Flyers lose another matinee, 3-2, to Bruins

Posted: March 18, 2012

BOSTON - Perhaps the Flyers should send a request to the NHL offices: Do not include afternoon games on our schedule.

Pretty please.

With goalie Tim Thomas snapping out of a slump and Patrice Bergeron netting the game-winner in a shootout, the Boston Bruins ended a four-game losing streak - and continued the Flyers' afternoon woes - as they scored a 3-2 win Saturday at TD Garden.

The Flyers are 3-8-2 in early afternoon games this season, losing their last six.

This matinee loss, however, was easier to accept than others.

That's because the Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to register a point - and did it after losing center Max Talbot and defenseman Andreas Lilja to injuries.

"It was one of those games where it would have been real easy to pack it in after the first period," center Danny Breire said. "Just go home and start thinking about tomorrow's game. But we showed a lot of character. [The Bruins] have taken a lot of flack lately for the way they played that last road trip. That first period was a matter of trying to weather that storm as best as we could."

After a sluggish first period in which they fell into a 2-0 hole, the Flyers regrouped nicely. Matt Read's second-period power-play tally enabled him to become the 16th player in franchise history with 20 goals as a rookie, and the Flyers tied it at 2-2 when Jakub Voracek deflected Braydon Coburn's point drive past Thomas with 4 minutes, 17 seconds left in regulation.

Ilya Bryzgalov, who continued his strong play, robbed Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara from the left circle with about 1:30 left in overtime.

In the shootout, Boston scored on all three of its shots against Bryzgalov, who has stopped nine of 21 in the "breakaways" - as Laviolette calls them - this season.

Read and Claude Giroux scored in the shootout for the Flyers before Thomas stopped Briere to win it.

"I tried to come fast on him and put on the brakes and led him back into the crease," Briere said. "I just wasn't able to lift it enough."

  Why are the Flyers so hard-pressed to win day games?

"Maybe we don't like the daylight," Jaromir Jagr said, smiling.

Someone suggested that maybe the Flyers should get to the rink earlier to try and change their luck.

"I think a lot of guys did it today. It still didn't work," Jagr said. "Maybe we should come just five minutes before the game. Try something else. Maybe we should skip the warm-up and just surprise them somehow. They would say, 'Oh, they didn't show up' - then we start."

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, the Bruins wore green jerseys during warm-ups. They changed into their usual uniforms and made the Flyers turn red in the opening period, bolting to a 2-0 lead on goals by Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin.

In 13 afternoon games this season, the Flyers have been outscored in the first period, 20-6.

Kelly scored on a rebound with 13:37 left in the opening period. About eight minutes later, Thomas stopped Jagr on a breakaway after the winger had left the penalty box.

With 2:53 to go in the first, Seguin scored his 25th goal to make it 2-0. The sequence started on a bad clear by Bryzgalov and ended with Seguin getting position on defenseman Matt Carle (six blocked shots) out front.

As for the injuries, Lilja appeared to take a puck to the neck in the first period, and Talbot was pounded in a second-period fight with Johnny Boychuk and appeared to land on his right shoulder. The Flyers called it an upper-body injury.

The players' status should be known Sunday.

Shootout Woes

Ilya Bryzgalov this season in shootouts:

Record: 2-5

Saves: 9 of 22

He has failed to stop any shots in four losses, including Saturday's game in Boston. Twice, including Saturday, he has allowed three goals to lose while his own team was 2 for 3.

By contrast, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has stopped 16 of 19 shots

Contact Sam Carchidi at or follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.