By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
A two-game series with the Flyers was all it took for the Bruins to put their scoring issues behind them, as the Bruins put an exclamation on a two-game, TD Garden sweep of the Flyers with a 6-1 final Saturday night.
Like Thursday’s win, which saw the Bruins score four goals on 22 shots in their third period after a second intermission callout from Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, Saturday’s scoring explosion featured a versatile mix, with 10 different scorers getting involved in the offense by the night’s end.
The Bruins opened things up on their second shot of the game, and just 13 seconds into their first man advantage of the evening, on Patrice Bergeron’s second goal of the season.
Patrice Bergeron knocks it home on the power play.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 24, 2021
1-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/hTP8Rq9fra
Bergeron’s goal was created off David Krejci’s point shot, while Nick Ritchie got just enough of it to send it Bergeron’s way, which continued the top unit’s success with Ritchie as its net-front threat, with the Bruins having scored their third goal in what at that point was 8:45 of total action with Ritchie as the unit’s top crease-disruptor.
The goal held as the lone strike of the period.
But the Flyers stormed back in the second, and knotted things up at 1-1 on a Kevin Hayes deflection through Jaroslav Halak just 1:14 into the middle frame. Set up by Jake Voracek, Hayes’ tip slid and squeaked right through the Bruins’ Halak on what was Philly’s first shot of the period, and just their fifth shot of the contest.
And in what was shades of Thursday, the Bruins countered right back by way of Craig Smith’s first goal as a Bruin, scored at the 2:30 mark of the period, and just 1:16 after Hayes’ game-tying tally.
The teams then traded successful penalty kills (though Philly tried their best to hand the B’s a shorthanded goal) before a huge stop on Hayes from Halak after a Charlie McAvoy centering feed was picked off in the Philly zone and sparked the Flyers for an odd-man rush going the Black and Gold’s way. And with Voracek once again playing the role of dish-man, Halak slide from left to right and was able to get his pad on Hayes’ shot. The save came at a cost, however, as Bergeron crashed into the post on his lunge back into the defensive zone and immediately made his way down to the Boston locker room.
But Charlie Coyle made Bergeron’s sacrifice count, with a finish off a beautiful Trent Frederic feed to give the Bruins a two-goal edge (their first of the season) with just 2:10 left in the frame and through 40 minutes of action.
Brad Marchand doubled that lead in the third period, too, with a pair of goals in 3:46, the first off a won’t-be-denied effort from Patrice Bergeron and the second on the power-play and with a primary, cross-seam assist from Ritchie.
Nick Ritchie ➡️ Brad Marchand.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 24, 2021
5-1 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/3pauPJRvD9
The Bruins added a sixth goal for good measure, too, with Bergeron’s second of the evening, with 13:33 gone in the third.
At the other end, Halak finished with a solid 16-save effort in net for his first win of the season, while the Flyers’ Hart took the loss with a 20-of-26 performance for Philadelphia.
The Bruins played this one without defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. The 27-year-old Grzelcyk, who was given Friday off with the hope of suiting up for this contest, is dealing with a lower-body injury suffered in Thursday’s win.
With Grzelcyk out, and with veteran John Moore dealing with a lower-body injury of his own suffered during training camp, Connor Clifton was summoned into action for his first appearance of the 2021 season. Playing his off-side on the left of a second pairing with Brandon Carlo, Clifton finished with four hits and a block in 18:12 of play.
Up next, the Bruins will welcome the Penguins to town for a Tuesday night head-to-head. The Bruins went 2-1-0 against the Pens last season, and have won eight straight home games against Pittsburgh.