The only goal to get past Carter Hart on Sunday was an unfortunate wraparound by Boston’s Chris Wagner, which banged off the skate of Robert Hagg.
The Bruins had sliced the Flyers lead to 2-1 and there was an opportunity for Boston to seize momentum.
But quicker than you can say, “hey, put on a mask,” Phil Myers restored the Flyers’ two-goal lead with a laser past Jaroslav Halak eight seconds later.
“The first shift after a goal is scored is really huge,” Hart pointed out. “For us to retaliate like that with Mysie sniping a goal there, that’s huge. That really kind of kills any momentum they had.”
In 50 years, when Myers pulls up the score sheet from his first NHL postseason game on his IPhone 75, he probably won’t be pointing to that goal, however.
“The goal is a bonus,” he said. “I’m a defenseman. My job is to stop the other team’s players. The goal is just a side bonus. I had an opportunity and I took it.”
Boston has arguably the top line in hockey in Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. They can score, defend and (especially in Marchand’s case) really get on opponents’ nerves. Just ask Nik Aube-Kubel about that gentle stick tap he got to the back of his head from Marchand.
While Alain Vigneault often matched defensemen Ivan Provorov and Matt Niskanen up against them, there were numerous times it was Myers and Sanheim out there, including on the goals scored by Michael Raffl and Scott Laughton.
Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak had all eight of their shots stopped by Hart, and they combined to post a rating of minus-7.
Myers’ goal was the first of nine consecutive shots on goal by the Flyers following Wagner’s goal. Two of those shots went passed Halak, who was filling in for Tuukka Rask. Halak lost twice to the Flyers in shootouts this season and he’s now 1-6 against Philadelphia in the postseason dating back to his time in Montreal.
Myers, who had four goals in 50 games this season, had a game-high five shots on goal and had three other attempts which were blocked. He and Travis Sanheim have developed into a pairing that should have Flyers fans salivating.
“I guess we were clicking today,” said Myers, whose plus-17 this season was tied for second in the league among all rookies. “We were making plays out there. We were calm and composed with the puck. We had a lot of poise.”
Myers said their chemistry is a result of growing up in the organization, and the nearly 100 games together in the AHL.
Sanheim turned 24 in March. Myers turned 23 in January. Not saying they’re Howe-McCrimmon, but watching them grow, along with their 21-year-old goalie, will be interesting.
“I thought the first exhibition game their play was average,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “But tonight there was no doubt they made some big plays, made some big defensive plays. They were a big part of tonight’s win.”