The Boston Bruins faced a one-goal deficit in the third period to the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night. It was, of course, child’s play.
After UNH product James van Riemsdyk broke a scoreless tie with a power-play goal 27 second into the third period, the Bruins’ top line willed home the equalizer with Brad Marchand getting his stick on it in a crease scrum. Then, 27 seconds later, Sean Kuraly took a feed from Anders Bjork and beat Flyers goalie Brian Elliott with a blast off the far post and in at 12:28 to lift the B’s to a 2-1 win at Wells Fargo Center.
It was the fifth time this year that the Bruins erased a third goal deficit to take points (4-0-1) after having wiped out a two-goal deficit to the Flyers on Wednesday and a pair 3-0 holes to the Capitals earlier on this trip.
“I think we’re just deep, and we have the belief in our room that we’re never out of a game. We almost seem to play a little bit better when we’re down,” said Marchand, who scored his seventh goal of the season. “We just know that we that we can come back from any situation. When we play our game, when we play the way we know we can, we’re a tough team to play and we’re going to create opportunities. At some point, they’ll break. It may not happen in the first or second, but we’re going to break teams and that’s what’s happening.”
There were some hairy moments, especially when Craig Smith took a tripping penalty with 3:57 left in regulation. But thanks to some solid work by Tuukka Rask — whose stop on Joel Farabee’s penalty shot in the second period was one of 23 saves — the Bruins were able to kill that off, as well as the final 1:57 with Elliott pulled for the extra skater.
The win extended the Bruins’ point streak to eight games (7-0-1) as the they go into a four-day break due to the postponement of scheduled games (Saturday and Monday) against Buffalo.
The Bruins’ penalty kill (4-for-5) came up big, especially in the first period when they paraded to the box late in the period, when they had to kill off a lengthy 4-on-3.
“It’s huge. We rely on our penalty kill. We know we’ve got a job. There are a couple of groups of forwards,” said Kuraly. “We know the power play does a job and we’ve got a job to do, too. We go through our video with (assistant coach) Joe Sacco and we take pride in that. Everyone on this team thinks they have a role and a job and everyone knows what everyone’s job is. The power play loves it when we get a penalty kill and the penalty kill guys love it when they score a goal. And they score a lot of goals, so we’ve got to get some kills.”
It was also big night for Connor Clifton, though he didn’t figure in the scoring. In the first period, he dropped the gloves with Nicolas Aube-Kubel, who’d been racking up hits in the two-game series, and rocked the Flyer with a couple of early rights. He was credited with three hits and was active in the offensive zone all night.
“I think you can see what we love about Cliffy,” said Kuraly. “He’s a competitor and we call him Cliffy Hockey. He just goes out and plays. He lets it rip and we love it. He’s a guy you love having on your team. I don’t like practicing against him, and I love playing with him.”