Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 2-0 win over the Flyers in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
Rask locks things down: Things weren’t exactly looking all that good for the Bruins entering Tuesday’s matchup against the hottest team in the NHL. Already tasked with stopping a Flyers team that had averaged 4.3 goals per game during its league-best nine-game winning streak, the Bruins also had to soldier on without a D pairing that had logged over 600 minutes of 5v5 ice time in Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo — with both skaters ruled out due to upper-body injuries.
But even against a depleted blue line, the Flyers were unable to contend with Tuukka Rask — who stopped all 36 shots that came his way in what was ultimately a 2-0 victory for the Bruins.
With the win, the Bruins improve to 44-14-12 on the season and extend their lead in the Atlantic Division back up to eight points after Tampa Bay fell to Toronto on Tuesday. Boston is the first team in the NHL to reach 100 points this season — a feat that the B’s have reached in all three of Bruce Cassidy’s full seasons as the club’s head coach.
Rask was stellar against the Flyers on his 33rd birthday, holding off a Flyers team that finished the night with an expected goals rate of 2.14.
Rask was aided by a PK unit that went a perfect 3-for-3 on the night, while Matt Grzelcyk and Patrice Bergeron supplied the scoring for the visitors. But on a night in which the Bruins appeared to be behind the eight ball — Rask’s play helped the B’s steal two points from a red-hot Flyers crew.
Cassidy shuffles up lineup again: While injuries to both Carlo and Krug forced Boston to re-tool its D corps for Tuesday’s matchup, Cassidy also opted to put his top-three forward lines in a blender midway through the contest.
Despite sticking with the combination of Nick Ritchie — David Krejci — Ondrej Kase for a significant stretch since the B’s acquired both wingers, Cassidy finally opted to break up that unit against Philly, rolling out these groupings:
A bit unorthodox, but the mid-game switch did seem to give Boston’s forwards a shot in the arm down the stretch — with the 63-37-28 trio combining for a goal at 14:40 in the third period. It remains to be seen if Cassidy will actually start a contest with these new-look lines going forward, but a few of those groupings — namely the Kuraly-Krejci-Pastrnak line — definitely raised a few eyebrows in limited action.