The Boston Bruins returned to TD Garden on Thursday, October 25, 2018 after a less than impressive road trip in which they garnered four out of a possible eight points. Going into Thursday night’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers they were undefeated on home ice. The Flyers were coming off a loss to the Colorado Avalanche and brought a 4-5-0 record with them.
The Bruins had recalled Jeremy Lauzon from Providence as their list of injured defensemen continues to mount. This would mark Lauzon’s first NHL game. He was understandably nervous, as he admitted to Alex Kramer and NESN during the first intermission. However, if he hadn’t said anything it would have been difficult to suspect such, as he looked strong and focused from his first to his last shift. He had a couple of mistakes with the puck, but he was not afraid to hit the opponent. At the end of the game he was credited with two hits, one takeaway and one blocked shot.
“Yeah, we got the win and I just kept it simple. Played hard defensively and tried to put some shot on the net. I think, overall my game went well. I approached the game like any other game and just tried to play my game,” Lauzon shared.
Going into that first intermission the teams seemed evenly matched as each had seven shots on the other while neither team had scored. Even the penalties were even, with matching penalties at 7:11 for some four-on-four action and then both would put their team down a man just once in the first twenty.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara would open up the scoring 13 minutes into the middle frame, His bomb from the blue line looked like it might have deflected off a Philadelphia player past Flyers’ goaltender Brian Elliott.
Perhaps the most deflating goal of the game to the Flyers came at 17:28 of the second period as Jake DeBrusk tipped in a shot by David Krejci with just four seconds remaining on the man advantage after the Flyers were caught with too many men on the ice. Kampfer would get the secondary assist on that goal.
“Yeah, I think that [Krejci] was looking at me and as soon as I made eye contact I knew it was coming, so I was just trying to position myself and I was trying to go upstairs with it and that’s pretty much what happened. It was kind of a flubby puck and I think it kind of took Elliott off guard, so I’ll take it and it was nice to score,” described DeBrusk.
While the first period had been rather quiet it appeared that as the game went on the physicality of the play began to escalate, bubbling over at 6:38 of the third after Steven Kampfer made a hit on Scott Laughton. Laughton took exception.
“Well, I hit him and he said ‘That’s enough; let’s do this’ and I backed off and he fake dropped and I real dropped, and I guess that’s how it happened,” Kampfer said. “If you’re going to play hard, play hard. I have no problem answering the bell to that. But if you’re going to ask me to go, go.”
In the end after Wayne Simmonds jumped in for the Flyers to help Laughton, which sort of invited everyone on the ice into the huddle. As the referees handed out the discipline, Kampfer ended up with four minutes for roughing while Simmonds received two. Many watching were confused by the penalties, since Simmonds was essentially the third man in on the fisticuffs. However, given the fact that Kampfer was the only one to drop his gloves—due to Laughton’s fake out—the penalties could have been a whole lot worse on the Bruins side. Usually the player who drops the gloves is assessed a five for fighting, two for instigating and that instigator penalty comes with an automatic ten-minute misconduct.
The Bruins were up two goals when David Pastrnak drew a penalty at 14:30 of the third as Travis Konecny was whistled for the trip. The Bruins were busy cycling in the the Flyers end with DeBrusk planted in front of the crease. Andrew MacDonald gave DeBrusk a slash, which resulted in DeBrusk retaliating. Both would go off to consider their crimes, but at that moment Laughton and Kampfer met up again and Laughton tried to get Kampfer to drop the gloves again. Kampfer didn’t, and this time Laughton was assessed a roughing and a ten-minute misconduct, putting his team down a man with 3:57 remaining in regulation. While the Flyers made the kill, just three seconds after getting back to full strength and having pulled Elliott, Oskar Lindblom would be sent to the box for an interference call. With 22 seconds remaining Chara got his second of the game, from the opposite end of the ice.
While the score may give the impression that the Bruins were in control, it could have been a completely different outcome if Jaroslav Halak had not done such an excellent job between the pipes for the Bruins. Earning his second shutout of the season, the Bruins back-up goaltender had some magnificent saves during those times the Flyers were in the Bruins end of the ice.
“Every time you start a game or play a game, you’re hoping to get a win. Obviously, if you can get a shutout that’s always more special. But, I always say, it’s a team effort. Everybody was on the same page and great work tonight,” Halak stated.
The secondary scoring was certainly something the Bruins needed. Coming into the game the bulk of the goals scored in their first eight games had come from Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron or Brad Marchand. As has been seen in the past with this team, when they can get all their lines rolling, they are formidable.
The Bruins won’t have much time to rest on their laurels. They will be back in action Saturday night, October 27, 2018, when they play the Montreal Canadiens for the first time this season.