A Winter Classic
BOSTON -- It may have taken extra-innings, but the Boston Bruins put the Philadelphia Flyers away with a walk-off when it counted most.
And rightfully so.
It was a picture-perfect ending to a script that couldn’t have been written any better.
Marco Sturm hit a walk-off homerun 1:57 into the overtime period and Tim Thomas stood on his head for much of the game as the Bruins were able to outlast the Flyers 2-1 in the 2010 NHL Winter Classic, Friday night at Fenway Park.
Thomas, who was named to the USA Men’s Olympic Team for the 2010 Winter Olympics following the game, made some spectacular saves through-out the game and finished with 24.
The loss snapped Philadelphia’s four-game winning streak, but the Flyers have earned points in their five last games.
Dan Carcillo and Shawn Thornton got the crowd going in the first period when the two-danced in front of the Flyers’ bench. Carcillo connected with a big right hand that sent Thornton down to the ice. I could definitely see a little bit of hesitation on both sides of the first period, no one wanted to make the first mistake.
The Flyers came out with more aggression in the second period and got on the board with Defensman Danny Syvret’s first goal of the season. It was set-up by a great play by Scott Hartnell, who distracted Bruins goalie Tim Thomas in front of the net and obtained Thomas’ attention rather than Thomas focusing on the puck.
For the most part, the first and second period was a bit choppy with not many offensive chances.
It was a playoff-like atmosphere with play-off like play in the first and second period with chances few and far between.
The score stood at 1-0 until former Flyer, Marck Recchi (Flyers record for most points in a season, 123) tied the game at 1-1 on the power-play with a deflection off a Zdeno Chara slap-pass in front of Flyers starting goaltender Michael Leighton with less than three minutes in the game.
Leighton finished with 24 saves on 26 shots.
The Flyers took two horrible penalties that really shot themselves in the foot and after Recchi’s goal, the Bruins had all of the momentum.
The B’s started the overtime on the power-play and after many Flyer chances; Patrice Bergeron put a pass right on the tape of Marco Sturm to end the game, in walk-off fashion.
Despite the brutal missed-call for too many men on the ice for Boston, the Flyers had more than enough chances to take the lead and put the game away.
The Flyers had more odd-man rushes than I can count and two breakaways all for not; when you miss those opportunities to score, it’s hard to win games in the NHL.
All-in-all it was a perfect day for hockey in one of the best scenarios the NHL has seen.
But at the end of the day, the Philadelphia Flyers missed a giant opportunity to pick up two huge points in the Eastern Conference standings.
--I will have a much more detailed and in depth story about my time in Boston coming soon. It was a hell of an experience. Like always check me out on twitter at www.twitter.com/DUSTINLEED and thanks for reading.