Rask, Bruins blank lowly Flyers 3-0
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — It was more of the same for Boston and Philadelphia.
The Bruins are rolling while the Flyers are searching for answers.
Rask made 28 saves to help Boston beat Philadelphia 3-0 on Saturday, sending the Flyers to a club record-tying 10th straight loss.
Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who have won six of seven. Ryan Spooner also scored.
“It was our start,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Usually if you start well, things will get pulled along from there, especially against a team that’s had a tough time lately.”
After ending a personal four-game losing streak on Wednesday night, Rask turned in another solid performance while improving to 5-8-2.
“Tuukka looked as comfortable as I’ve seen him all year,” Cassidy said. “He was efficient in the net. It didn’t look like they were going to get anything by him all night.”
Philadelphia was shut out for the third time during its slide and sixth time this season. It’s the first 10-game losing streak for the franchise since Feb. 6-23, 2008.
Wayne Simmonds tried to get the Flyers going by winning a first-period fight with Kevan Miller, but it didn’t work.
“We’re just squeezing our sticks,” captain Claude Giroux said. “We just need that first win so we can have a breather. It’s not a good time right now. We need to figure it out and figure it out soon.”
The Bruins jumped in front on Spooner’s first goal of the season 14:30 into the game. Flyers rookie Nolan Patrick created the chance for Boston, turning the puck over in Philadelphia’s zone to Noel Acciari. The Bruins center pushed the puck forward to Spooner, who got behind the Flyers defense and beat Brian Elliott 1-on-1.
“You come out strong, that’s huge for us,” Spooner said.
Boston added two more in the second.
Pastrnak extended his point streak to five games with his 13th goal just over 6 1/2 minutes into the period. Marchand, in his second game back after missing six in a row due to injury, hustled in front of Flyers rookie Robert Hagg after Philadelphia won a faceoff in its own zone. He poked the puck toward Pastrnak, who beat Elliott with a perfectly placed wrist shot past the goalie’s blocker.
Marchand made it 3-0 a little more than four minutes later. Charlie McAvoy found a wide-open Marchand in front of the net, and he sent a backhander past Elliott.
It was redemption of sorts for Marchand, who was leveled by Ivan Provorov in the first period on a hit that sent the Flyers defenseman to the penalty box and Marchand to the locker room.
“I was just frustrated,” Marchand said. “I’ve been hit more this year than I ever have been combined in my career. I need to do a better job of keeping my head up.”
The Flyers appeared to get on the board with 58.6 seconds left in the period on a wrist shot from Giroux, but the goal was waved off after the officials determined Simmonds interfered with Rask after a lengthy review for a coach’s challenge.
“I thought there was no question about it,” Rask said.
Boston also had a goal disallowed when Acciari deflected the puck with a high stick with 11:10 left in the third.
Shayne Gostisbehere took a bad penalty with Philadelphia on a power play late in the second period, needlessly cross-checking Marchand in his own zone. Bad penalties have been a frequent issue for the Flyers during their skid.
“At that time of the game, I’d rather him make a different choice,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.
The Flyers held a players-only meeting following their last defeat, a 3-1 home loss to San Jose on Tuesday in which the team was badly booed and fans chanted for the firing of Hakstol. On Saturday, though, fans just left early rather than voice their displeasure.
“The effort level and compete level were good,” Hakstol said. “That’s not what we came here for. It’s about two points and we didn’t get those.”
NOTES: Bruins C David Krejci (upper body) returned after missing Wednesday’s game against Tampa Bay. Krejci also missed 11 games earlier this season with the injury. F Anders Bjork also returned after sitting out the last seven games due to an upper-body injury. ... Boston backup G Anton Khudobin will start Monday at Nashville. ... Philadelphia also lost 10 consecutive games from Dec. 8-27, 2006.
Bruins: Complete a two-game road trip Monday at Nashville.
Flyers: Open a three-game Canada road trip on Monday at Calgary.