In their history, the Flyers have had less success, percentage-wise, in Boston than any other NHL city.
So when the Flyers fell apart in the third period of Thursday night’s game, it was not exactly headline news.
The Flyers rallied late for a 4-4 tie but lost the game, 5-4, in a shootout on a goal by Boston’s Jake DeBrusk, the only goal of the tiebreaker.
The Flyers (3-1-1) entered their first road game of the season just 31-53-11-6 all-time at the Bruins’ home rink.
They took a 2-0 lead into the third period, surrendered four goals but still managed to get the game to overtime.
Brandon Carlo’s goal with 4:42 left in the third period broke a 3-3 tie to give Boston the lead after a goal by the Flyers’ Travis Sanheim at 7:13 of the period broke a 2-2 tie for a brief lead.
After the Carlo goal, James van Riemsdyk scored his second goal of the game with 3:32 to play to tie the game at 4-4.
On the Sanheim goal, Jake Voracek fired a puck off Sanheim’s skate and it slid through goalie Tuukka Rask’s skates. It was Voracek’s 700th career point.
But a mindless penalty by the Flyers’ Scott Laughton allowed the Bruins to tie the score. Boston’s Nick Ritchie tied the score at 3-3 with a goal at 13:22.
Carter Hart, who failed to finish his last goaltending start in a 6-1 loss to Buffalo on Monday night, came away with the loss after giving up four goals in the third period.
Voracek believes the Flyers should have won this game.
“We came out a little bit flat in the third. We gave the puck away too much,’’ Voracek said. “Sometimes that happens. We kind of let them in the game instead of just keep playing our game.
“I think it was a good game, the effort was there. We battled really hard. We should have put the game away in the overtime – we had three or four Grade A chances.’’
Added Hart: “We knew they were going to come hard in the third. We didn’t have a response. We didn’t battle back. They outworked us.’’
Claude Giroux and van Riemsdyk scored earlier goals for the Flyers at TD Garden.
Coach Alain Vigneault said he knew the previously winless Bruins were not going to go quietly.
“We knew they were going to come out hard,’’ Vigneault said. “It was their first home game. Our power play found a way to tie the game up (4-4). We got a point out of this.’’
The Flyers have given up more than 40 shots in each of their last two games, not exactly a recipe for success.
“We need to tighten up a little bit defensively,’’ Vigneault acknowledged. “Those are areas we’ll continue to work on.
“We were up 2-0 after two periods. They had a strong push. At the end of the day, we did some good things. Some other areas we need to improve and we are going to.’’
After a scoreless first period in which the Flyers were outshot, 14-3, the Flyers finally got on the scoreboard at 6:17 of the second.
With the Flyers on a power play (David Krejci off for high sticking Nolan Patrick), Giroux set up in the left circle and sent a shot past a Travis Konecny screen and under the crossbar to beat Rask for his first goal of the season.
Later in the period, van Riemsdyk made it 2-0 with 2:29 left on the clock. Voracek took a pass from Kevin Hayes and relayed to JVR for a short shot past Rask. The Flyers reversed the shot trend in the second, outshooting the Bruins 8-4 in those 20 minutes.
Boston quickly tied the score in the third. Rookie Jack Studnicka scored his first NHL goal off a rush at the 57-second mark. Then Charlie Coyle connected at the 2:07 mark.
>Hayes: Playing in Boston still special
Hayes, a native of the Boston suburb Dorchester, Mass., says he still gets a kick out of playing in his hometown.
He also played for Boston University before he was drafted by the New York Rangers.
“I always enjoy coming back here,’’ said Hayes during a media Zoom call from TD Garden after Thursday’s morning skate. “I have a lot of family and friends here.’’
Hayes said he even knows some people who work at TD Garden.
“I’ve done it a couple times now (played in Boston as a pro),’’ Hayes said. “Know people here from growing up in this area. It’s a special moment and I really enjoy coming back to Boston and playing.’’
Defenseman Mark Friedman went off the ice at 9:49 of the second period after he was injured in a collision with Brad Marchand and did not return to action. That left the Flyers only five defensemen for much of the game and might have contributed to the outcome. . .The Flyers finish up this two-game set at TD Garden on Saturday night.
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