BSJ Game Report: Bruins 5, Flyers 4 (SO) – Rask stands tall, B’s offense breaks through in home opener

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 5-4 shootout victory over the Flyers in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:

Box Score


B's offense erupts in wild win

In a conclusion fitting for for a game as unpredictable as hockey, it's feels only right that the Bruins — plagued last season in the shootout and dragged down by a stagnant even-strength offense out the gate in 2021 — got back in the win column by scoring four goals in a third-period rally en route to a 5-4 shootout victory over the Flyers on Thursday night.

Trailing 2-0 through the first 40 minutes of play, Boston's listless offense roared back in the final period of its home opener — with Jack Studnicka's first career NHL goal opening the floodgates after Boston failed to light the lamp outside of special-teams play through the first 11 full periods of the season.

In total, Boston and Philly traded six total goals in the third — with Charlie Coyle, Nick Ritchie and Brandon Carlo also burying tallies past Flyers netminder Carter Hart. Carlo's blast gave Boston its first lead of the night with 4:42 left in regulation — but James van Riemsdyk's second goal of the evening (and the Flyers' second power-play strike) forced overtime just minutes later.

In the extra period, Tuukka Rask shook off a difficult third period and stood tall — turning aside a couple of Grade-A looks from Jakub Voráček and Kevin Hayes to keep two points on the board for the B's as the contest dragged into a shootout. Rask remained locked in, stopping all three shootout bids that came his way and opening the door for Jake DeBrusk to secure the 5-4 victory thanks to a sick set of moves.

Boston's slumping 5v5 scoring output — which generated just six total high-danger scoring chances over its previous two games — recorded 11 in 47:06 of ice time on Thursday, with 10 different B's skaters recording at least a point in the victory. Ritchie and David Krejci led the way with two points apiece, while Rask finished with 22 saves.

Bruins dodge another bullet with Grzelcyk

The Bruins managed to avoid losing Matt Grzelcyk for an extended stretch despite exiting Monday's loss to the Islanders after slamming his arm/shoulder to the ice — but the puck-moving blueliner tempted fate once again in the second period of Thursday's game after colliding awkwardly into the end boards.

The optics certainly seemed concerning, as Grzelcyk hobbled back to the B's bench without putting much weight on his left leg. However, Grzelcyk didn't head to the room, instead testing out his leg during a stoppage and remaining in the game. Grzelcyk has been a bright spot on the blue line for Boston in 2021 — but the B's should be concerned about the beating that the Charlestown native has been taking out of the gate here.

In overtime, Boston opted to keep Grzelcyk off of the open ice and not test his leg, with Bruce Cassidy noting postgame that Boston didn't want to risk him aggravating anything. Something worth monitoring moving forward.