Another extended layoff did not do the Bruins any good Wednesday night.
The most well-rested team in the NHL (and the only team in the league still with just one game to their name when Wednesday began), the Bruins’ return to the ice saw the mistakes pile up and into the back of Jeremy Swayman’s net on the way to a 6-3 loss to the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.
“They took advantage of the opportunities we presented them,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the loss. “Our breakdowns were bad in front of him, wasn’t a lot of quantity but high quality. Just mistakes from the backend. It’s losing hockey. It’s what it is. It’s how you lose games.
“You do dumb things and good teams come back at you and they finish.”
For the Bruins, the night to forget started with a Cam Atkinson goal on a two-on-one shot that leaked through Swayman for a 1-0 lead, and when Karson Kuhlman drew things back even, it was a bad penalty by Charlie Coyle that opened the door for a go-ahead power-play goal by Joel Farabee to put the Flyers up 2-1 through 20 minutes.
It was the worst kind of penalty for Coyle, who got hot and bothered by the Flyers’ Rasmus Ristolainen burying him into the boards, to take given how the Bruins had finally had something to show on the scoreboard for a relatively strong opening period from a possession and chance-generation standpoint.
The Flyers quickly doubled their lead over Boston just 1:58 into the middle frame, but with Ristolainen looking for a change, Charlie McAvoy and the Bruins countered, as McAvoy fed Taylor Hall for a breakaway strike through Martin Jones to bring the Bruins back within one. And on the back of Brad Marchand, who provided strong support on the faceoff and then batted a loose puck home, the Bruins and Flyers were knotted up a 3-3 through two periods.
Taylor Hall is a Boston Bruin.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) October 21, 2021
But the tie wouldn’t last, as a brutal Mike Reilly neutral-zone turnover sent the Flyers storming towards Swayman, and gave Atkinson his second goal of the evening, this one scored just 58 seconds into the third period.
“The fourth goal, we didn’t defend the two-on-one either,” Cassidy said. “We let the pass across for a tap-in. So not only did we turn over the puck over, [but] the partner doesn’t defend the two-on-one properly, and it’s an easy goal.”
The nightmare was not over for Reilly, either, as he bobbled a bouncing puck seconds before the Flyers’ Travis Konecny grabbed hold of it and rifled a stoppable shot through Swayman for Philly’s fifth goal of the evening.
The 22-year-old Swayman finished with 19 saves on 24 shots for his first loss of the season, and this was actually his first career game with more than three goals surrendered.
The Bruins suffered an in-game loss in this contest, too, with Nick Foligno missing the final minutes of the second period and all of the third period with an upper-body injury.
Cassidy’s squad will head to Buffalo for a Friday night head-to-head with the Sabres.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.