Playing in one of their biggest games of the season, the Boston Bruins got some tough news 30 minutes prior to the puck being dropped Tuesday night at the Well Fargo Center. Defensemen Charlie McAvoy was scratched from the lineup with an upper-body injury.
Without McAvoy and their two top goalies, Tuukka Rask out with an upper-body injury and Jaroslav Halak, on the COVID-19 protocols list, the Bruins were able to get their most impressive win of the season, 4-2 , over the Philadelphia Flyers to open up a five-point lead in the standings for the fourth and final East Division playoff berth.
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The Black and Gold had some pretty big performances from their veterans, plus some rookies to collect their 20th win of the season. Here are four studs from last night’s win.
What an NHL debut for the former University of Maine product. He stopped 40 shots, including 23 in the second period, where he single-handily kept the Bruins in the game to allow them to get two points in the standings. After 13 first-period saves and 23 in the second, he only had to make four in the third. For a rookie, he looked very comfortable in the net. He even had some of the Flyers shaking their heads after some of his saves.
The captain took care of three of the Black and Gold’s four goals himself. He opened the scoring in the first period when he stuffed home a shot from the point that Craig Smith redirected, before adding his second of the period with 2:29 left in the opening 20 minutes.
On the power play, he took a pass from David Pastrnak in the right circle and fired a wrist shot past Carter Hart to double the Boston advantage. In the third period, he sealed the game and his hat trick with an empty-net goal with 23 seconds left. Bergeron also collected his 900th career point on his first goal of the game. He was just 12-for-27 in faceoffs, but finished with a plus-3.
Marchand had a hand in all four goals with one goal and three assists. He made a great individual effort on the first goal of the game by keeping the puck in the Flyers’ end and eventually took a shot that Smith deflected and Bergeron buried the rebound. Pucks to the net.
He got the secondary assist on Marchand’s second goal of the period, before scoring what turned out to be the game-winning goal shorthanded at 8:21 of the third period to break a 2-2 tie. He set up Bergy for the empty-net goal to ice the win.
Marchand finished with a plus-4 and was second on the team with 2:46 of penalty killing time.
Without the services of McAvoy, Lauzon stepped up his play on the blue line. He led the Bruins in time-on-ice at 24:09 and was the leader of penalty killing time-on-ice at 4:11 of the six minutes the Bruins were shorthanded.
He even picked up an assist on the game-winning goal by feeding a perfect pass to Marchand to give the Bruins the lead on their 2-on-1 break.