PHILADELPHIA — Patrice Bergeron recorded a hat trick and reached 900 career points, and Brad Marchand’s short-handed goal led the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.
Marchand’s goal midway through the third period helped put more distance between the Bruins and Flyers for the final playoff spot in the East Division. The Bruins now hold a five-point lead over the Flyers for fourth.
Bergeron added an empty-netter in the final minute.
Jake Voracek and Shayne Gostisbehere scored for the Flyers.
Philadelphia’s Carter Hart, who has been ineffective for more than a month, was outplayed by fellow 22-year-old goalie Jeremy Swayman.
Swayman, a former standout at the University of Maine, made his NHL debut and became the fourth goalie to play for the Bruins this season. He made 40 saves, including 23 in the second period.
Jaroslav Halak tested positive for COVID-19 and Tuukka Rask is still sidelined with an undisclosed upper-body injury, forcing Boston to suit up its Nos. 3 and 4 goalies. Dan Vladar had made 29 saves in the first game of the back-to-back set.
Bergeron’s milestone helped the Bruins split the home-and-home set.
He hit the 900-point milestone just 7:09 into the game with his 13th goal of the season. He joined Ray Bourque (1,506), Johnny Bucyk (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012) as players who scored 900 points with the Bruins.
Swayman stopped Scott Laughton on a breakaway and Bergeron scored his second goal off the rush from the slot for a 2-0 lead. He now has seven goals in seven games this season against the Flyers.
Needing every point they can get, the Flyers gamely rallied in the second.
Voracek tapped in Travis Konecny’s shot from the circle to make it a 2-1 game. The Flyers needed about 90 seconds to even the score on Voracek’s cross-ice pass to Gostisbehere for his sixth goal of the season.
Gostisbehere has already scored more goals than the five he had in 42 games last season — and that includes a stint on the waiver wire. The 27-year-old defenseman was placed on waivers last week and went unclaimed. Gostisbehere said he tried not to take the decision personally — the Flyers gained some salary cap flexibility with the move — and he fit right back in as the Flyers make a playoff push with 18 games left this season.
Swayman was a finalist last season for the Hobey Baker Award as the best player in college hockey at UMaine. He went 8-1-1 with a 1.89 goals against average this season at Providence of the AHL.
The Flyers took only four shots in the third period.
Boston plays Thursday at Washington and returns to Philadelphia on Saturday.
The Flyers hit the road Thursday to play the Islanders and then Saturday’s date with the Bruins.
Story by Dan Gelston.