Scott Hartnell has never been among the top five goals scorers in the NHL.
Except maybe after the first goal of the season, he quipped.
Sunday at Wells Fargo Center, the most overlooked All-Star who is not going to the big show, scored his second career natural hat trick for the Flyers in a wildly-entertaining 6-5 shootout loss to Boston.
Hartnells hatter gave him 25 goals, tying him for fifth overall in the league.
We didnt get two points, but all the hits, all the fights, the goals both ways and us having a poor start and coming back and having a lead, unfortunately, we werent able to hold on, but it was an exciting game, Hartnell said.
You gotta be able to nail games down when youre up a goal, especially against teams like the Bruins and we didnt do it. We got down a bit, but we fought back.
Ever since that memorable playoff series against the Bruins in May of 2010, the rivalry between these two clubs has ascended into one of the nastiest -- and best -- the Flyers have.
Tyler Seguin won this one in the shootout against Ilya Bryzgalov, who hates shootouts (his body language in them seems to back that up).
Peter Laviolette was forced to dress a depleted lineup with eight rookies, as the Flyers were without Jaromir Jagr, Danny Briere and that Italian ruffian, Zac Rinaldo.
Yet, the Flyers were the more physical of the two teams, engaging Claude Juliens club everywhere on the ice. They earned three of four points over the weekend in two, tough games against the Devils and Bruins.
Thats a victory in and of itself.
Coming off a game last night where we needed to play hard to get back into this game, I thought our guys gave everything they had, Laviolette said.
Even when you end up having to fight back, we do it, fight back, we do it, youre looking to get the other point. Its difficult to be happy when you dont get the points but it wasnt about effort of lack of interest. Our guys showed up and competed.
They simply couldnt get a save in the shootout. Despite assembling a strong crop of scorers every season, the Flyers are horrific in shootouts: 0-3 this year, 19-37 lifetime.
Still, the Flyers earned a point, and Hartnells five goals over two games played a critical role in earning three of four total points over the weekend.
Yeah. Five goals in two games, it's a good weekend for anybody, so, I'll take it, Harntell said. Confidence is a weird thing.
I have a lot of confidence and I feel strong on the puck, strong on the ice, my skating is good and when Claude Giroux makes those nice little passes to me, it's nice to get a good shot off and was able to put a couple in.
Hartnell's father, Bill, was here as part of the Flyers FathersSons weekend that continues Monday in Florida. Bill Hartnell had never seen his son score a hat trick professionally.
Giroux, incidentally, had the primary assist on all three Hartnell goals.
All our guys stepped up today and had a lot of character it was a pretty entertaining game, Giroux said. At the end of the day, we dont get two points, but our guys stuck with it and played pretty well.
The Flyers overcame a 3-1 deficit, held a 4-3 lead going into the third, then saw David Krejci tie it at 1:19 into the period.
Greg Campbell then gave the Bruins a 5-4 lead nearly four minutes later, tucking the puck inside the right post from on his knees.
Undaunted, the Flyers retied it soon after on a power play tip from Max Talbot one of three power play goals the Flyers scored.
From the drop of the puck, it was wild.
Boston had a breakaway by Chris Kelly on its first shift and he fired high and wide. No matter. The Bruins scored on their second shift off Patrice Bergerons stick-tap at the net.
Only 50 seconds had transpired.
That period also saw two fights and three Bruins scores sandwiched around Jakub Voraceks eighth goal of the season, which tied the game at 1-1 at 2:05.
Boston quickly regained the lead on a power play goal from Seguin, then made it 3-1 at 12:30 when Milan Lucic stepped behind Kimmo Timonen to score on Bryzgalov, who had given up just one goal in each of his last two starts.
Bryzgalov said he was not screened.
The puck hit me in the blocker I wanted to put the puck in the corner and I deflected my blocker for the high angle and I deflected the puck on my own net, Bryzgalov said.
Timonen called Boston a really great team.
Three points out of four is not bad, but we could have won this game, Timonen said. Theres a reason they won a Stanley Cup. Four solid lines, good defense, good coaching, good goalie Tim Thomas.
I thought it was a good hockey game. Playoff atmosphere, a couple fights. A lot of hits, I liked it.
There were three fights, in all.
Lucic said he didnt want to go, Timonen kidded, about dropping them with Bruins winger Milan Lucic.
Hartnell, who has done everything you could ask to earn an all-star invite, single-handedly got the Flyers back into it with two goals in the second period.
His first was a power play goal at 3:23. Four minutes later, Brayden Schenn forced a turnover, and Giroux fed Hartnell, whose shot from the high slot looked like it was going wide and curled back inside the left post on Thomas to tie the game.
Definitely a curveball goal.
With 1:35 left in the period, Lucic, who plays with an edge, picked up an interference call giving the Flyers an abbreviated power play. Hartnell struck again to bring down a barrage of hats.
That gave him 13 power play goals and the NHL lead in that department.
There were so many hats, the final 46.5 seconds was tacked onto the third period.
After a poor start, I think we played our game kind of perfectly, Hartnell said. We got pucks, we were physical. I'm not sure how many times Zdeno Chara got hit, but that was our main focus, to hit him, get bodies on him, go at him with speed and hopefully he'll turn it over.
Not just him, but all of their defense and we were able to get some goals. Unfortunately, like I said, we weren't able to hold on to it.
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