Flyers deal with more injuries, more 3rd-period pain from Bruins


Friday night's game started with more injury trouble for the Flyers.

And it ended with more third-period trouble against the Bruins as the Flyers failed to close out Boston in a tight, 2-1 loss at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers (7-3-2) couldn't hold down a 1-0 lead in the final frame and missed out a chance at first place in the East Division.

That first-place honor currently goes to the Bruins (8-1-2), who are rolling and have taken all four meetings from the Flyers. Alain Vigneault's club is 0-2-2 against Boston and will face it four more times.

• When it has come down to winning time, the Bruins have owned the Flyers through four matchups.

Both teams have each scored four goals over the first two periods. Then, Boston turns it on. The Bruins have outscored the Flyers 11-5 in the final stanza. In three of their losses to Boston, the Flyers have relinquished a third-period lead.

In the Flyers' other eight games, they've allowed only six third-period goals.

The Bruins are one of the best teams in hockey and have one of the best top lines in hockey. The Flyers can at least know they're right there with them late, but they need to find a way to finish.

The Flyers could probably look back and say three of the four games were more than winnable for them. They lost a 3-1 lead in gut-wrenching fashion Wednesday night.

• Brian Elliott made 21 saves on 23 shots. He picked up his first loss in four starts as Boston cracked him for two goals in a span of 27 seconds in the third period.

The second goal was off an outside shot from fourth-liner Sean Kuraly with no traffic in front. Elliott appeared frustrated after the goal. He probably knew he could have had that one. The goal ended up being the game-winner.

• James van Riemsdyk's torrid start continued with one of his signature redirections on the power play to break the ice early in the third period.

The Flyers needed it badly, too, as the man advantage had been 0 for 3 and out of sync before van Riemsdyk delivered.

The goal was van Riemsdyk's fifth on the power play this season. He had four man advantage markers in 66 games last season.

JVR is on a six-game point streak in which he has 11 points (three goals, eight assists).

With an opportunity to tie the game in the final four minutes, the Flyers couldn't cash in on a power play.

• The Bruins' star-studded first line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak came through on the game-tying goal with just under eight minutes remaining in regulation.

Marchand scored on a rebound and Pastrnak recorded the primary assist.

The trio torched the Flyers on Wednesday with four goals and five assists. Pastrnak had a hat trick and an assist.

"I hope he has an off night because the performance he put on in the last game was one of the best that I've seen in a while," Vigneault said with a laugh Friday morning.

The Flyers held Boston's power play to 0 for 2 but they once again struggled to fend off the Bruins in the final 20 minutes.

• Oskar Lindblom took a big hit with over four and a half minutes left in regulation and did not take another shift.

• Ivan Provorov has had some difficulty recently handling the puck around the point on the power play.

During the game, Vigneault moved Erik Gustafsson to the top man advantage unit. The move paid off on van Riemsdyk's goal as the slick-passing Gustafsson recorded the primary assist.

The move could be just as much about Vigneault wanting to accentuate Gustafsson's strengths and get him more involved offensively.

• The injury bug bit the Flyers again Friday as Carter Hart and Philippe Myers were unavailable (more on that here).

With Myers' absence, the Flyers used a different combination of six defensemen for the seventh straight game.

• In the first fight of the Flyers' season, Nicolas Aube-Kubel dropped the gloves during the first period with Boston defenseman Connor Clifton (see video).

• As part of the NHL's revised COVID-19 arena protocols, there's no longer the glass boards behind the teams' benches.

• The Flyers meet the Capitals for the first time this season with a pair of games over Sunday (noon ET/NBC) and Tuesday (6 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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