TOE-TO-TOE

Flyers prove they can play with the NHL's best in 4-3 shootout loss to Boston

Sunday, 03.30.2014 / 3:30 PM
Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter

PHILADELPHIA – Sometimes you just have to tip your cap.

The Flyers went toe-to-toe with the best team in hockey, scored a late goal to tie the game on guts and determination, and dominated an overtime period.

And yet, they couldn’t pull off the win.

They did earn a critical point, one that moved them into a tie for second place in the Metropolitan Division, but Boston goalie Tuukka Rask was sensational.

The Bruins won it 4-3 in a shootout and did so behind 49 saves by Rask.

The Flyers fired a season high 52 shots on net including an impressive 8-1 advantage in overtime, but Rask was the difference.

The Flyers gave it everything they had in the third period to tie it and got it when Vinny Lecavalier scored in the final minute. It was his second goal of the game. He also tallied the first goal of the game with a wrister from just inside the blue line which was the 400th goal of his illustrious NHL career.

The Flyers also got a goal from Kimmo Timonen to lead 2-1 after one period. But Boston stormed back in the second to take the lead on goals by Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron.

But the Flyers were sensational in the final 25 minutes, out-shooting the Bruins 25-7 in that span.

Again, Rask was the difference, with perhaps his most impressive save stopping Brayden Schenn on a breakaway late in the third period.

Once the game went to a shootout, Rask only allowed one goal – a beauty of a backhander by Claude Giroux, but was able to stop attempts by Lecavalier, Michael Raffl, Matt Read and Jake Voracek.

Steve Mason, who had 27 saves in the game, made a few nice stops in the shootout, but allowed the game-winner to Reilly Smith.

The Flyers (39-27-8, 86 points) technically moved ahead of the New York Rangers via tiebreaker rules, but the Rangers play later Sunday evening.

Still, an effort like this, while it ultimately ended in defeat, was a positive for the Flyers, who are 6-2-1 in the first nine games of this 12-game stretch of games that was considered the make-or-break point of the season for the team, and it guaranteed they will have at least a plus-.500 points percentage in the “Dirty Dozen” by earning a point against the Bruins.

The Flyers also lowered their magic number to clinch a playoff berth to 10 points, meaning points earned by the #Flyers or lost by the Capitals in the next two weeks totaling 10 would clinch a playoff spot.

Stay tuned for more on the game, including highlights, video interviews and analysis.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

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