Hartnell's hat trick not enough
One bone-rattling hit.
Two bitter rivals.
Four lead changes.
Five goals for the Flyers. One less than the Bruins.
Despite two soft goals in which the Flyers blew yet another lead, the Flyers overcame a 5-4 deficit in the final frame thanks to Max Talbot's redirection with less than 10 minutes to play before falling, 6-5, in a shootout in one of the most entertaining games of the NHL season.
The Bruins are now 24-0-0 when leading by two or more goals in a game.
It was Scott Hartnell, though, who did his best to put a dent in that record. Hartnell scored three consecutive goals - all in the second period, to tie a team record for the most in one period of play - to record the Flyers' first natural hat trick since Jeff Carter did it on Nov. 11, 2010. Hartnell singlehandedly took the Flyers from down 3-1 to leading 4-3 in a span of 16 minutes.
Hundreds of hats littered the ice at the Wells Fargo Center, as the 19,851 applauded Hartnell's incredible weekend with 5 goals in back-to-back games. Claude Giroux had the primary assist on all 3 of Hartnell's goals.
Sunday's insanity started in the first 10 seconds, when Boston's Chris Kelly was sprung on a breakaway off the opening draw.
Patrice Bergeron scored 40 seconds later on the next shift, as the Bruins - who are now 27-6-2 since Nov. 1 - implanted images of their last visit to Philadelphia, a 6-0 drubbing on Dec. 17, in the Flyers' heads.
Then, Tom Sestito and Milan Lucic dropped the gloves to set the tone for what would be a Bloody Sunday. Brayden Schenn followed that by railroading Bruins defenseman Steven Kampfer just 9:37 into the game, when he caught Kampfer rushing the puck up the ice with his head down.
Schenn answered for his clean hit - with his hands and elbows down, and his skates grounded on the ice - by squaring off with Kelly near the benches.
Kampfer never returned to the ice, playing just 2:45 before leaving with an apparent concussion.
Before Schenn's monstrous, Talbot importantly answered on the scoresheet for the Flyers just 41 seconds after Sestito's fight. Unlike Dec. 17, the Flyers weren't going down without a fight.
Somehow, despite spending 4:24 of the first 9:01 of the first period down at least one man, the Flyers escaped the initial frame trailing just 2-1. And that's when Hartnell took over.
Overall, the Flyers and Bruins combined for 68 minutes in penalties and countless blood lost. Old Time Hockey on a Sunday afternoon.
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