Flyers 1, Bruins 0

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BOSTON (AP)—The Philadelphia Flyers have had little problems so far with the NHL’s longest road trip this season.

Antero Niittymaki made 27 saves for his second career shutout, and Jeff Carter scored to lead the well-traveled Flyers to a 1-0 victory Monday over the Bruins.

The Flyers posted their fifth win in their sixth game of a league-high 11-game road trip. They have at least one point in each of their last 12 road contests.

“To go out on the road and play so well, but we’re only halfway through it,” said R.J. Umberger, who set up Carter’s goal.

The Flyers, who began their trip on Dec. 23 with a 5-4 win in Pittsburgh, finish up the longest road trip in team history at Detroit on Jan. 12.

Hannu Toivonen took the loss for Boston despite stopping 20 shots. The Bruins dropped to 1-6 in one-goal games at home where they will play their next six games.

Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said that this is a key stretch for his team, which has been a disappointment so far this season.

“Common sense would suggest that given the circumstances this is an important time for us,” he said. “Every game we play is important and we’re well aware of that. We’ve got to take advantage of this homestand.”

Philadelphia moved ahead on Carter’s goal 6:25 into the second period. He finished off a 3-on-2 break by slipping Umberger’s pass between Toivonen’s pads.

That was more than enough for the red-hot Flyers and Niittymaki.

“(Niittymaki) played an unbelievable game and stole the game,” Toivonen said. “Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make that important stop there.”

Philadelphia held on for the win despite being outshot 10-3 in the final period.

“If its a one-goal game or a tie, you can’t let in easy goals,” Niittymaki said.

The Bruins had an excellent chance with 12:40 left when Sergei Samsonov set up Brad Boyes in the slot, but Niittymaki made a nice stop with his blocker. Boston also had a power play in the final three minutes, but failed to get a good shot.

Boston had the best scoring chance in the first period, when Boyes hit the crossbar with 12 seconds left after taking a centering pass from Patrice Bergeron.

“The story of this game is we’ve got to put it in the net,” Sullivan said. “We limited their scoring chances, but we’ve got to find a better way on the offensive end.”

The first period was free flowing with just a few whistles in the opening nine minutes, but very few scoring chances. Each team had just one shot on goal.

Notes

Niittymaki shut out Calgary 1-0 on Dec. 6. … Boston has not won consecutive games since Dec. 1-3. … The Flyers have won all three meetings between the teams this season. … Philadelphia D Chris Therien played his 741st game, tying Bob Kelly and Rick MacLeish for fifth all-time with the Flyers.

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Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
J. Carter J. Carter
Philadelphia Flyers
Scored at 6:25 of 2nd

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Hannu Toivonen Chi 21 20