It seems that Gerard Gallant of the Vegas Golden Knights is the favorite to win the Jack Adams Award for being the NHL’s best coach this year, but Bruce Cassidy has to be right up there with him when you think about all the games the Bruins have won this year with key players out of action. They had no Patrice Bergeron, Charlie McAvoy or David Backes tonight and were still able to scrape out a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Bruins found themselves shorthanded just over a minute into the game as Kevan Miller caught Wayne Simmonds in the mouth with his stick and drew blood. The Flyers needed just nine seconds to cash in as rookie Nolan Patrick made a great pass through his and Zdeno Chara’s legs to Jakub Voracek at the side of the net for the easy goal.
Miller redeemed himself by picking up the secondary assist on the game tying goal about eight minutes later. After making a nice toe drag move to enter the zone, Riley Nash went to the front of the net and tucked home David Pastrnak’s wraparound chance for his 13th goal of the season.
Brian Gionta’s first goal gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead with 26 seconds remaining in the opening period. Tommy Wingels got away with tripping Wayne Simmonds in the Flyers zone which led directly to Gionta’s breakaway goal.
The Flyers have had one of the worst penalty kill units in the entire league, but they cashed in with a shorthanded goal at 7:21 of the second period to tie the game. After Brad Marchand lost the puck in the offensive zone, Lori Lehtera finished off an odd-man rush by stuffing a forehand shot between the legs of Tuukka Rask.
The Bruins scored in the final minute of the first period and did it again with just 22 seconds remaining in the third period to win the game. After Brandon Carlo kept the puck in the zone, Marchand got to the front of the net to beat Shayne Gostisbehere to a loose puck in the crease and swipe it past Alex Lyon for his 29th goal of the year. David Pastrnak and Zdeno Chara picked up the assists on the play, which was challenged for being offside, but was quickly upheld.
The Bruins will begin a weekend home-and-home series with the Chicago Blackhawks at the TD Garden on Saturday afternoon.