For the majority of the season, special teams has dictated a number of games for the Flyers, but especially against the Boston Bruins. In Tuesday night's game, it's what likely dashed their playoff hopes for good.
The Flyers got a third-period power play in a tie game with a chance to grab the lead. Instead, they gave it away, allowing a shorthanded goal to Brad Marchand that proved to be the game-winner in a 4-2 loss at Wells Fargo Center.
The early portion of the game was once again a bit of a feeling-out process, but Boston was the team that ultimately broke through first.
A point shot by Marchand was deflected by Craig Smith. Carter Hart made the challenging save, but the rebound was there for Patrice Bergeron, who waited out Hart and buried it to make it 1-0 at 7:09.
The Flyers had the chance to answer back on the power play and couldn't capitalize. The Bruins got a power play late in the period and took advantage.
Scott Laughton had a shorthanded breakaway, but was stopped by Jeremy Swayman. The Bruins charged the other way with numbers, and it was Bergeron who was once again left alone in the slot. He got the puck from David Pastrnak and put a shot on net that beat Hart through the five-hole, giving the Bruins a 2-0 lead with 2:29 to play in the period.
Through 20 minutes, shots were 13-11 Flyers.
Facing another deficit, the Flyers wasted little time trying to climb back into this one. Just 1:33 into the second period, the Flyers cashed in off a Boston turnover.
A pass from David Krejci was in the skates of Jakub Zboril. He couldn't handle it and batted it to Travis Konecny. Konecny turned back and found Jake Voracek going to the net for the tip-in to make it 2-1.
Less than three minutes later, at 4:03, the Flyers tied it up. Trent Frederic broke his stick, and the Flyers got the cycle going. Eventually, the puck was on the stick of Voracek, and he dished across ice to Shayne Gostisbehere, who went upstairs to beat Swayman and tie the game at two.
The Flyers had numerous opportunities from there to grab the lead. They hit two posts and they also couldn't capitalize on a power play. Even in the closing seconds, the Flyers nearly scored on a tip play with Sean Couturier at the side of the net.
When the second period ended, the Flyers had 25 shots in the period compared to seven for Boston, taking a 38-18 lead in shots through 40 minutes.
With just over 12 minutes remaining in the third, the Flyers got the opportunity they seemed to need, a power play with a chance at the lead. Instead, the Bruins were the team that took advantage.
The Bruins freed up the puck along the boards and got it to the middle of the ice where Jeremy Lauzon took control, moving out of the reach of a diving Couturier. That started a two-on-one the other way, and Lauzon fed Marchand, who cut to the middle and slipped another goal through the legs of Hart to give Boston the lead at 8:21.
The Flyers never regained the momentum they had in the second period. The Bruins went on lockdown, limiting the Flyers to just four shots in the final 20 minutes.
In the final minute, the Bruins put it away as Bergeron finished off the hat trick with an empty-net goal.
Swayman finished with 40 saves in the win, the first of his career. Hart stopped 22 of 25 shots in the loss.
Marchand had a four-point game, assisting on all three goals by Bergeron. Voracek had a goal and an assist.
The Flyers are back on the ice on Thursday night as they face the New York Islanders at 7 p.m.
- BOS Patrice Bergeron (13) (Craig Smith, Brad Marchand) 7:09
- BOS Bergeron (14) PP (David Pastrnak, Marchand) 17:31
- PHI Jake Voracek (6) (Travis Konecny) 1:33
- PHI Shayne Gostisbehere (6) (Voracek, Ivan Provorov) 4:03
- BOS Marchand (18) SH (Jeremy Lauzon, Connor Clifton) 8:21
- BOS Bergeron (15) EN (Marchand, Chris Wagner) 19:37