BOSTON — Drew Stafford’s seemingly harmless shot from the right boards deflected off defenseman Brandon Manning and eluded goaltender Steve Mason with 5.6 seconds left, giving the Bruins a dramatic 2-1 victory over the fading Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Stafford, the newest Bruins, took a pass from Kevan Miller, carried the puck down the right side, stopped and then turned and threw the puck toward the net. The puck hit Manning and became Stafford’s second goal in four games with his new team.
The win the Boston’s 10th in 13 games under interim coach Bruce Cassidy, who is 7-1 at home since replacing the fired Claude Julien.
David Pastrnak, extending his points streak to eight straight games, also scored for the Bruins, who picked up a big win in their bid to remain in third place in the Atlantic Division.
Jordan Weal had the goal for the Flyers, who desperately needed at least one point to continue their failing quest for a wildcard spot. Mason made 25 saves and was named the game’s third star, but his team dropped to 6-9-2 in its last 15 games.
Tuukka Rask, winning his 32nd game of the season, stopped 26 shots for the Bruins.
The Bruins challenged the Weal goal, his third in the last six games, claiming Wayne Simmonds had gone offside on the right wing. Despite some video evidence that indicated he had gone in before the puck, it was apparently not conclusive enough to wave off the goal.
The Bruins killed a 1:43 5-on-3 in the first period, the Flyers getting five shots on Rask, while defenseman Adam McQuaid helped out by blocking a pair of Claude Giroux one-timers..
Late in the period, with the Bruins on the power play, Brad Marchand, whose high-sticking penalty put his team down the two men, did the heavy lifting on the Pastrnak goal and didn’t get an assist. He separated defenseman Andrew MacDonald from the puck behind the net after Torey Krug cleared the puck in. Patrice Bergeron got it and relayed it to Pastrnak, the assists giving Bergeron 23 points in the last 18 games.
NOTES: A large contingent of Flyers fans brought plenty of orange and noise for the visitors. … LW Brad Marchand came into the game with 70 points, making him the first Bruin since Marc Savard (88 points) in 2008-09 to reach the 70-point plateau. Marchand also came in leading the NHL in goals (22) and points (39) since Jan. 1. He is also the first Bruin with back-to-back 30-goal seasons since Glen Murray in 2002-03 and 04-05. … The Flyers ended a four-game road trip and host the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins Monday and Wednesday. … The Bruins open a four-game trip in Vancouver on Monday night.