The two bitter rivals engaged in a typically gritty battle that was chock full of violent tension and physical play and ended with 64 combined shots as the Flyers topped the Bruins 3-1 at the TD Garden.
Philadelphia came back from a 1-0 deficit with three third-period tallies and were able to kill off all five Bruins' power plays en route to the win. Boston and Philly will next meet in the 2010 Winter Classic on Jan. 1 at Fenway Park.
Flyers 3, Bruins 1
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
Dec. 14, 2009
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Headliner: Kimmo Timonen led the Flyers' comeback with two goals and an assist in Philly’s 3-1 win. With under 10 minutes to go, the veteran defenseman slapped a shot from the point that deflected off Blake Wheeler’s body before finding its way over Thomas’ right shoulder for Timonen’s second of the season. The goal put the Flyers up 2-1.
Timonen than added the final nail to the coffin with a long-range empty-net tally from his own zone.
Grinder: Former University of New Hampshire standout James van Riemsdyk got the Flyers on the board as he tied it up just a few minutes into the final frame.
Tim Thomas played well, kicking aside 35 of 37 shots in Monday's loss.
Weak Link: Philly enforcer Scott Hartnell bagged three penalties — one in each frame — including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the first for going after 5-foot-10, 183-pound Vladimir Sobotka after the whistle. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound winger also picked up a high-sticking call on Mark Recchi with about a minute remaining in regulation — when the Flyers held just a one-goal lead.
Key Moment: The 20-year-old van Riemsdyk got things going for the visitors with his first tally in 13 games just a few minutes into the final period. The UNH alum is no stranger to finding the back of the net in New England as he popped 28 goals and assisted on 46 others in two seasons with the Wildcats before the second overall draft pick in 2007 joined the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms in the 2008-09 season.
What’s Next: The B’s will get a three-day break before taking off on a three-game road trip beginning in Chicago on Friday night. After their battle with the Blackhawks, the B’s will head north to Toronto to take on Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs in KesselMania III on Saturday before heading to Ottawa for a Monday tilt with the Sens.
The Blackhawks (20-8-3) are first in the Central Division and are led by Patrick Kane’s 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) and Cristobal Huet’s 14 wins and 2.18 GAA between the pipes. Jonathan Toews is helping out the attack with a team-high plus-13 mark while defenseman Duncan Keith has helped from the blue line with 25 points of his own.
The B’s topped Chicago in both tilts last season, including a 2-1 win in the Windy City thanks to a P.J. Axelsson shootout game-winner.