A funny thing happened on the Flyers’ way to new-found respectability.
They ran into a buzzsaw called the Boston Bruins.
After a pair of encouraging wins over the Washington Capitals, the Flyers headed to Beantown on Monday afternoon with a little bit of bravado.
It only took about 20 minutes to dispel that notion. The Bruins, on pace to set a National Hockey League record for points in a regular season, scored twice in the first period and from there went on to hand the Flyers a resounding 6-0 defeat at TD Garden, Philadelphia’s most lopsided setback of the season.
Boston, which improved its home record to 21-1-3 at home, gave the Flyers just their second loss in the last nine games and dropped them back to one game under .500 (18-19-7). Philadelphia also saw a five-game road winning streak come to an end.
The Flyers haven’t defeated the Bruins on the road since 2011.
Goaltender Jeremy Swayman, who stopped all 29 Philadelphia shots, recorded the shutout for Boston.
David Pastrnak, who is on pace for a 60-goal season, opened the Bruins’ scoring with the first of two goals.
Pavel Zacha also came up with a pair of goals and Brad Marchant and Matt Grzelcyk added others. David Krejci, playing in his 1,000th NHL game, produced three assists.
After Zacha’s second goal, Flyers coach John Tortorella pulled starting goaltender Carter Hart in favor of Sam Ersson. While Hart played fairly well, the Flyers are in the midst of playing five games in seven days so there was no point in giving him somewhat meaningless playing time.
After the game, Tortorella confirmed the decision to pull Hart had very little to do with his level of play.
“It (the netminder change) wasn’t because of him (Hart),’’ Tortorella said.
Both the coach and players centered their comments on moving past this game and getting ready for a Tuesday night home game against the lackluster Anaheim Ducks.
“We had a good start, gave one for free,’’ Tortorella said. “Never caught up after that.
“How we answer tomorrow night, that’s what we’re looking at. That’s all I’m thinking about right now. I’m anxious to see how we play tomorrow. I’ve already moved by it (the Monday loss). I’m not worried about the locker room, just want to see how we play tomorrow.’’
Travis Konecny said after a good start, the Flyers were a bit deflated after the Bruins scored a pair.
“I don’t think we responded terribly,’’ Konecny said. “We just kind of let it get from us. Breakdowns. . .it was just one of those nights where you make a mistake and you’re going to pay.’’
The Flyers probably won’t spend a lot of time studying the video of this one.
“Burn it,’’ Konecny said. “Play tomorrow. A loss is a loss. Just get rid of it.’’
Added Scott Laughton: “Move past this, luckily we have a game tomorrow. Bounce back. We’ve been playing some really good hockey. Just put this one in the rearview (mirror), go to work tomorrow, get back on home ice.’’
Ersson took over and was in goal for Pastrnak’s second goal at the 36-second mark of the final period during a Bruins power play. The goalie also allowed Grzelcyk’s goal at 8:04 of the third period.
Pastrnak, now second in the NHL with 34 goals, scored at 4:39 of the first off a Tony DeAngelo turnover.
Zacha increased the lead to 2-0 at 15:05 when his hard shot from the top of the right circle banked in off the far post.
Marchand outworked Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov to the rebound of a point shot for Boston’s third goal at 3:55 of the second.
Just 46 seconds later, Zacha notched his second goal and that was all for Hart.
The Flyers get right back into action on Tuesday night when they play host to the Anaheim Ducks. . .Justin Braun was scratched for a sixth straight game for the Flyers. . .The Flyers were shut out for the third time this season. The last time came in a 1-0 overtime defeat at the New York Rangers on Nov. 1. . .Philadelphia went 0 for 6 on the power play. That ties the most misfires (without a goal) this season. The Flyers went 0 for 6 against Dallas earlier in the season. “We’ve been doing really well on the power play,’’ Konecny said. “They’re not going to go in the net every night for you but we’ll have to look at it.’’