Drew Stafford’s late goal lifts Bruins to another win, crushes Flyers playoff hopes

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The Boston Bruins just keep on finding ways to win right now.

Thanks to a Drew Stafford goal — his second in four games with the team — with six seconds to play in regulation the Bruins were able to pick up a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon to continue their white-hot play over the past few weeks and improve their record to 10-3-0 under new coach Bruce Cassidy.

Stafford’s goal represents the type of break the Bruins were not getting earlier in the season when they dominated the shot charts but could not get anything to go in the net. Lately (and this pre-dates the coaching change by a few weeks) they are starting to have those shots turn into goals.

In this case it was an innocent looking shot by Stafford as time was ticking away in regulation, almost as if he was just trying to put the puck on net in a desperation attempt to get a last second goal.

Thanks to a deflection off of Flyers defender Brandon Manning, he got exactly that.

Manning ended up having a pretty miserable day for the Flyers. Along with knocking in the game-winning goal, he was also on the losing end of an early fight with Bruins forward Matt Beleskey just two minutes into the game.

The Bruins acquired Stafford from the Winnipeg Jets for a draft pick just before the NHL trade deadline and he has averaged a point per game so far with his new team.

While the win helps the Bruins solidify their hold on a playoff spot, it was probably a crushing blow to whatever hopes the Flyers had left as they failed to close any ground between them and the New York Islanders for the second wild card spot. If the Islanders win tonight in St. Louis the Flyers would be seven points back with only 15 games to play.

Even if the Flyers get some help tonight and the Islanders lose, a five point gap at this point is going to be difficult to make up with so many teams still between them.

The Flyers needed points today and were five seconds away from getting at least one. Then they ended up getting none.