Bruins 3-2 Win Over Flyers is a St. Patrick’s Day Miracle: Fan’s Take

This week has been very bad for the Boston Bruins. Consider: four straight losses, two of them by a six-goal score, and then when the Ottawa Senators won on March 16, they leapfrogged the Bruins and sent them from second to seventh in the conference. The Bs were in desperate need of something, anything to go their way and they got what they needed on St. Patrick's Day against the Philadelphia Flyers. Sure, they had to settle it in an unusually goal-filled shootout after luck seemed to run out on them a little early and the Flyers tied the game late, but still this game felt different—the good kind of different.

The luck started early when Milan Lucic, not too commonly seen in the middle of the faceoff circle, won the opening draw to start the game after David Krejci was whistled off the dot. Gregory Campbell kept the tempo up by taking on Zac Rinaldo in a fight with less than two minutes elapsed in the first. Then, for the first time in what feels like a very long time, the Bruins scored first. Chris Kelly, doing great work, managed a juicy rebound in front of Ilya Bryzgalov and got it past him. Getting that first goal felt, to borrow Bryzgalov's own phrase, humongous big.

Even better? The Bruins held the Flyers off so well in the first period that the visitors' first shot on goal did not occur until the period was halfway in the books.

Then the stellar second line, recently reformed after a slight hiatus when the Bruins picked up their new guys at the trade deadline, worked well together again and extended the Bruins' lead. Tyler Seguin, working off a great play by Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, beat Bryzgalov. Once again, I must say that Bergeron did fantastic work setting up the play. He dug the puck out of the corner and dished it to Seguin, who shot it home. He's masterful at playmaking, makes a lot of his own attempts and can help defend too if need be. Bergeron Selke nomination and, preferably, win: it's the right thing to do.

In the second period, Johnny Boychuk took down Max Talbot in a fight so intense that Talbot did not return to the game. But, a few minutes later, it was the visitors who got on the boards via a power play goal by Matt Read. Luck for the hometown team seemed to dwindle further in the third when the Bruins, playing a little sloppier, let Jakub Voracek tie it late in regulation.

It would take a shootout to settle this one. The ace up the Bruins' sleeve? Tim Thomas, who did very well in the first 60 minutes of this outing, has been perfect in overtime and shootouts. He stayed perfect, even though the Flyers' first two shooters, Read and Claude Giroux, scored. So too did Seguin and David Krejci. But then Bergeron, whose full name as it appears on the Stanley Cup is Patrice Bergeron-Cleary (his father has Irish heritage), popped one past Bryzgalov and Danny Briere couldn't answer, giving the Bruins the win they so desperately needed.

One interesting fact: Joe Corvo was scratched for this game and the Bruins performed very well. I hate to be one of those "coincidence?" kinds of folks, but considering the team has so many defensemen now, why not try scratching him a little more often and see what happens?

As of this writing, it is not yet known if the Bruins can hold their newly-resettled second in the East position for the rest of the day, since the Senators have yet to play as part of a crowded St. Patrick's Day in the NHL. But, whatever happens, this game was still pretty good and much more fun to watch than the outings this past week.

Next up for the Bruins: the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 19.

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Updated Saturday, Mar 17, 2012