That was quite the welcome back after 10 months away from TD Garden.
It may have taken until the third period for the Bruins to finally find the back of the net after a slew of chances, but they certainly played a full 60-plus minutes.
Boston (finally) scored even-strength goals (three of them) en route to the 5-4 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
The Bruins and Flyers exchanged goals in the third, with Boston taking its first lead early in the period. The Flyers just would not go away, and both goalies made sure neither team would score in overtime.
DeBrusk played hero in the shootout in a full-team effort win.
Jack Studnicka, Charlie Coyle, Nick Ritchie, Brandon Carlo and Jake Debrusk accounted for the Bruins’ goals, while Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk (twice) and Travis Sanheim had the tallies for Philly.
With the win, the Bruins moved to 2-1-1, while the Flyers fell to 3-1-1.
Here’s how it all went down:
EFFECTIVE, BUT SCORELESS FIRST
Boston had a strong opening 20 minutes, doing pretty much everything except for scoring.
The Bruins went on the power play just 3:42 into the period when Giroux went off for tripping. Had it not been for Carter Hart stopping a Patrice Bergeron redirect in the slot, this game would be 1-0.
But the young goalie made all four stops the B’s peppered him with.
The Flyers had their turn at the man advantage a minute after going back to full strength when Sean Kuraly was whistled for a hold, but Boston was able to kill off the penalty.
Boston got another power play with 1:47 left in the first thanks to Kevan Miller drawing a slash. Time expired with the game still knotted at 0-0.
The B’s continued to put pucks on net, showcased by a 14-3 shots on goal edge after 20.
FLYERS STRIKE TWICE
Penalties seemed to be the name of the game for Boston in the middle period.
There were some 5-on-5 chances early in the second, but the curse continued for the B’s as they just couldn’t find twine.
David Krejci headed to the box about five minutes in for a high-stick, and the Flyers broke the stalemate when Giroux ripped the puck past Rask for the 1-0 lead.
And six seconds later Miller was called for holding, but his team killed off that penalty.
Krejci had a point-blank opportunity from the slot, but was unsuccessful as the Bruins’ scoring woes continued.
The Bruins, once again, found themselves on the penalty kill when Anders Bjork went to the sin bin for two minutes with 4:36 to go in the second after a hooking call. The penalty was killed, but Philly struck again at even strength.
Jakub Voráček fed the puck to van Riemsdyk in the slot who beat Rask for the 2-0 edge.
Boston still held an 18-11 edge on shots, but still was down 2-0 at the end of 40 minutes.
After 11 periods of not having a 5-on-5 goal, the Bruins potted two in 1:09.
First, Studnicka deflected a Krejci shot that went directly into his net for his first NHL goal. And what a time it was to find the back of the net to make it a 2-1 game.
But Boston wasn’t done just yet as Coyle beat Hart with a spin move before lighting the lamp to tie things up at 2-2.
Just when we thought the Bruins had the momentum going in their favor, the Flyers reclaimed the lead with a defensive net-drive when the shot bounced off Sanheim’s skate and through Rask’s pads for the 3-2 edge with 12:53 to go.
The Bruins had a crucial opportunity to tie things up on a Scott Laughton cross-checking penalty, and did just that when Ritchie ripped one top shelf.
Carlo gave the B’s their first lead of the game when he absolutely blasted the puck from the point to beat Hart.
But a costly penalty by Kuraly led van Riemsdyk to score his second of the night and make it a 4-4 game just 1:10 later.
And the Bruins would head to overtime for the third time in four games.
RASK COMES UP BIG
Rask made two huge saves to deny Voráček to keep the Bruins in it. Hart was just as impressive between the pipes, not letting anything get by him.
Another stellar save by Rask in the final minute helped bring this game to a shootout.
SHOOTOUT GOES TO BRUINS
Craig Smith and Voráček both were denied in Round 1, before Coyle and Travis Konecny came up goal-less.
DeBrusk beat Hart with the foot drag and Rask held on to stop Giroux to give Boston the win.
The Bruins stay in Boston for another matchup against the Flyers on Saturday. Puck drop from TD Garden is set for 7 p.m. ET.