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Flyers 6, Bruins 3

Flyers put away Bruins with three-goal third period

Bruins rookie Jeremy Swayman was only able to stop 19 shots Wednesday against Philadelphia.Matt Slocum/Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Not quite ready for prime time, the Bruins on Wednesday made their first appearance on TNT, the network new to the NHL, and the night blew apart like their carbon sticks had been replaced by sticks of dynamite.

Paced by a pair of goals by Cam Atkinson, the former Boston College forward, the Flyers rubbed out a 3-3 tie at the start of the third period and finished with a 6-3 win at Wells Fargo Center.

Rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman had his roughest outing to date, too often failing to come up with needed saves, and also allowing a fat rebound into the slot that gave the Flyers a 3-1 lead early in the second.


To make matters worse, the Bruins also lost Nick Foligno, the veteran winger who signed a two-year deal over the summer. Foligno suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury late in the second period, left for repairs before the intermission, and did return to action in the third.

Overall, the Bruins too often made a pre-Halloween horror show of handling the puck — including a pair of Mike Reilly boo-boos in the third. And in the instances that a timely stop might have saved their bacon, the 22-year-old Swayman wasn’t the stopper they desperately needed.

“Not his best,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “We needed saves there when we broke down . . . and that’s it, he just didn’t give them when we needed them.”

Swayman, who will give way to Linus Ullmark for Friday night’s start in Buffalo, was a dazzling 8-1-0 in nine appearances last season. He was near perfect in his 2-1 win over the Stars in Saturday night’s season opener at TD Garden. But Wednesday he was dealt a reminder just how hard the road can be in the world’s best hockey league.


“I’m obviously accountable for what happened,” said Swayman, who saw his teammates rally from the 3-1 deficit and carry the 3-3 tie into the third. “I thought the team played great — a great comeback in the second. I just needed to do my job better, give us a better chance to win.”

Five Flyers finished with 2 points apiece, on a night when the hosts were on the wrong end of a lopsided 40-25 shot differential. They scored on three of their first nine shots and collected five goals on their first 22 shots.

After Atkinson and Travis Konecny landed their scoring punches in the third, Sean Couturier slid in an empty-netter to close it out with 59 ticks left on the clock.

“Our breakdowns were bad in front of [Swayman],” noted Cassidy. “Mistakes from the back end. Losing hockey is what it is . . . that’s how you lose games, you do dumb things. Good teams come back at you and they finish — that’s what they did.”

After falling behind by two goals on Scott Laughton’s goal early in the second, the Bruins rallied back to tie, 3-3, late in the period on strikes by Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand. Charlie McAvoy, moneyed up with a $9.5 million-a year contract extension last week, picked up assists on both goals.

Brad Marchand scored one of the three Bruins' goals Wednesday against the Flyers.Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Laughton, sailing unimpeded down the slot, boosted the Flyer lead only 1:58 into the second, converting a James van Riemsdyk rebound that Swayman errantly directed hot in the slot. The Flyers, with only nine shots, were cashing as if working with loaded dice.


“I should read that better,” said Swayman, musing over the Laughton strike. “Something I can learn from.”

A Hall goal, his first of the season, cut the Flyers’ lead in half at 8:38 when he finished off a free rush down the slot amid a botched line change by the Flyers. Hall collected a pinpoint relay from McAvoy out of the neutral zone and then raced in to polish off the breakaway with a forehand lift to the top right corner.

Finally, with just a minute to go in the period and the Flyers caught with their fourth line on the ice, Marchand popped in the tying goal with an alert touch near the right post.

The Flyers didn’t put a lot of pressure on the Boston net in the first, but they did put a couple of pucks in the net, good for 2-1 lead at the 20:00 mark.

Atkinson, traded here in the offseason, struck for the opening goal, connecting with the Flyers’ first shot at the 8:08 mark.

Cam Atkinson scored the first goal of the night for Philadelphia.Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Atkinson, a key to the Blue Jackets’ offense for years, was sprung on a 2-on-1 break from center ice, sent off to the races on a long lead pass from Derick Brassard

The Bruins’ fourth line, sent on the attack just as a Boston power play expired, connected for the 1-1 equalizer with 3:12 left in the first. Karson Kuhlman, digging around the left post, made the forehand sweep by Martin Jones for his first of the season.


The Bruins appeared to be headed to the break still tied, but poor coverage on the penalty kill in the final seconds left ex-BU Terrier Joe Farabee open for a goalmouth sweep for the lead with only nine seconds to go before the break.

“Forced a play and it ends up in our net,” said Cassidy, recounting the parade of horribles. “A pinch early, and it’s in our net . . . 2-on-1s, plays like that hurt us big time tonight. Plus, we didn’t get the save coming back the other way. And that was the difference.”

Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at kevin.dupont@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeKPD.