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Friday, January 14, 2011

Boston Bruins stun Philadelphia Flyers with 5 goals in the 3rd period

Just when you think you've seen it all in a crazy first half of the 2010-2011 season for the Boston Bruins, they drop five goals on the Philadelphia Flyers in a bananas 7-5 triumph last night at the TD Garden.

Where to begin with this instant classic? Beating the Flyers (27-11-5) in the regular season doesn't mean much (let's not talk about the series that shall not be named from last spring) but Philly came in leading the Eastern Conference and they were up 3-2 heading into the third period. Oh and they were 18-2-2 when they scored first, well make that 18-3-2.

If you had told me that Brad Marchand, Steve Kampfer and Gregory Campbell would score the final three goals for the Bruins (24-12-7), I would have said it was a great night to be a Providence Bruin or something snarky and clever like that. However, those are probably the three biggest unsung heroes so far in a season that is heating up with each passing game.

The bitter feelings these teams have built up from the playoffs last season not to mention two earlier games this season boiled over 2:35 into last night as Shawn Thornton took on Jody Shelley (who threw a cheap hit on Bs defenseman Adam McQuaid in December).

Scott Hartnell (sans his carrot top wig) gave the Flyers an early 1-0 lead at 3:34 from Ville Leino and Danny Briere in the first period. It was a weird goal as Hartnell was able to bat the back from behind the goal line and past Tim Thomas (30 saves).

Zdeno Chara tied it up with a power-play goal when Boston had a two-man advantage. Marc Savard and David Krejci assisted on the blast from the captain that seemed to have eyes as it eluded Brian Boucher (30 saves).

The red-hot Patrice Bergeron scored 45 seconds into the second period when his body deflected a Kampfer shot from distance. Mark Recchi also assisted.

Philly took the lead and momentum in the contest when Nikolay Zherdev scored on a breakaway (from Andreas Nodl) and Jeff Carter sniped one over Thomas' shoulder with 36 seconds left in the second period (from James van Riemsdyk and Kimmo Timonen).

It was easy to tell that the third period would be bat shit insane when Recchi tied it 38 seconds in with a goal that will likely never be duplicated again this season. He threw it off the boards and it took a fortuitous bounce right to him and he just shoveled it into the open net. Thomas and Chara picked up gift helpers on that one.

1:10 later, Michael Ryder tipped in an Adam McQuaid shot with Nathan Horton picking up the second assist.

Briere (from Braydon Coburn and Ville Leino) tied it at 6:48 and then less than a minute later, former Bruins defenseman Sean O'Donnell picked a corner with his first goal of the season (haha what?).

Marchand tied it again with a snipe from Campbell and Blake Wheeler. Finally, Kampfer scored the game-winner with a low, quick release from a tough angle.

The Flyers are stacked on offense and when Chris Pronger is healthy (he was out last night), their defense is formidable but they'll probably never win a Stanley Cup with the assorted bums they line up between the pipes. That's the only advantage the Bruins have over them and the reason you would have some hope if these teams should meet again this spring.

Campbell wrapped it up with seven seconds left, scoring another empty-net goal (his speciality) from Wheeler and Bergeron.

Woo! What a game. I can only hope that tomorrow's matinee vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins (which I will be attending) has a quarter of the thrills of last night. Truly one of the best games you'll see not only for the Bruins this season but for the NHL as a whole.

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