BOSTON (AP) — Chris Kelly scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:51 left in the third period, and Tuukka Rask made 21 saves to lead the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in their season opener Wednesday night.
Reilly Smith also scored for Boston, which finished with the best record in the NHL last season but couldn’t get past the second round of the playoffs.
Sean Couturier scored for Philadelphia, and Steve Mason stopped 31 shots.
It was 1-all when Mason deflected Adam McQuaid’s slap shot from the blue line into the air. The puck came down in the crease, and Kelly swiped it in while Boston’s Loui Eriksson also had a shot at it.
Another sellout, the 214th in a row, filled the TD Garden. But the crowd seemed to be still getting over last season’s playoff loss to the rival Montreal Canadiens by a Boston team that had reached the Stanley Cup finals in 2013 and then totaled 114 points in 2013-14.
During the offseason, the Bruins lost Jarome Iginla — their leading goal-scorer from last season — and Shawn Thornton, and last week defenseman Johnny Boychuk was traded to the New York Islanders.
The Flyers are in their 40th season since back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and ’75.
The Bruins scored on a power play at 10:39 of the first period when Carl Soderberg muscled around the back of the net and then passed across to Smith.
It stayed 1-0 until 4 minutes into the third, when the Flyers put some pressure on Rask and finally beat him when Jakub Voracek came out from behind the net and whipped the puck across to Couturier, who deflected it in.
NOTES: Bobby Robins played in his first NHL game. He is 32, and he had played 499 games in the U.S. minor leagues and in Europe. He also got into his first fight, tangling with Luke Schenn in the second period. … The Bruins won their season opener for the third consecutive year. … Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux, who returned earlier than expected from an unspecified training camp injury, played the most shifts of any Flyers forward through two periods and had the second-most ice time of the team’s skaters.