So when he suffered a mild right groin strain after scoring two
goals and an assist in Friday's 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins,
coach Ken Hitchcock wasn't about to risk aggravating the injury and
kept Forsberg on the bench in the third period.
"It's not serious, but we're not taking any chances,"
Hitchcock said after Forsberg raised his team-leading scoring total
to 39 points (eight goals, 31 assists). "If he feels pretty good,
he should be able to play" Saturday against the New York
Simon Gagne had a goal and two assists and Antero Niitymaki made
25 saves, as the Flyers sent the Bruins, playing without leading
goal scorer Glen Murray who also has a groin strain, to their
seventh loss in eight games and fourth consecutive at home.
"We're playing well, but we've got to be better," Bruins coach
Mike Sullivan said. "That's the bottom line. We've got to find a
Forsberg scored the game winner with 6:54 left in the second
period, putting home the rebound of Gagne's shot.
Gagne gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead with 3:49 to play in the first
period with his team-leading 21st goal of the season. Forsberg dug
the puck out from behind the net and passed in front to former
Bruin Mike Knuble. Knuble slid the puck across the crease to an
uncovered Gagne on the far post.
The Flyers made it 2-0 on a bizarre power-play goal 4:15 into
the second. Bruins defenseman Hal Gill and Forsberg fought for the
puck behind the net. Gill fired the puck off the boards in an
attempt to clear it, but it flew up in the air and over the net,
hit goalie Andrew Raycroft, and fell into the goal. Eric Desjardins
was credited with the goal because he was judged the last Flyers'
player to touch it.
"No. Never," said Andrew Raycroft, who made 23 saves, after
being asked if he had ever seen a similar goal. "Never even seen
it on a highlight reel or anything. But when things are going bad,
things like that happen."
After the Flyers took a 2-0 lead, the Bruins scored three goals
in just over four minutes to take a 3-2 lead. Eric Nickulas scored
the first with 14:18 to play in the period, beating a defender then
firing into the net as he tripped over Niitymaki's pads.
Joe Thornton tied the game when he broke in alone and beat
Niitymaki on the glove side exactly three minutes later. Jiri Slegr
gave the Bruins the lead when he fired a shot through traffic that
beat Niitymaki glove side again, just 1:09 after Thornton's goal.
"We had all the momentum," Raycroft said.
But Forsberg scored his first goal on the power play with 8:56
to play in the second to tie it at 3-3.
"I think (the Bruins) came back really hard and looked really
good, but then we got a little break and got that power play,"
The Flyers were 2-for-6 on the power play, while the Bruins were
"The difference was the special teams," Sullivan said.
Michal Handzus scored an empty-net goal in the final minute.
The Bruins recalled LW Eric Healey from their AHL affiliate
in Providence. Healey, from nearby Hull, played in his first NHL
game after eight years in the minors. He took RW Glen Murray's spot
on the roster. Murray, with a team-leading 12 goals, sat out with a
slight groin strain and is listed day to day. Sullivan said he is
also likely to miss Saturday's game at Ottawa. ... D Kevin Dallman
and RW Colton Orr were also scratches for the Bruins. C Patrick
Sharp was a scratch for the Flyers. ... Flyers LW Donald Brashear
took a puck just above his left eye late in the second period that
required stitches. He sat out the third period. ... The Bruins have
dominated the Flyers in Boston, with a 46-18-12 advantage in the
series prior to Friday's game.