By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
Before the game could even get to a critical deciding moment, the Flyers had to mount a serious comeback against one of the NHL's best teams. Down 5-2 to the Bruins, asking for a three-goal comeback seemed like an impossible request.
The Flyers scored twice in the second period late to make it a game again, then got the tying goal with 7:02 left in the third, eventually forcing overtime.
In the shootout, the strangest of endings helped the Flyers get the 6-5 come-from-behind win to defeat the Bruins on Monday night at Wells Fargo Center.
The Bruins came out dominating the action and took advantage of a turnover by the Flyers to open the scoring. Jake DeBrusk intercepted a pass by Phil Myers in the neutral zone and got the puck to Anders Bjork. Bjork came in on a two-on-one, worked through a hook from Myers and made a move that forced Carter Hart to commit early, leaving the net wide open for the easy goal.
On a power play late in the period, the Bruins did not score with the top unit on the ice. Shortly after the change, they did capitalize on a rush. David Krejci was left alone for a back-door pass from Danton Heinen and tipped the pass into the net to make it 2-0 Boston. It marked the 14th straight game the Bruins have scored on the power play.
The Flyers got a chance to get back into the game with a four-minute high-sticking penalty called on Patrice Bergeron with two minutes left in the period. With a new-look power play, the Flyers were able to take advantage. Travis Konecny set up Kevin Hayes for a one-timer at the right circle and he beat Jaroslav Halak to make it 2-1 with 1:38 to play in the period.
Through 20 minutes, shots were 14-12 Boston.
The Flyers failed to score on the remaining 22 seconds of power play time and the Bruins capitalized almost immediately after. Brad Marchand led David Pastrnak with a pass and Pastrnak scored on the backhand for his 36th goal of the season just 33 seconds into the period.
The Flyers had a quick answer. Just 39 seconds after the Bruins re-gained the two-goal lead, Travis Sanheim scored through a screen to make it a one-goal game again.
The Bruins took control from there, scoring two more goals in the first half of the period. First, Charlie Coyle got a lead pass from Danton Heinen and fired high over the glove of Hart to make it 4-2 at 4:50. Krejci later added his second of the game at 7:21 on a nice pass from Bjork to make it 5-2.
The Flyers got back into the game with a pair of fortunate goals. First, Sean Couturier took a nice pass from Jake Voracek and was stick-checked trying to go to the backhand. The puck slid between the legs of Halak and in without Couturier getting a quality shot off to cut the lead back to two with 6:48 remaining in the period.
Just 1:34 later, the Flyers got another lucky bounce. Mark Friedman put a shot toward the net that hit Connor Bunnaman and then the leg of Matt Grzelcyk and went in to make it a one-goal game. It was Bunnaman's first NHL goal and Friedman's first NHL point.
In the second, the Flyers outshot the Bruins, 15-6, and took a 27-20 lead in shots going to the third.
For most of the third period, the Bruins held the Flyers at bay. The Flyers continued to get possession and generate chances, but couldn't beat Halak.
Finally, at 12:58, the Flyers got the equalizer. At four-on-four, Sanheim led a rush up ice and took a shot that Halak could not control. Sanheim was able to get to the rebound and knock it home to tie the game at five with 7:02 to play.
The Bruins got a few good chances late in the third, but the game headed to overtime.
Again, in the overtime, the Bruins held possession for most of the five minutes, but the Flyers had a golden opportunity to end it in the final seconds. Ivan Provorov had the game on his stick with one second remaining and couldn't elevate the chance over the pad of Halak. The game went to a shootout.
For four rounds, neither team scored as both goalies handled everything thrown their way. In the fifth round, Travis Konecny broke the ice with a shot to the glove side of Halak to give the Flyers the lead.
Brad Marchand was up next for the Bruins, and in the fifth round, seemed like a fitting last resort for the Bruins, who needed a goal to tie and had one of their money shooters ready to go. Marchard skated in and whiffed as he attempted to pick up the puck. The puck moved slightly, and by rule, counted as an attempt, giving the Flyers the win without Hart needing to make a save.
Hart finished with 26 saves on 31 shots. Halak had 34 saves on 39 shots.
Bjork, Coyle, Heinen, Krejci and DeBrusk each had two points. Couturier had a three-point game, while Voracek and Sanheim each had two points.
The Flyers get back on the ice on Wednesday night for their only remaining road game before the All-Star break, taking on the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues for the first time this season at 8 p.m.