Boston Bruins 6, Philadelphia Flyers 3, Final
Tuukka Rask makes on of his 20 saves vs. the Flyers. (AP)
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As Seen on NESN --
|Philadelphia Flyers goalie Martin Biron looks over his shoulder as the puck hit by Boston Bruins Glen Murray goes into the net during the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Nov. 26, 2007, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
The Boston Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in front of 19,457 at Wachovia Center Monday night in Philadelphia. Glen Murray scored two and helped give Boston an early lead -- a lead they maintained through most of the contest.
"It was a big game for us coming off of that loss in New York," said Murray. "Coming into this building -- it was a big boost for our team."
"I think we wanted to bounce back from a real poor effort," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien to NESN's Rob Simpson after the victory. "I thought the guys did a great job of that tonight."
The Boston Bruins traveled to Pennsylvania seeking to take two points away with them when they continued an important southern road swing through the Eastern Conference later in the week.
And no doubt, the B's carried a bit of anger with them to the City of Brotherly Love. After all, the club played a admittedly lackluster game against the New York Islanders on Saturday, and all of the Bruins looked to turn the club's fortunes around in Philly -- especially after Coach Julien put his charges through their paces on Sunday (which is generally a day off for the club).
Of course, there were other reasons for the B's feelings.
However, in pregame interviews -- both in print on over the airwaves -- the B's discounted any notions of hoping to take a pound of flesh out of the Flyers, even though Philly defenseman Randy Jones' questionable hit on October 27th put budding B's superstar Patrice Bergeron
out of commission indefinitely with a severe concussion and a broken nose.
"I think that was there," admitted Murray in reference to a certain win-one-for-Bergy feeling in the room. "We know what happened (but) we have to go out there and win some games."
Even so, B's resident pugilist Jeremy Reich
did not take too much time before trading punches with Philly's Ben Eager. And despite Reich's slow start to the round, Reich wrestled a decision away from Eager as they fought in front of the Bruins bench with just over 17-minutes left in the initial period.
|Boston Bruins Glen Murray, left, Marc Savard, center, and Zdeno Chara, of Slovakia, celebrate Savard's goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game with the Philadelphia Flyers Monday, Nov.26, 2007, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
Following the bout, and perhaps riding its momentum, rookie netminder Tuukka Rask
made a couple of terrific stops which, in turn, led to Bruins scoring opportunity and a Glen Murray goal at 4:06.
Shortly thereafter, off an outstanding pass from the captain, Zdeno Chara
, Marc Savard
launched a missile that eluded Philadelphia's Martin Biron to make the score, 2-0 Boston, at 7:34.
Rask continued his fine play throughout the first period and kept B's up by two until the teams went to their dressing rooms for the first intermission.
Determined to lay the hammer down on the Flyers, metaphorically of course, Murray took another great pass from Savard and beat Biron for the second time at 1:43 -- the 42nd time in his career he has had two or more goals in a game.
The Black & Gold hammer came down again as Glen Metropolit beat back up Antero Niittymaki who took over for Biron after Murray's second goal at 7:35.
Philadelphia refused to quit, and following a nice stop by Niittymaki (who settled in to play some excellent relief), former Boston Bruin Mike Knuble put his club on the board at 10:07 and made the score, 4-1, Boston.
|Philadelphia Flyers Danny Briere, left, minus his helmet, has the puck stripped away by Boston Bruins Andrew Alberts, right, as goalie Tuukka Rask defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Nov.26, 2007, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
Shortly after the Philly goal, Eager put a hit on Chara to which the captain's defense partner, Aaron Ward, took exception -- Ward took the Flyer to the boards in an extended bear hug and both men went to the box for their troubles.
With a Bruin in the box, Philly's Mike Richards picked a corner on Rask and brought the Flyers within two scores at 12:32.
But Boston's Peter Schaefer corralled a nice rebound off a B's shot from the point and put it by the Flyers goaltender to put the B's up by three, 5-2 at 13:39.
Unfortunately, in an eerie reminder of October's Bergeron hit, Boston defenseman Andrew Alberts was sent to the ice and laid face down after a questionable check from Scott Hartnell. After a scary couple of minutes, Alberts was able to get to the locker room on his own power, Hartnell was thrown out of the game and the Bruins were given an uninterrupted 5-minute power play.
Alberts did not return for the third period and was in the process of being evaluated as the final stanza began (but according to NESN left the arena on his own feet).
With Philadelphia on the power play at 4:02, Rask was beaten short side by Scottie Upshall to make the score 5-3 Bruins.
But Rask would redeem himself late in the contest when the phrase "Save by Rask" was repeatedly on the lips of NESN play-by-play man Jack Edwards.
The young goalie, and stalwart defense from the remaining Boston defenders, remained the story until the B's Chuck Kobasew iced the contest with a late open-net goal at 19:54 of the final frame.
"The guys played really well today," said Rask (20 saves) after his second win in two NHL contests. "It's a hard game for a goalie when you don't face that many shots...you just have to stay focused.
"But the guys played well and it was a nice win." ---
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