Ten observations from the Flyers’ 4-3 shootout loss to the Bruins Sunday afternoon (see Instant Replay):
1. Vinny Lecavalier had another statement game Sunday. He’s a center and he belongs in the middle, even if it means playing on the fourth line with Adam Hall and Zac Rinaldo. Lecavalier scored twice, potting his 400th career NHL goal and the game-tying tally that sent it to overtime. He was really good.
2. Patrice Bergeron’s goal that gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead at 11:05 in the second period has to be stopped by Steve Mason. It just has to be. Mason played well overall, but that was a really bad goal to give up. It also extended Bergeron’s goal streak to seven games.
3. Rinaldo might have had the best hit of the season with a doozy on Jarome Iginla with 4:09 left in the first period. Iginla didn’t like it and dropped the gloves with Rinaldo. That didn’t go too well. Rinaldo won the bout convincingly. Perhaps his best fight of the year, too.
4. It’s been a week of former Flyers scoring against their old team. Monday, Jeff Carter and Justin Williams lit the lamp. Friday, it was James van Riemsdyk. And Sunday it was Andrej Meszaros, who the Flyers traded at the deadline for a conditional third-round draft pick.
5. Kimmo Timonen gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission, but his job was simple. He had a bunch of net to shoot at thanks to a backhanded pass through three Bruins from Jakub Voracek, who finished March with 16 points. Tuukka Rask had no chance at stopping it as long as Timonen put it on net, which he did.
6. Talk about great goaltending, Rask was absurd Sunday. He stopped 49 of 52 shots. If the Flyers want to go on a deep playoff run, they’re probably going to have to go through Boston. Rask is a Finnish wall. They have to find a way to beat him. But, more importantly, they need Mason to outplay him. That’s an extremely hard task to ask.
7. The Flyers just cannot stop the Bruins’ power play. Boston was 3 for 5 in the first game between the two teams and the B’s had success again Sunday. The Bruins finished 1 of 2 on the man advantage and tied the game 2-2 only seconds into their first PP.
8. I thought the fourth line played excellent Sunday, as it did Friday night. Having Lecavalier’s $4.5 million on the checking line hurts, but it gives Craig Berube four lines to roll. That’s a sign of a good team -- just not as good as Boston.
9. The Flyers really wasted an opportunity in the third period to tie the game and perhaps even take the lead. They had 1:47 of 5-on-3 and did nothing with it. That was the story of the game for the Flyers’ power play (0 for 4). You have to credit Rask and Boston’s penalty killing. They shut down the Flyers’ power play, which was 2 for 4 Friday against Toronto.
10. Nicklas Grossmann is really frustrating to watch when he has the puck in the offensive zone. At one point in the third period, he called for a pass twice -- and was open at the point -- and when it finally got to him, he whiffed, and the play went the other way. He later missed the net with guys in front of Rask. He just has no offensive instincts whatsoever.