PHILADELPHIA – The smile on the face of Andrej Meszaros said it all.
The Bruins defenseman returned to his former Wells Fargo Center home in Philadelphia, scored his team’s first goal and then walked away a victor as the Bruins grabbed a 4-3 shootout win over the Flyers on Sunday afternoon. The fact Meszaros was able to do all this less than a month after getting traded from a Flyers organization that made him something of a whipping boy by scratching him almost 30 times this season?
Well, that was just icing on the victory cake.
“It was special because you get traded, and not even a month later you’re playing against your old teammates,” said Meszaros. “It’s still fresh. I had fun out there. A goal is nice, but the two points are way better.
“What was sweeter [than the goal] was the two points. We should have probably won it in regulation, but they really worked hard. They were a desperate team trying to make the playoffs.”
The goal was pure beauty: a laser from the high slot after Dougie Hamilton pinched to keep possession in the offensive zone, and Brad Marchand served a perfect pass to him in the shooting position as the trailing D-man.
Meszaros finished with three shots on net and three registered hits in 20:21 of ice time in a physical, gritty, playoff-style battle. He has been excellent since arriving in Boston on March 5. In nine games played with the Bruins since the deal, Meszaros has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a plus-7 rating, while getting accustomed to the Boston offensive and defensive system.
“It’s always great to come back [to your old rink], and score a goal. It obviously makes you feel good. Obviously when you in a shootout that goal also becomes a pretty important goal,” said Claude Julien. “We’re down 1-0 and he gets us right back into the game, and settles us down. So that was a pretty big goal for us.”