PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Matt Grzelcyk and Patrice Bergeron scored, Tuukka Rask stopped 36 shots and the Boston Bruins beat Philadelphia 2-0 on Tuesday night to snap the Flyers’ nine-game winning streak.
The Bruins (44-14-12) became the first team with 100 points this season and Rask picked up his 50th career shutout. Rask became the sixth active goalie with at least 50 shutouts. He has five this season.
Rask stymied a Flyers’ offense that had scored at least three goals in each of their nine wins during the streak. They scored five goals four times since the streak started Feb. 18 against Columbus.
The Wells Fargo Center was about packed, even with concern over the coronavirus outbreak, for the most anticipated Flyers game of the season. If fans were fearful, they sure didn’t show it before the game. They packed the concourse bars, lined up for $13 turkey hoagies, and accepted their giveaway Flyers caps (from rubber gloved arena workers, of course) without the gloom and doom atmosphere over the virus that has spoiled sports around the globe.
The Flyers had been absolutely sensational as they shot up the standings and were fighting with Washington for first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers had defeated the Bruins in a shootout in both games of the series this season, including a bizarre ending in January when Boston’s Brad Marchand overskated the puck at center ice on a shootout attempt. Gritty poked fun at the misstep before Tuesday’s game by holding a photo of an oversized red arrow pointing down at an encircled puck as Marchand looked behind him.
The frivolity didn’t last for long, and the Flyers absolutely pounded Rask, taking 24 shots over the first two periods. Rask stood tall in net and got the cushion he needed late when Bergeron’s shot from the circle appeared to get deflected by a Flyers stick and went in for a 2-0 lead.
The Bruins broke through on Carter Hart, the first goalie in NHL history under 22 with two, seven-game win streaks, late in the second. Grzelyck buried one from the point for his fourth goal of the year and a 1-0 lead with 1:21 left in the second. At that point, the Flyers had outshot the Bruins 21-13. Also at that point, it didn’t matter much to Boston.
Boston took the lead only moments after center Charlie Coyle dove across the ice and broke up a pass to Kevin Hayes just in front Rask that kept the game scoreless. The Flyers had won at least nine straight games for the seventh time in franchise history.
NOTES: The Wells Fargo Center said in a statement it had “strengthened our already very rigorous sanitation processes and procedures throughout the arena” and said “If you are a ticket holder that is feeling ill, or has underlying health conditions, you should consider not attending.” Potential refunds or ticket exchanges for the game because of health concerns would be handled through the arena box office. … Flyers D Philippe Myers will miss approximately four weeks with a fractured patella in his right knee.
The Flyers play Thursday at Tampa Bay.
Boston plays Friday at Buffalo.