By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins were well on their way towards an official slump.
Back on Boston ice after back-to-back losses in Montreal and Detroit, the Bruins were given a gift with the Flyers in town on the second leg of a back-to-back that began in Toronto on Saturday night (and went to a shootout). They couldn't quite take advantage of that off the jump, but Bruce Cassidy's squad successfully battled back for a 3-2 shootout loss at TD Garden.
Now, I know that 'successfully' and 'shootout loss' rarely belong in the same sentence, but the Bruins looked straight-up terrible out of the gate in this rare Sunday night showdown at TD Garden.
Philadelphia jumped to a 1-0 lead when a four-on-one into the Boston zone caused a traffic jam in front of Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak, and allowed Travis Konecny to pot his eighth goal of the year, 13:50 into the opening period.
Philippe Myers extended the lead to 2-0 behind a seeing-eye wrister that hit pipe and in just 4:06 later, good for his third goal of the season, and enough to give the Flyers a multi-goal lead in a period that saw them outshoot the B's, 14-5.
"Poor [start]," Cassidy said of the B's opening period. "That's the best way I'll sum it up."
The Bruins thought they had scored a second-period goal in a net-front scramble in front of Carter Hart 2:50 into the period, with both Par Lindholm and Zach Senyshyn swinging at a loose puck that eventually trickled over the goal line for Boston's first goal of the evening. But a whistle blew the play dead without an official goal signal, and the officials went to the iPad, but with zero explanation as to what they were reviewing.
Cassidy was hardly impressed with whatever it was that they decided, and the sides played on with the Flyers' two-goal lead still intact.
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) November 11, 2019
It didn't get much better for the Bruins from there, as they once again failed to put much of anything on Hart and Co. in the attacking zone, once again finishing with just five shots on goal in the frame.
In fact, the Bruins had just six shots on net through the first 32 minutes and change of the game. It was a borderline unbelievably low number, but one that also spoke to the struggle that was creating any sort of offense against a Flyer squad that came into action with just three road wins in eight tries.
The Bruins officially broke through on Hart at the 5:59 mark of the third period, as Danton Heinen spun off a defender and finished off a net-front look for his fourth goal of the year, bringing the B's within one.
Heinen's goal was the start of a patented Bruins Takeover, as the team began to dominate from a possession standpoint and pummel pucks on Hart, but their best look coming on a cross-ice feed from David Pastrnak to Brad Marchand that Marchand hammered just wide of Hart's cage.
But given some space in the offensive zone (for some insane reason), Matt Grzelcyk hit Marchand with a pass that allowed No. 63 to cruise in and rip home his 11th goal of the year, scored with 7:38 remaining in the third.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 11, 2019
It got even better for the Bruins, too, as Pastrnak was awarded a penalty shot with 4:56 remaining in the third period. But No. 88 could not outlast Hart, as the 21-year-old netminder kept things knotted up at 2-2.
Unable to convert on their penalty shot, the Bruins were gifted another chance at taking the lead on an Oskar Lindblolm trip against Marchand with just 3:20 left to play in regulation. The Bruins failed to capitalize on that one, too, despite some terrific movement from the first unit and a one-time bomb from Pastrnak that went just above the Philly net.
With the power play failing to push the B's ahead, the sides went to overtime, and then a shootout, where the only goal was scored by the Flyers' Joel Farabee while the Black and Gold went 0-for-3.
One big change for the Bruins in this one came with the move from third-line center to second-line right wing for Charlie Coyle, as the Bruins move the Weymouth, Mass. native to a line with David Krejci and Danton Heinen.
In other lineup news, forwards Lindholm and Joakim Nordstrom both made their return to the Boston lineup. Lindholm, injured in the Oct. 27 win over the Rangers and on the shelf for the last five games with an upper-body injury, centered a line with Anders Bjork and Zach Senyshyn on the wings. Nordstrom, meanwhile, returned after missing the last six games with an infection, and skated in his normal spot to the left of Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner on the Black and Gold's fourth line.
David Backes (upper-body), Jake DeBrusk (lower-body), and Brett Ritchie (upper-body) all continued to sit on the shelf for the Bruins. Steve Kampfer sat as the team's healthy scratch.
The Bruins will get back to work Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers.