The Bruins kicked off their quick two-game road trip with a Saturday afternoon tilt in Philadelphia as the Bruins and Flyers met for the first time this season. The Bruins went into the City of Brotherly Love and had their way with the Broad Street Bullies in a 6-1 victory. The win was the Bruins third five-goal victory of the season.
Zdeno Chara and Jarome Iginla both scored twice, Reilly Smith and Patrice Bergeron scored a goal apiece and Tuukka Rask made 25 saves for his 23rd win of the season.
Here are three takeaways.
Bruins flat out dominate Flyers:
It was as dominating of a game as the Bruins have played all season long. From start to finish, the game was all Bruins. The B’s were able to set the pace of the game right away, and keep that pace for 60 minutes. It seemed like the Bruins had all the space and time in the world in the Flyers zone, something the Bruins took full advantage of.
At the faceoff dot, the Bruins were exceptional, especially Patrice Bergeron. The Bruins won 40 of 67 (60%) face-offs against the Flyers Saturday afternoon. Sixteen of those wins came from Bergeron in 25 attempts.
In the defensive zone, the Bruins were able to limit the Flyers to a few prime scoring chances, but each time the opportunity was there for the Flyers to get on the board, Rask was there to shut the door on the Flyers.
The Flyers tried to steal momentum back in the third with Claude Giroux’s power play goal, but Iginla’s second tally of the afternoon just 26 seconds later ended any chance of the Flyers building momentum.
The Bruins were excellent with the man advantage in Philly, only adding to the dominance of their play. Led by power play goals from Chara and Iginla, the Bruins were 2-for-4 on the power play.
Bergeron line remains hot
With goals by Bergeron and Smith, and an assist by Marchand on Bergeron’s 13th goal of the season, the Bergeron line extended their point streak to five games. In those five games the trio has combined for 21 points.
Led by Marchand, the Bergeron line has been one of the hottest lines in hockey recently and that rang true on Saturday. In most cases when a line catches fire like this one has done, a little bit of luck is involved. I guess you can say luck helped the puck cross the line on Smith’s goal, but hard work and skill got the play going.
Smith was able to split the D and force the puck past Flyer goalie Steve Mason with his backhanded shot. His initial shot hit the post, but the deflection off the post bounced off of Mason and into the Flyers net The goal was Smith’s first in seven games.
The Bruins “second line” is playing with tremendous confidence at the moment, and it sure has been fun to watch.
Iginla ends pointless drought with four point game
Heading into Saturday’s contest, it had been six games since Iginla had a point and eight games since Iginla’s last goal, but the future Hall-of-Fame forward ended both droughts with a four point game on Saturday.
Iginla scored twice, and chipped in with two assists in a game that saw the Bruins put up a touchdown. Unfortunately they missed the extra point.
After a month of December that saw Iginla score seven times and add five assists, January hasn’t been too kind to Jarome. Prior to the contest with the Flyers, Iginla had just two points in 2014, but Saturday’s outburst was great to see.
In 19 career games against the Flyers, Iginla has 19 points.
It’s been a streaky season for Iginla, who now sits two goals behind Marchand for the team lead in goals. In his hot streaks that he has had this season, Iginla has shown signs of brilliance. The Bruins hope this four point game is the beginning to one of those red hot-hot streaks.