Charlie Coyle scores twice as Bruins hold off Flyers 6-5 to move into top spot in NHL

BOSTON (AP) — Charlie Coyle scored the tying and go-ahead goals, John Beecher and Jake DeBrusk added insurance scores 19 seconds apart early in the third period, and the Boston Bruins held off the Philadelphia Flyers 6-5 on Saturday night in a wild third period that included seven goals.

Morgan Geekie and Danton Heinen each added a goal for Boston, which moved a point ahead of Florida for the league’s top record with 95 points — one more than the Panthers. Last season, the Bruins set NHL records for wins (65) and points (135), but were eliminated by the Panthers in the opening round of the playoffs.

“Unfortunately, we took a seat back and that's obviously a very desperate team over there in a playoff race,” DeBrusk said before being asked about the team's struggles late in games. “We won. Obviously, we don't want to give up leads, but we did score six.”

Jeremy Swayman made 24 saves for Boston, which won for the fourth time in five games.

“It's not hard for me to look at the glass half full,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said when asked about taking the league's top record despite the inability to close games this season.

“You want to learn these lessons and the desperation of the team, and our schedule's really tough down the stretch,'' he said. “We're going to continue to play teams that are fighting for playoffs and fighting for position in the playoffs, which is what we like. We want to be prepared for all these things come playoff time.”

Joel Farabee had two goals and Ryan Poehling, Nick Deslauriers and Morgan Frost each added one for the Flyers, who have lost four of their last six.

The Bruins beat the Flyers 6-2 in the teams’ first meeting. The season series ends in Philadelphia next Saturday.

After tying the game late in the second, Coyle took the puck down the left wing, shifted around Flyers forward Travis Konecny before flipping it into the net inside the left post to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead 68 seconds into the third.

Beecher scored from the edge of the crease 2:37 after Coyle’s go-ahead score and DeBrusk then made it 5-2 at 4:04.

But Deslauriers and Frost scored 62 seconds apart, slicing the deficit to 5-4 with just under 5 minutes left before Heinen’s score.

Farabee’s second — with the Flyers' net empty to give Philadelphia an extra skater — cut it to 6-5 with 2:04 left.

“It's a tough one to swallow. I thought we played a pretty good game,” Frost said. “You see the fight we had at the end. I think that's encouraging for the rest of the stretch that's super tough.”

Midway into the second period, Farabee was positioned in the slot when he redirected Cam York’s shot from the point just as a Flyers power play expired, making it 2-1.

Coyle then scored from the edge of the crease for his career-high 22nd goal 5:21 later.

Flyers coach John Tortorella was back on the bench after serving a two-game suspension and being fined $50,000 for failing to leave the bench following his game misconduct during a 7-0 loss to Tampa Bay on March 9.

Tortorella probably liked what he saw from his team’s start, when the Flyers held the Bruins without a shot on goal for the opening 13½ minutes.

“We self-inflict sometimes and we're just not deep enough right now,” he said. “I thought we had a lot of good minutes, I thought we had patience to our game. We just couldn't sustain it to the full 60 (minutes).”

Bruins forward James van Riemsdyk was honored with an on-ice ceremony before the game for reaching 1,000 career NHL games earlier this month. After a video tribute, Hall of Famer Johnny Bucyk gave him Tiffany crystal from the NHL, President Cam Neely presented a painting from the team and GM Don Sweeney delivered a silver stick.

UP NEXT

Flyers: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

Bruins: Face the Ottawa Senators Tuesday, the second of a three-game homestand.

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