid's future. He made 29 saves in an overtime loss to Calgary where he deserved a better fate. He made 34 saves against St. Louis in a game where the rest of the team failed to show up. He made 37 saves, coming up just short of his first career shutout against Dallas. He looked leaky early against Minnesota, only to finish the game with 34 saves on 38 shots. Against Boston, a team with several elite scorers, he held them to three goals on 42 shots.
That is consistency for you and the Flyers, to their credit, have given him a chance to win in the last two games when Hart had moments when he wasn't at his best. But for most of the game, Hart is locked in, and that's so encouraging for the Flyers, who have longed for a goalie like this for a long time.
- Sean Couturier - On Monday, it was James van Riemsdyk. On Wednesday, it was Sean Couturier. Couturier scored goals in three different styles, but each was more important than the next.
The Flyers ended the third period with a jolt on a goal from Oskar Lindblom, but still trailed after a slow and ragged start. Couturier's first goal, a deflection of a Jake Voracek shot, seemed to get them up on their skates.
On a power play less than a minute later, Couturier scored again to give the Flyers the lead 1:15 after tying the game, going to the net to finish off a nice passing play between Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds.
Finally, there was the third goal, a well-placed shot off a two-on-one in a period where the Flyers had just five shots. That goal essentially iced the game, even with 4:07 to play.
Couturier has quietly put together another solid offensive season. With 19 goals just past the halfway point of the season, he's on pace for right around the same mark as last season, somewhere in the low 30s. He's played well lately as part of the power play and centering the second line.
- The Third Line - Carrying over from Monday's game, the play of the third line of Nolan Patrick, Simmonds and Scott Laughton was very good once again. They did not get on the board, but they generated chances and had good possession. Laughton also nearly led Simmonds for a goal in the second period that was tipped just wide.
Even without anything on the scoresheet, seeing this line click and show some chemistry has been exciting. Patrick seems to have some new-found confidence with his four points in Monday's game. Laughton has quietly been a good player all season.
Simmonds' fate likely won't change no matter what happens with this season, but he's showing his best of late, which is encouraging if the Flyers plan to move him for the maximum value they can obtain as the deadline approaches next month.
- Penalty Kill - On the Bruins first power play of the night, they scored too easily. A perfect cross ice pass from Torey Krug to David Pastrnak and bang, the puck was in.
The Flyers didn't take another penalty until late in the second period when Jori Lehtera laid a hit from behind on Ryan Donato, sending him into the boards and being assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct.
A five-minute power play for the Bruins, who entered with the third-ranked power play in the league, should have done them in. Instead, the Flyers were relentless on the penalty kill, blocking several shots and taking away angles where they could to kill off the five minutes.
They had to kill off the major between two periods and then two more in the third period too. Through it all, Hart and the penalty killers took care of business, all you could ask for in this game.
Since Nov. 23, the Flyers penalty kill is at an 83.3 percent success rate, a large improvement from where the season began.
- Blocked Shots - The Flyers had 30 blocked shots in the game to eight for the Bruins.
Much like their win over Dallas last week, the Flyers spent a lot of time in the defensive zone to close the game and really didn't hesitate to sell out to make the play and block a shot when needed. Robert Hagg had seven. Ivan Provorov had five. Andrew MacDonald had four. Radko Gudas and Shayne Gostisbehere had three each. Travis Sanheim had two.
Even the forwards were getting in on the act. In total, only six Flyers did not block a shot. Talk about a team effort to get in the way of chances and make things difficult on the opposition. They didn't make things overly difficult, because the Bruins still managed 42 shots on goal and had 30 attempts blocked, but that kind of character has been evident lately.
By the Numbers
At 5-on-5, the Bruins had a 66.67 CF% for the game, getting 62 shot attempts to 31 for the Flyers. They had nine high-danger scoring chances, including five in the second period. Hart was up to the task on all five chances in that period, making 17 saves.
Stat of the Game
Ivan Provorov still has issues with turnovers, but the stat line was much more his usual effort. He had two assists, two hits and five blocked shots in 25:54 of ice time.
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.