(Photo: Mike Kruce)
The preseason is certainly a process of making adjustments and shaking off the rust. It looked like there was plenty of both from the Flyers in their third preseason game.
With several veteran players making their preseason debut, the Flyers struggled to capture momentum, while the Bruins kept the foot on the gas all night. It helped the Bruins leave with a 3-1 win over the Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night.
The Flyers got off to a sluggish start, allowing the Bruins to get out to a 9-2 shot advantage. Brian Elliott appeared to be fighting the puck throughout the period, and the Bruins were able to get on the board first with a chance off a rebound.
Danton Heinen was in the right place in the slot to pick up a big rebound and bury it to make it 1-0 Boston at 7:47.
The Flyers started to pick things up from there. Matt Niskanen got the game tied at 11:58 on a blast from the top of the right circle. Both Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost had quality chances in the period. Frost appeared to have a sure goal on a rebound off the post and Jaroslav Halak managed to miraculously get his glove on the chance as the rookie looked skyward.
The Flyers also had two power plays, the second one coming in the final minute of the period. They failed to score on their first. After 20 minutes, shots were 13-11 Boston.
Boston quickly regained the lead in the second period. Following a good stick check by Phil Myers, Brendan Gaunce followed up the play and centered for a wide open Peter Cehlarik, who buried it into the empty net to give the Bruins the lead again at 4:16.
Both teams had power plays in the period and failed to score. After 40 minutes, shots were 24-17 Boston. Elliott exited after two periods as scheduled, finishing with 22 saves on 24 shots. Halak stopped 16 of 17 shots in his two periods of work.
The Bruins kept the pressure on in the third and the Flyers struggled to keep up. Boston had seven of the first eight shots in the period. The Flyers got two power play chances to even things up. On their final one of the night, they not only failed to score, but saw a bounce go against them.
A clearing attempt by Boston hit a stanchion and bounced into the neutral zone. Connor Clifton exited the penalty box and moved in on a breakaway as the Flyers failed to get back and scored on a backhand to essentially ice the game with 3:45 to play.
The Flyers finished the game 0-for-5 on the power play. The Bruins out-shot the Flyers, 34-24, for the game, including 10-6 in the third. Alex Lyon made nine saves in the final 20 minutes. Maxime Lagace stopped all seven shots he faced.
The Flyers will play their final home preseason game on Saturday night when they host the New York Rangers at 7 p.m.
- BOS Danton Heinen (1) (Charlie Coyle) 7:47
- PHI Matt Niskanen (1) (Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier) 11:58
- BOS Peter Cehlarik (1) (Brendan Gaunce, Josiah Didier) 4:16
- BOS Connor Clifton (1) (Anders Bjork) 16:15