The Bruins ended the red-hot Flyers’ seven-game win streak in convincing fashion Saturday, chasing goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and leaving Wells Fargo Center with a 6-0 victory.
Tim Thomas‘ 30th career shutout and a Gordie Howe hat trick from Zdeno Chara led the B’s, who have now won four games in a row.
Benoit Pouliot scored just 27 seconds into the game, driving to the net and cashing in off a pass from Rich Peverley. Daniel Paille then put a rebound off a Dennis Seidenberg shot past Bryzgalov at 2:50, with Chara and Milan Lucic scoring power-play goals later in the period, the latter of which came on a 5-on-3. Nathan Horton added his ninth of the season on the power play at 7:06 of the second period, giving the B’s three power play goals on the day. Tyler Seguin scored in the third period to make it 6-0.
Thomas stopped 31 shots, giving the Bruins their second shutout victory in their last three games. Tuukka Rask blanked the Kings on Tuesday.
The win, which was Claude Julien’s 200th in Boston, gave the B’s 43 points on the season through 31 games, making them first in the Eastern conference.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
-Paille had six goals last season, and he matched that total Saturday with his first-period tally. Paille saw stretches as a healthy scratch last season, but the only thing that’s kept him out of the lineup this season has been injury. When he’s been in the lineup, the fourth-liner has put together an outstanding season, getting opportunity after opportunity offensively and still contributing as a key penalty killer. The former first-round pick of the Sabres now has three goals in his last two games, as he potted two in Ottawa on Wednesday.
– Zdeno Chara showed that he won’t be adjusting slowly as he returns from his leg injury. The Bruins’ captain pounded Jody Shelley 2:13 into the game, and in addition to scoring his seventh goal of the assists, had the primary assist on Horton’s goal. Chara got a low slapshot on the net through three bodies on the play, yielding a rebound that Horton flipped over the leg of Bryzgalov to end the HBO 24/7 star’s day early.
– Just so it isn’t only bad news regarding Seguin (see below) Seguin had six shots on goal.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Claude Julien was giving Shawn Thornton shifts with different lines in the first period to reward the grinder’s play, but by the end of the second period, Seguin was taking regular shifts with Paille and Zach Hamill. Seguin got another look with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand in the third period, but Shawn Thornton skated in place of him on the line for a bit.
Seguin got a secondary assist on Lucic’s goal and still leads the B’s with 27 points (13 goals and 14 assists) this season, but his scoring has completely dropped off. His gaol was just his second in the last 10 games and 10th in his last 15 games.
– Textbook hit from behind from Milan Lucic on Zac Rinaldo in the Bruins’ zone late in the second period. Lucic was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the play, and he figures to hear from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan over it. While Adam McQuaid escaped punishment for kneeing earlier in the week, Lucic doesn’t have the squeaky-clean track record that McQuaid has. Lucic was not suspended for his hit on Ryan Miller this season, but he’s on Shanahan’s radar and might not get off as easy this time around.