The Philadelphia Flyers welcomed the Boston Bruins into the Wells Fargo Center with a beautifully crafted opening ceremony. There was plenty of emotion in the arena tonight as the Flyers and their fans paid their respects to Boston and all those who endured the terrible tragedies that had occurred just eight days ago.
The Bruins had little to play for, as their playoff fate has already been sealed as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers had even less to play for, but they showed great pride nonetheless.
A second period offensive flurry helped propel the Flyers to a 5-2 victory. Forward Matt Read demonstrated tremendous hand eye coordination when he batted the puck out of mid air for his 11th goal of the season. Just second later, a routine dump in by Oliver Lauridsen would carom off of Zdeno Chara and redirect off of the unsuspecting Boston netminder, into the back of the net. The blooper reel score was Lauridsen’s first career NHL goal.
With a very young and inexperienced defense in front of him, Steve Mason held the Bruins to two goals; saving 39 of 41 shots aimed his direction. Mason stood on his head on multiple occasions; making improbable saves to add to his personal highlight reel.
Mason has won all three starts as a Flyer this season. He has made saved after spectacular save and has inspired his team to play good hockey, despite so many injuries on defense. Many questioned the acquisition of Mason at the deadline, but it looks like now, Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren can have the last laugh.
Holmgren may have found the spark the Flyers needed to keep them consistent throughout the season, or at the very the least, keep Ilya Bryzgalov consistent as well.