BOSTON -- On Saturday afternoon, the Boston Bruins were able to successfully snap their four-game losing skid when they up-ended the Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in a shootout in front of a rowdy St. Patrick's Day crowd of 17, 565 Bostonians.
While surrendering a two-goal lead in any game is never a good sign for a hockey club, Saturday’s contest seemed to resemble a much more Bruin-like effort than what we’ve seen recently from the Black and Gold. The passes were crisper. They were willing to sacrifice the body to make a play, something that’s been missing over their recent losing streak. Up and down the lineup, the B's seemed to be a much more committed team than they have been as of late.
It all started in the first period for a B's squad that hadn't scored the opening goal of a game since March 3 in a home-ice matinee against the Islanders. Jumping out to a 2-0 lead thanks to tallies from Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin, Boston set the tone early in a pivotal match-up against the Flyers.
"It certainly set the tone for the game. That’s the one thing we wanted to do, and when you haven’t done that in a while, it’s obviously a good feeling, and it really brings back the confidence. That was important for us, and our guys were mentally ready for it." -- Claude Julien
The forwards, Milan Lucic in particular, seemed to be a lot stronger with the puck and often created scoring chances for themselves with hard drives to the net. As I mentioned on Twitter earlier in the afternoon, when the 6'4" Lucic can effectively use his size to his advantage, much like he did today, he has the potential to be one of --if not the-- best power forwards in the entire NHL.
In the bad news department, on both Philadelphia goals, a Flyer forward out-muscled a B’s defenseman to secure proper position to deflect the puck past Tim Thomas. The B’s must do a better job in front of their netminder if they’d like to build on Saturday’s winning effort.
Up next for the Black and Gold is a Monday night clash with the Northeast Division rival Toronto Maple Leafs, right back here at the TD Garden.