Flyers, down 2 goals in third, come back for OT win over Bruins
BOSTON — The Boston Bruins seemed ready to put this one away before Philadelphia backup goaltender Steve Mason came up with a terrific save. It sparked a Flyers comeback.
Claude Giroux’s second goal, coming on a power play 2:09 into overtime, lifted the Flyers to a 5-4 win over the Bruins on Wednesday night.
With the Flyers trailing 4-2 midway into the third, Boston forward David Pastrnak shot to a wide-open side of the net. Mason quickly moved across to his right and flashed his glove, barely pulling the puck out of the air before it crossed the line.
Mason was hoping it could spark the team.
"Yeah, you know, it sometimes doesn’t always shake out that way, but you hope that it can provide some momentum," he said. "We can’t go out there and provide a big hit or fight or score goals, so goaltenders making timely saves are kind of their way of chipping in and fortunately tonight it went our way."
The Flyers overcame that two-goal deficit with Wayne Simmonds hitting the tying shot. Giroux then one-timed it past Tuukka Rask from the left circle for the winner. The Bruins were short-handed with Ryan Spooner off for hooking.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Sam Gagner also had goals for the Flyers, who won after dropping a 2-1 decision at home against Dallas a night earlier.
Chris Kelly, Jimmy Hayes, Brett Connolly and Patrice Bergeron scored for the Bruins, who have lost their first four games at home this season.
"When you score four goals, you should have more than enough to win a game," Bergeron said. "Too many slow reactions defensively and lack of communication and poor decisions. It ends up hurting us big time."
Philadelphia’s starting goaltender Michal Neuvirth left the game after the first period. GM Ron Hextall told the media it was an "upper body injury."
In relief, Mason stopped 16 shots. Rask made 32 saves.
"I wouldn’t call it a struggle," said Rask, who has allowed 21 goals in four home games. "But, then again, you let in five, four goals every game … can’t be pretty happy about that."
Simmonds beat Rask with a blistering wrist shot from the left circle, tying it with 9:36 to play. Giroux had sliced it to 4-3 at 7:48.
Boston moved ahead 3-2 when Loui Eriksson’s shot caromed into the net off Kelly’s skate. It came despite the Bruins skating shorthanded after Zac Rinaldo was given a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct on a hit to Flyers center Sean Couturier along the boards at the end of the first.
"There’s no place for that hit," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.
The Flyers were held without a shot on goal during their five-minute advantage.
Hayes beat Mason between the pads on a tough-angle shot from the bottom of the right circle, making it 4-2.
Bellemare’s hustle goal made it 1-0 midway into the first when he backhanded in his own rebound, but Connolly’s goal tied it when he slipped the rebound of Bergeron’s shot into the net from the edge of the crease.
Less than two minutes later, Gagner fired a wrister over Rask’s right shoulder to make it 2-1.
Bergeron scored a power-play goal when he batted a rebound out of the air from the edge of the crease at 17:24.
NOTES: Neuvirth had a scoreless streak halted at 145:33. … Bergeron was in the starting lineup after his wife, Stephanie, gave birth to the couple’s first child in the morning, a boy they named Zack. … Boston LW Matt Beleskey missed the game with an undisclosed injury. … Flyers C Brayden Schenn was out with a shoulder injury, but center R. J. Umberger returned after missing three games with an upper body injury and D Luke Schenn was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for three games. … The Bruins face the New York Islanders in Brooklyn on Friday. The Flyers open a three-game homestand Saturday, facing the New York Rangers.