By Jenny Masters
Say this for the down and out Flyers.
At least they put up a fight last night against the Bruins in Boston.
And at least their fans didn’t have to pay extra because the game was on ESPN.
However, none of that mattered because the Bruins won 3-2 and Philly has now lost six games in a row and are stuck at 33 points, 11 behind Boston, which holds the last Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Tuukka Rask made 24 saves in his return from hip surgery as the Bruins won behind David Pastrnak’s hat trick.
Cam Atkinson and Joel Farabee scored for Philly,.whose Carter Hart finished with 33 saves, keeping the Flyers close despite a listless start.
Boston fans greeted Rask with a rousing “Tuuuuuuuk!” when he was the last of the Bruins introduced before the national anthem. But he was mostly idle early as the Flyers didn’t get a shot on goal for the first nine minutes.
By then the Bruins were already up 2-0 on goals by Pastrnak, who completed his 11th career hat trick with a power-play goal late in the second period after Philadelphia had scored twice.\
Hart had a much busier night, stopping Pastrnak from in close several times after he scored 1:51 into the game and again at 5:27 of the first.
Boston went on a 5-on-3 power play late in the second and this time there was no stopping Pastrnak, who one-timed a slap shot from the top of the circle past Hart, who had lost his stick a few moments earlier.
Pastrnak’s 16th goal of the season put the Bruins up 3-2 and started a flurry of hats coming down from the stands for the second night in a row. Brad Marchand, who assisted on Pastrnak’s second goal, had a hat trick Wednesday in a 5-1 win over Montreal.
“Tonight it looked like he could have had five or six goals, to be honest with you,” Cassidy said of Pastrnak, who has seven goals in his last four games. “Tonight was his night. The puck was finding him and it’s good to see. We needed all three of them. Hopefully he is back feeling great about his game.”
Atkinson pulled Philadelphia to 2-1 on a power-play goal 8:02 into the second with a tip of a shot by Provorov from the blue line.
Philadelphia tied it 2-all with five minutes left in the second when Farabee’s pass to Atkinson bounced off his skate right back to Farabee, who had Rask out of position and an empty net in which to deposit the tying goal.
Philadelphia had 51 seconds of a 5-on-3 power play after a delay of game penalty on Brandon Carlo and a charging call against Charlie Coyle. The only shot Philadelphia got on net was a slow bouncer that Rask scooped up despite a tip in front by James van Riemsdyk.
The Flyers pulled Hart with more than three minutes left in the third but were unable to get another equalizer.
“He keeps us in every single game,” Atkinson said. “We need to be a little harder in our blue in front of him and just help him out a little more.”