Physical Play Sparks Bruins, Reclaim Division Lead

By Mark Abraham

In a game that the Boston Bruins needed to win, they put out their best effort in a while against the Philadelphia Flyers.  The Bruins entered the game in 7th place in the Eastern Conference, due to the Ottawa Senators leapfrogging them for the divisional lead after an overtime win on Friday.

It looked like reality may have set in for the Bruins.  Reality that they just can’t get into the playoffs on a bed of roses.  They have to earn their spot.  They have to fight for it.

And fight they did.  Literally.

Just minutes into the game yesterday, Bruins forward Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves with Flyer Zac Rinaldo.  Rinaldo may have had the slight advantage in that fight, but it proved that the Bruins were into the game, focused and determined.  Later in the first period, after an altercation with B’s defenseman Adam McQuaid, Flyers forward Scott Hartnell backed away and when confronted by Zdeno Chara, Hartnell went the other direction.  Later in the second period, Johnny Boychuk got tangled with Maxime Talbot of the Flyers.  Boychuk made quick work of Talbot, punishing him to the ground after just a few seconds. Talbot left the game and never returned.

The game was physical.  The Bruins outhit the Flyers 28-17, with Jordan Caron leading the way for the Bruins with five hits.  This was the type of game the Bruins needed, badly.  They play best when they are engaged physically and the Flyers, a team never willing to back off of physical play, obliged them.

The overall team effort was there as well.  The scoring started early in the first period, when Chris Kelly knocked home a rebound shot by Benoit Poulliot.  Tyler Seguin scored late in the first off a sweet feed from Patrice Bergeron to make it 2-0.  The goaltending from Tim Thomas held the Flyers to just two goals, both off of deflections.

The Bruins scored on all three attempts in the shootout to secure the victory.

The Ottawa Senators lost 3-1 later in the night to The Toronto Maple Leafs, giving the Bruins the divisional lead at night’s end and moving them back up to second in the Conference.  The Bruins are one point ahead of the Senators with two games in hand.  The Bruins next play the Maple Leafs on Monday night before heading off for a three game west coast trip.

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