On a night when they didn’t have their ‘A’, ‘B’, or ‘C’ game, the Boston Bruins still earned two points against the reeling Philadelphia Flyers. Another strong performance by Linus Ullmark and some timely scoring brought Boston its 15th win of the season.
Ullmark bailed his squad out from the numerous defensive during the first period. True to his stellar form during the first quarter of the season, Ullmark stopped all but one of the 23 shots he faced.
“[The Flyers] had some really good looks,” head coach Jim Montgomery said following Boston’s 4-1 win. “Linus had to be really good until we executed great on a d-zone face-off that got us that Nosek goal.”
The Bruins finally broke through after a sloppy first 30 minutes. Tomas Nosek got on the board once again after breaking his 65-game goal drought on Sunday. Nick Foligno circled the Flyers’ net and found Nosek in the slot for his second goal in just as many games.
“Doesn’t matter who scores,” Nosek said. “We need to be winning, and we just need to focus on winning…I’m not gonna lie. It feels pretty good to be able to produce something and help the team in other ways than just defensively.”
Jake DeBrusk provided an insurance marker at 7:32 of the third period on a slap pass feed from David Pastrnak for his sixth goal of the season.
Owen Tippett cut Boston’s lead to 2-1 with his power-play tally at 9:48 of the final frame. But the Bruins quickly recovered after David Krejci notched a pair of insurance goals, the first coming 16 seconds after Tippett’s tally.
Here’s what we learned as the Bruins remain perfect on TD Garden ice through 10 games.
While not at their best, the Bruins still secure two points.
Through the first two periods, the Bruins struggled to overcome a sloppy performance sloppy against a perspective lottery team. Luckily for Montgomery’s squad, the Flyers couldn’t capitalize on their handful of scoring chances off of turnovers.
“I think [the start] was more a product of us not having played in three days,” Montgomery said. “I think our guys were too excited to play. Our puck movement was really good, but we were skating out of position offensively and especially defensively.”
The Bruins began to pull away from the Flyers late in the second period. In the third period, the best team in the NHL finally found their game.
Aside from the power play goal against, the Bruins developed better habits reminiscent of their 15-2-0 start.
“We were ready, we stayed patient, and you know, we kept building our game,” Krejci said. “I think in the third period, we kind of took over and finished the job.”
Krejci returns to scoring form.
After a productive start to the season, David Krejci’s offensive output had faltered, recording just one assist in six games since returning from an upper-body injury. On Thursday, Krejci recaptured his scoring touch with a pair of pivotal third-period goals.
“I know if I’m on top of my game, then I can help the team offensively with some points on the board,” Krejci said. “That comes secondary. First of all, I want to get better at doing the right things.”
Krejci’s first of the night came shortly after the Tippet’s tally. A feed from his fellow countryman Pavel Zacha gave Krejci a one-on-one look against Carter Hart. Krejci wasted little time delivering a quick shot past Hart for his first goal in nine games and re-established the Bruins’ two-goal lead.
Just over six minutes later, Krejci was once again the benefactor of an impressive helper, this time from Foligno. Krejci buried the wide-open chance to give the Bruins another insurance marker.
“[Foligno] made a great play,” Krejci said. “He’s a good player. The NHL’s all about confidence, and he has it right now. Good for him.”
Ullmark’s strong play allowed Bruins to find their game.
Ullmark continued his season-opening tear, denying all of Philadelphia’s grade-A opportunities and keeping the score even. The Swede had to bail out his team on several occasions, and he didn’t disappoint, delivering more timely stops, including in his save of the night on Morgan Frost during the first period.
Ullmark’s strong play in the first two periods allowed his teammates to find their legs, eventually leading to Boston’s third-period takeover.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re winning or losing,” Ullmark said. “If you’re doing the right things, you can always come out of the games with a good feeling.”
The NHL’s leader in goals-against-average, save percentage, and wins has taken on a heavy workload as of late. With Jeremy Swayman returning from injury, Ullmark will likely encounter a lighter workload after starting in eight of Boston’s last nine games.
“We’ve been doing the right thing for a long time now,” Ullmark said. “I can see it’s bearing fruit.”
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