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Talking Points: Boston Bruins Show Guts In Comeback Flyers Win



The Bruins and Flyers prepare for the return of the NHL

BOSTON – Here’s the Talking Points after the Boston Bruins’ wild third period where they scored four goals to overcome an early 2-0 deficit and ended up winning a 5-4 shootout over the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden in their home opener.

GOLD STAR: Tuukka Rask only had 24 saves in the game, but he saved the game on at least three occasions in overtime when he made a series of five star saves to protect things until Boston could get into the shootout. Rask stopped Jakub Voracek on a wide-open rebound attempt, he stoned Kevin Hayes on a 2-on-1 breakaway just seconds later and then he stuffed another quality scoring chance a few minutes later. Rask had to be on his game because the Flyers outshout the Bruins by a 5-3 margin in the overtime session and really seemed like they didn’t have much left in the tank after battling in the third period to get it to the extra session. Then Rask was brilliant in the shootout as well to secure the win and wait it out until Jake DeBrusk could score as the third shooter to give the Bruins the two points. Rask was good in the three periods where he faced some quality shots from the Flyers, but he went to otherworldly in overtime and it made all the difference. It’s clear to everybody that Rask is on a mission early this season when the Boston Bruins need him most.

BLACK EYE: Joel Farabee has been excellent for the Flyers in the early going this season, but he was pretty quiet for Philly against the Bruins. He finished with a single shot on net and a giveaway in 16:31 of ice time, and he got drilled by Charlie McAvoy with a massive hit midway through the game that’s got to be considered as BU-on-BU crime. Truth be told there weren’t many players that had “bad” nights on Thursday as the two teams light up the scoreboard and left the building with points in their East Division tallies, so there’s no reason to be all that hard on Farabee.

TURNING POINT: It sounds like there was a loud, forceful message between the second and third period in the Boston Bruins dressing room about being harder to play against. That translated on the ice as Jack Studnicka scored on the first shift of the third period and the Bruins quickly tied the game before eventually going back-to-forth prior to the 5-4 shootout win. At the end it becomes a gut check comeback win for the Boston Bruins where they finally scored some even strength goals, came back multiple times from deficits and battled through plenty of adversity to secure two points against a very good Flyers hockey club. It could have all come crashing down if Tuukka Rask wasn’t otherworldly in overtime, but instead the Bruins come away with a much-needed two points in their home opener.

HONORABLE MENTION: Nick Ritchie has been one of the best Bruins forwards this season and he cashed in on all of those good things on Thursday night. Ritchie stuffed a puck home after a sweet Patrice Bergeron dish from the bumper on the power play and picked up a secondary helper on Boston’s first goal of the third period, Jack Studnicka’s first NHL goal of his career. Ritchie finished with a goal, two points, a plus-1 rating, three shot attempts, a couple of hits and generally played a tough, strong 15:22 of ice time in the victory. Ritchie seems to really be feeling comfortable whether it’s on the left wing with Krejci or on the third line with Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith and has been a needed big body net-front presence on the power play. It’s actually great to see given how many knee-jerk negative reactions there were when Ritchie was first traded to the Bruins, and the fact he was a former first round pick with skills, size and strength was totally ignored. Ritchie can play and he’s proving it this year with the Bruins.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – Bruins rookie Jack Studnicka now has his first career NHL goal after scoring in the first 23 seconds of the third period on a redirect of a David Krejci pass that kicked off Boston’s gutsy comeback.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Last year we couldn’t win a shootout to save our lives and now we’re 2-0 in the shootout this season. So, go figure that.” –Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy talking about the Bruins coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the third period to take the eventual shootout win.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston,, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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