You Can’t Beat the Bruins on St. Paddy’s Day in Boston!

Tyler Seguin scores against Ilya Bryzgalov in the shootout (3/17/12)

The Bruins' Tyler Seguin scores against the Flyers' hot goalie Ilya Bryzgalov in the shootout (our other two shooters, David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron, scored too).

The Bruins head out for warm-ups in green St. Paddy's Day jerseys (3/17/12)

The Bruins head out for warm-ups in green St. Paddy's Day jerseys.

3/17/12: Bruins vs Flyers - Final Score (3-2 Bruins)

The Bruins win in an epic shootout against the Flyers!  That’s right, it finally happened.. we played a good game!  We completely owned the first period, spending the most of it in their end and giving up very few scoring chances.  In the remaining 40 minutes, we continued to play strong, but we could not fully escape the our recent plague of defensive breakdowns, so we ended up allowing a couple of goals.  Those two goals allowed the Flyers to stay alive and sent the game to overtime, and then an amazing shootout.

Unlike my recent posts, which have had detailed notes on what I thought was worth highlighting, this one will be more of a summarization of what I saw since I was at the game rather than watching it on TV and taking notes.. but I will highlight the key plays.

As I said, in the first period, the Bruins came out strong, looking like they had something to prove.. because they did.  They didn’t even allow the Flyers to get a shot on goal until about halfway through the period.  To start the game, something happened that I’ve never seen before.. David Krejci got thrown out of the game-starting face-off.. but no matter, we were just very eager to start the game and win.  Soon after this one of the Flyers hit Krejci high and it probably should’ve been a penalty, but no call was made.  I think it was Scott Hartnell who hit him because the Bruins tried to fight him a few times after that.  Hartnell actually tried to start a fight himself, but when Zdeno Chara came over, he backed off quick.

Early on, Brian Rolston had a perfect pass ahead to Chris Kelly, then Kelly perfectly across to Benoit Pouliot.  He shoots, it gets blocked but rebounds.. Kelly knocks the loose puck past their goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov, off the ground, but just under his glove.  This was the first time in eight games that the Bruins have scored the first goal!

A few minutes later, the Flyers were on a power play (Jordan Caron got a hooking penalty)..  Brad Marchand makes a nice steal as Claude Giroux tried to carry the puck in, then he passes to Patrice Bergeron who had a good shorthanded scoring chance.. he rushed in and took a shot, then another one off of the rebound that was just barely saved by Bryzgalov.

Near the end of the first period we were controlling the puck in the Flyers end..  Bergeron passes from behind the net to Tyler Seguin in front.. he slips it through the five-hole and scores!  Even though we would later have a few defensive breakdowns, there was no way the Bruins were going to let the Flyers win after having such a great start.  The first period ends 2-0 Bruins.

In the second period, we started off strong and 30 seconds in, Bergeron had a great pass to Caron right in front of the net on the other side but he couldn’t quite get it.  This was immediately followed by a shot from Milan Lucic, then Caron off of his rebound.  A minute later Seguin carried it in and both Marchand and Bergeron had similar chances.  This game was actually full of good scoring chances and although we only capitalized on a couple of them, it’s great to see the Bruins offense working again.

Almost halfway through the period, Seguin got a bullshit slashing penalty and the Flyers were on the power play again.  During the penalty kill, we got another good shorthanded scoring chance.  Dennis Seidenberg also put a big hit on Wayne Simmonds.  We ended up killing off the penalty down to two seconds, but then they scored with a deflected shot.  The rest of the period was more back and forth than the first, but we still played well.  Near the end, a defensive breakdown led to a good chance for the Flyers, but Tim Thomas made a big save.. which he actually did quite a few times, which was another thing that it was good to see we got back.

In the third period, we came out strong again and were able to stay focused even we had given up a goal near the end of the second period.  Even just over a minute in, we had a nice offensive zone steal and scoring chance.  Then several minutes later Daniel Paille had a really nice steal in our end, then rushed up and got a nice shot off.

Just over halfway though the period, Shawn Thornton got called for another bullshit penalty.. and he actually had to use every ounce of energy to hold back from fighting.. but he didn’t do anything, so this was definitely a bad call.

With just four minutes left, the Flyers were getting desperate and playing hard.  They took a shot from the perimeter, it bounced off of one of their skates and in.. they tied the game with another lucky goal.  After this we came back even harder and got some more great opportunities.  Then with about 30 seconds left, our defense was scrambling but Thomas made a couple of big saves to keep us alive and send us to overtime.

In overtime, we had some good chances, but with a minute left, the Flyers were driving into our end and I was getting nervous..  but then Johnny Boychuk stopped one of them in his tracks and just layed him out.  We were able to hold on and overtime ended, sending the game to a shootout.

This was the most epic shootout I’ve ever seen.  I’ve never seen the first five shooters all score, let alone the first three for one team.. and that’s what happened.  Our three shooters, in order, were David Krejci, Tyler Seguin, and Patrice Bergeron.  They all scored.. that’s 3 for 3 on one of the hottest goalies in the NHL.  The Flyers’ first two shooters, Matt Read and Claude Giroux both scored.. So it came down to their third shooter, Danny Briere.  He had to score to keep them alive..  He skates in fast, does some mini-dekes, then suddenly stops, which I though would allow him to beat Thomas, he shoots high glove side.. Thomas stops it and we win!!!!

Another thing that I forgot to mention was the physical game.  It had been lacking for the Bruins recently, but they brought it back in this game.  Early in the game, Gregory Campbell picked a fight with Zac Rinaldo to get the team pumped up.  Then later in the game Johnny Boychuk fought Maxime Talbot and took him down real quick with some huge punches.

This was Tim Thomas’ 30th win of the season.  He now has the fourth season of his career with 30+ wins.  He is also a perfect 6-0 in shootouts this season.

This win put us back into first place in the Northeast Division, causing us to switch places with Ottawa in the Conference standings again, putting us back in second and them back in seventh.  This win also ended our four game losing streak and will be what I hope is a big turnaround point for the team.  Their next game is against the Maple Leafs, who have yet to beat us this season, so we should be able to win that one.  After that, we take a west coast road trip and play a bunch of teams that are sub-par right now and outside of the playoff bracket.. so we should be able to pick up some more wins there.  If everything goes well, we could even end up with a five game win streak without too much trouble.  Keep it going Bruins!

Some other notes:
-The Bruins are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games against the Flyers.
-This was Tim Thomas’ 12th consecutive game.. he really needs a rest.
-It was Andrew Ference’s 33rd birthday.. and it was great to have him back on the ice.

Here’s NESN’s game preview (with some Bruins/Flyers history & build-up):

Here’s a video of Dennis Seidenberg’s big hit on Wayne Simmonds:
http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1065&event=BOS240

Here a video of Dennis Seidenberg taking down Scott Hartnell (who is always a bitch, but was much moreso in this game.. so this was nice to see):
http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1065&event=BOS403

Here’s a video of Gregory Campbell fighting Zac Rinaldo:

Here’s a video of Chris Kelly’s goal:

You can also see Chris Kelly’s goal here:
http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1065&event=BOS70

Here’s a video of Tyler Seguin’s goal (low quality):

You can also see Tyler Seguin’s goal here:
http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1065&event=BOS99

Here’s a video of Johnny Boychuk destroying Maxime Talbot:

Here’s a video of Shawn Thornton crashing into the Flyers’ goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov, and then yelling at them:

Here’s a video of the shootout (unfortunately, the only one I could embed has Russian announcing, but there’s a link to an English version below):

Here’s a video of the shootout (in English):
http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=0&id=165565

Here’s a video recap of the goals in the game:

Here’s the NHL’s video recap of the game:
http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1065

Here’s the NHL’s photos from the game:
http://bruins.nhl.com/club/gallery.htm?id=28630&location=/photos&pg=1

Thanks for reading,
Matt

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About bost0nfire

Here in Boston, our pro sports teams won seven championships in a decade, with all teams accounted for. That means the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox, and yes the New England Patriots.. they did play in Boston at one time after all.. and they're still our team. So, I declare Boston to be the City of Champions. ... Check us out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/b0stonwins?ref=hl ... Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BostonWins_Blog ... **** READER DISCRETION ADVISED: Adult Language may be used.
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