Chara scores twice, Halak stops 26 and Bruins top Flyers 3-0
BOSTON (AP) — Boston's defense provided all the offense the Bruins needed, and then some.
Zdeno Chara scored twice, Jaroslav Halak stopped 26 shots and the Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 on Thursday night.
"If I can contribute to the offense, it's always nice, but I think that we are more proud of keeping our net clean from the pucks going in," said Chara, who gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead 13 minutes into the second period and added an empty-netter with 23 seconds left.
Fittingly, Halak got the only assist on Chara's second goal as he capped off his second shutout as a Bruin and 44th of his career.
"Every time you start a game or play a game, you're hoping to get a win," Halak said. "If you can get a shutout, that's always more special."
Brian Elliott kept Philadelphia close with 22 saves, but the punchless Flyers couldn't capitalize on the few chances they had to beat Halak. Philadelphia's frustration boiled over in the third period, when the Flyers hurt their own chances to rally with six penalties.
"We have to push it in the right direction a little bit harder. That takes mental toughness right now because obviously we're going through a tough stretch here and this was a tough loss tonight," Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol said.
Jake DeBrusk also scored for the Bruins, who improved to 6-0-2 in their last eight against Philadelphia and 9-0-1 in the last 10 meetings in Boston.
Chara's goal 13 minutes into the second period put Boston up 1-0, and DeBrusk scored a power-play goal on a tip-in with 2:32 left in the second.
"Any time you can give yourself a cushion with the way Jiro has been playing, it's always nice," DeBrusk said. "We were just playing smart."
The Flyers have lost two straight — getting outscored by a 7-1 margin — and three of four.
"We've got to find a way to score some goals," Philadelphia's Sean Couturier said. "We're trying to put pucks in the net. We're just not jumping on loose pucks and capitalizing on our chances."
The Bruins improved to 4-0 at home, where they last played Oct. 13 in an 8-2 rout of the Detroit Red Wings.
Halak was in position the few times he was tested, stopping a one-timer by Claude Giroux from the right circle with about eight minutes left in the second period. The Bruins got it going the other way and took a 1-0 lead on Chara's slap shot from the blue line through traffic. It was the 197th goal of Chara's career and first since the second game of the season.
Notes: Gritty, the Flyers' new mascot, was officially welcomed to Philadelphia on Thursday in a resolution by the City Council for "honoring the spirit and passion that Gritty has brought to the City of Philadelphia and to the entire country, both on and off the ice." ... Flyers F Michael Raffl was out of the lineup with an unspecified lower-body injury. ... Flyers LW Scott Laughton played in his 200th NHL game. ... RW David Backes and D Charlie McAvoy were scratches for the Bruins. ... D Jeremy Lauzon made his NHL debut after being called up earlier Thursday from Providence of the AHL.
Flyers: Host the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Bruins: Host Montreal on Saturday night.