The Flyers erased a three-goal deficit against the top team in the Atlantic Division and forced overtime, which dramatically ended when Jaroslav Halak flared a pad at Ivan Provorov’s last-second shot in the three-on-three overtime period and forced a shootout. That portended well for the Flyers, since the Bruins were 0-6 in shootouts this season.
Make it 0-7, and wildly so.
After the mandatory first three shooters on each side failed, as did the fourth shooters, Flyers All-Star Travis Konecny beat Halak, which brought Brad Marchand to center ice.
But, bizarrely, Marchand overskated the puck and touched it on his way past, nullifying his attempt and giving the Flyers their team-record fourth consecutive win over the Bruins.
The Flyers fell behind, 5-2, 27 minutes into the game, behind two goals from David Krejci, But as the Bruins relaxed, the Flyers dominated for the next 33 minutes and Travis Sanheim tied the game with his second goal with 7 minutes, 2 seconds to play to force overtime.
The Flyers were 2-5-1 in their previous eight games, mainly because they were averaging 2.38 goals and hadn’t potted a power-play goal in more than a week, but both of those things changed by the third period against the Bruins.
It was the third time this season the Flyers have combined with their opponent to score at least 10 goals. They won the first, lost the second, and won Monday night.
The Flyers handled the Bruins’ top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak -- perhaps the best line in the league, with a combined 74 goals entering the game -- allowing them one goal.
Anders Bjork snuck behind Philippe Myers, held him off, and calmly skated in front of the goal, where he dragged the puck through the crease and around goaltender Carter Hart for a 1-0 lead less than 5 minutes into the game.
Krejci snuck behind Provorov, where Danton Heinen found him to make it 2-0 with 3:11 left in the first. That power-play goal ended a 10-for-10 run by the Flyers’ penalty killers over the last three games, predictably, since the Bruins entered with No. 3 power play in the league (27.7 percent).
Patrice Bergeron caught Scott Laughton with a high stick on the left eye, a double-minor on which the Flyers quickly capitalized. A five-pass break into the Bruins’ zone ended with Kevin Hayes depositing a pass from Konecny with 1:38 left in the first, which cut it to 2-1. That also ended a zero-for-11 run over four games for the Flyers’ power-play unit, which entered ranked 21st in the NHL (18.7%) -- remarkable, since the Bruins’ kill was No. 2 in the league (83.8%).
Thirty-three seconds into the second period, Provorov pinched in as a penalty ended and Hayes failed to get back, which led to what might have been a deflating goal by Pastrnak, giving the Bruins a 3-1 lead. However, Sanheim sniped one from near the blue line just 39 seconds later to make it 3-2.
Charlie Coyle made it a two-goal game again when he skated past Robert Hagg and pumped in a pass from Heinen. Bjork skated around the goal unmolested and found Krejci for a 5-2 lead with 12:39 left in the second.
Six minutes later, Sean Couturier scored an Eephus goal: He fanned on a doorstep shot, but the puck trickled past Halak for a 5-3 score.
Rookie center Connor Bunnaman potted the first goal of his career, sort of, in his fifth game, 94 seconds later. Mark Friedman’s shot ricocheted off Bunnaman’s leg, then off the leg of Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, then past Halak to make it a one-goal game again.
A scuffle at the Flyers’ bench resulted in a four-on-four that set up Sanheim for his second goal, which tied it at 5 with 7 minutes, 2 seconds to play.