The Philadelphia Flyers have played one game in two weeks and are still without nearly half of their roster. All of that showed on Sunday night in a 7-3 loss to the Boston Bruins at Lake Tahoe.
David Pastrnak scored three goals to continue his season-long mastery of the Flyers, while his Bruins teammates combined for three goals in 99 seconds late in the second to put the game out of reach.
The win extends Boston’s lead in the East Division and snaps what had been a two-game losing streak.
A few observations on Sunday’s game.
David Pastrnak is feasting on the Flyers this season
To be fair, Pastrnak feasts on most teams around the NHL but he is really having a run against the Flyers.
With his two goals on Sunday, Pastrnak is now up to six goals and eight total points in three games against Philadelphia this season. That includes two hat tricks.
Three of those goals have come in the first minute of a period, including two in the first minute of the game. He opened the scoring on Sunday night less than 40 seconds in.
He is one of the league’s most dynamic players and already has 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in his first nine games this season.
The Bruins got some depth scoring
If there is a concern for the Bruins this season it is the old issue of depth scoring that seems to be resurfacing. The top line of Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand is as good as it gets in the NHL. But they have not always received a ton of offense from the lower lines.
That changed on Sunday.
While Pastrnak scored a pair of goals to help jumpstart the offense, the Bruins also got goals from defenseman Charlie McAvoy and forwards Nick Ritchie, Trent Frederic, and Charlie Coyle. Frederic’s goal was his first in the NHL.
How much of a concern has the depth scoring been this season? Just consider that entering play on Sunday the Bruins were averaging just 1.66 goals per 60 minutes in all situations, and only 1.39 goals per 60 minutes during 5-on-5 play, when none of Bergeron, Pastrnak, or Marchand were on the ice. That is not good enough and is going to need to get better. Their performance on Sunday is a good start.
Carter Hart is still struggling
This has to be a concern for the Flyers.
A lot of their success (or failure) this season will depend on how Hart plays in net. They have been waiting for a franchise goalie for years, and he seems to be the player that can take on that role. Nobody should be giving up on him because of a slow start this season, but you also can not ignore the fact that he has struggled. A lot. That was especially true on Sunday when he allowed six goals on only 23 shots before being benched at the end of the second period in favor of veteran backup Brian Elliott.
That performance on Sunday brings his save percentage down to .890 for the season.
Overall, it is tough to put all of it on him. The Flyers’ defense has not been particularly good, and right now the team is playing without several of its best players. It is a tough spot to be in. But a lot of the goals he allowed on Sunday were probably on shots you would like to see your franchise goalie stop.