Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins comeback 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night.
GOLD STAR: Brad Marchand has been playing at a Hart Trophy level for the first month of the season and that continued on Friday night with the game-tying goal in the third period. It was Marchand that dove into the pile off a David Pastrnak rebound in punched the puck into the net during a mad scramble in front of the net. The Bruins left winger finished with the goal and a plus-1 rating in 20:54 of ice time and had a team-high five shots while being all around it. Marchand is both top-10 in goals scored and in points at this early point in the NHL and once again is generating early buzz as a Hart Trophy candidate based on the way he’s playing. Coming through with a gritty game-tying goal in the third period of tonight’s comeback just adds to that resume at the end of the year.
BLACK EYE: Chris Wagner had a couple penalties in the game, but it was the roughing call at the end of the second period that really drew the ire of his coach. Wagner took a hard hit from behind by James van Riemsdyk and then got called for the retaliatory penalty when he cuffed JVR in the back of the head and went after him. It was an easy call for the refs to make and it set up the Flyers for a third period power play where they ultimately scored the first goal of the game. Wagner then was benched for most of the third period before being brought back for a key penalty kill toward the end of the third where the fourth line winger got a big clear. Wagner has been pretty solid this season, so this is undoubtedly a blip on the radar screen, but it would have been a lot worse if the B’s had ended up losing a 1-0 game because of the mistake.
TURNING POINT: Sometimes all you need to do is fire a puck at the net and good things will happen. That’s what Sean Kuraly did in the third period on the heels of the Bruins tying up the game, and his long distance shot off the rush took off and beat Brian Elliott top corner to his glove hand. Kuraly himself said he didn’t think that was going to be the game-winning goal when the puck left his stick, but it was also a nice reward for the fourth line center after a strong game. Once the B’s had scored the two goals in 27 seconds in the third period, it was pretty much over for the Flyers.
HONORABLE MENTION: Connor Clifton didn’t factor into the score sheet for the comeback win, but he was still a huge factor in the victory. Clifton threw a couple heavy hits in a game that was gritty and heavy from beginning to end and dropped the gloves with Nicolas Aube-Kubel while hammering him with a flurry of right-handed punches to the face. Clifton finished with four shot attempts, three hits and a pair of blocked shots in 15:59 of ice time and was extremely difficult to play against for the Flyers. It says something about Boston’s depth on the back end that Clifton was the seventh defensemen to start the year, and that he may go back to being a reserve with Matt Grzelcyk getting healthy back in Boston. But Cliffy Hockey made a big impact on the win.
Connor Clifton drops the gloves with Nicolas Aube-Kubel. pic.twitter.com/eyN1MExwJ4
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 6, 2021
BY THE NUMBERS: 8 – the point streak for Brad Marchand after scrapping for the game-tying goal in the third period while fighting through both Flyers defensemen to get to the loose puck in front off the rebound of a David Pastrnak shot. Marchand has six goals and 12 points during the eight-game point streak to start this year.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Today was more about sticking with it. We killed some penalties and stayed in the game. It was more about that it takes 20 guys.” –Bruce Cassidy, on the mindset behind the Bruins getting another comeback win against the Flyers.