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Bruins rally past Flyers for 5-4 shootout win in home opener

Jake DeBrusk scored the lone goal in a shootout and the Boston Bruins won their home opener with a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.

In a wild game, the Flyers (3-1-1) led 2-0 and 3-2 but the Bruins (2-1-1) scored four times in the third period.

DeBrusk flipped a shot over goalie Carter Hart just under the crossbar for the game-winner.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) makes the save on this attempt by Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) during a shootout in an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Boston. The Bruins won 5-4 in a shootout. (AP PhotoElise Amendola)

Tuukka Rask made a glove stop on Claude Giroux to end the shootout.

Brandon Carlo scored Boston’s fourth goal of the third, beating Hart on a shot from the left point with 4:42 left in regulation to give the Bruins their first lead, but the Flyers tied it on James van Riemsdyk’s second goal of the game 1:10 later by scoring on the power play with his wrister from the right circle.

Rask made the highlight save of overtime, sliding across to rob Kevin Hayes with a right-pad stop.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (79) makes a save as Boston Bruins centers Charlie Coyle (13) and Patrice Bergeron (37) close in during third-period NHL hockey playoff action in Toronto, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (Frank GunnThe Canadian Press via AP)

Philadelphia’s Travis Sanheim had Jakub Voracek’s shot deflect off his right skate from the slot just over five minutes after the Bruins rallied with two goals 70 seconds apart early in the third period to tie it 2-all.

But Nick Ritchie’s power-play goal tied it again with 6:38 left in the third.

Jack Studnicka scored his first NHL goal, slicing it to 2-1 just 57 seconds into the third period. It was Boston’s first 5-on-5 goal of the season.

Boston Bruins left wing Nick Ritchie (21) scores against Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (79) in the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Boston. (AP PhotoElise Amendola)

Charlie Coyle’s turnaround shot from the left circle tied it.

Playing their first home game in TD Garden since March 7, the Bruins created an atmosphere — as best they could without fans — of an opener by introducing their coaching staff and players, including those who were sidelined and dressed in suits.

The last time the Bruins played at the Garden they were rolling with the NHL’s best record. Since then, they lost in the second round of the playoffs to eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay and saw Zdeno Chara, their 14-year captain, leave via free agency and sign with Washington.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers (5) celebrates his goal with right wing Jakub Voracek (93) against the Boston Bruins during second-period NHL hockey playoff action in Toronto, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (Frank GunnThe Canadian Press via AP)

NICE TOUCH

National anthem singer Todd Angilly sang a socially distanced version that was taped outside the home of Stephen A. Cipolla of Somerville, a 42-year season-ticket holder who died recently from complications of COVID-19.

SOUNDS AND SIGHTS

Philadelphia Flyers left wing Scott Laughton (21) and Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (48) grapple for the puck along the boards during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Boston. (AP PhotoElise Amendola)

Music blared — as usual — during stoppages, but with the empty black seats as a backdrop it was the sounds of sticks, pucks banging off the boards, calling for passes and even a few complaints about penalty calls or non-calls that echoed around the arena.

BUSY NIGHT

Hart had 38 saves in regulation and OT, and Rask stopped 22 shots.

Philadelphia Flyers left wing Michael Raffl (12) scores against Boston Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak (41) during second-period NHL hockey playoff action in Toronto, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (Frank GunnThe Canadian Press via AP)

WHAT’S NEXT

Flyers: Face the Bruins again Saturday night in their second of a four-game road trip. The final two will be in Newark, New Jersey, against the Devils.

Bruins: Saturday’s game against Philadelphia will be their second of a three-game homestand.

Philadelphia Flyers left wing James van Riemsdyk (25) celebrates his goal with right wing Jakub Voracek (93) as Boston Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon (55) looks up at the replay during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Boston. (AP PhotoElise Amendola)

More AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Boston Bruins right wing Craig Smith (12) takes down Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek (93) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Boston. (AP PhotoElise Amendola)

Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers players stand for the national anthem before the Bruins' home-opener NHL hockey game, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Boston. (AP PhotoElise Amendola)