BOSTON (AP) – Peter Forsberg is probably the player the Philadelphia Flyers can least afford to lose.

So when he suffered a mild right groin strain after scoring two goals and an assist in Friday’s 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins, coach Ken Hitchcock wasn’t about to risk aggravating the injury and kept Forsberg on the bench in the third period.

“It’s not serious, but we’re not taking any chances,” Hitchcock said after Forsberg raised his team-leading scoring total to 39 points (eight goals, 31 assists). “If he feels pretty good, he should be able to play” Saturday against the New York Islanders.

Simon Gagne had a goal and two assists, and Antero Niitymaki made 25 saves as the Flyers sent the Bruins, playing without leading goal scorer Glen Murray, who also has a groin strain, to their seventh loss in eight games and fourth consecutive at home.

“We’re playing well, but we’ve got to be better,” Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. “That’s the bottom line. We’ve got to find a way.”

Forsberg scored the game winner with 6:54 left in the second period, putting home the rebound of Gagne’s shot.

Gagne gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead with 3:49 to play in the first period with his team-leading 21st goal of the season. Forsberg dug the puck out from behind the net and passed in front to former Bruin Mike Knuble. Knuble slid the puck across the crease to an uncovered Gagne on the far post.

The Flyers made it 2-0 on a bizarre power-play goal 4:15 into the second. Bruins defenseman Hal Gill and Forsberg fought for the puck behind the net. Gill fired the puck off the boards in an attempt to clear it, but it flew up in the air and over the net, hit goalie Andrew Raycroft, and fell into the goal. Eric Desjardins was credited with the goal because he was judged the last Flyers’ player to touch it.

“No. Never,” said Andrew Raycroft, who made 23 saves, after being asked if he had ever seen a similar goal. “Never even seen it on a highlight reel or anything. But when things are going bad, things like that happen.”

After the Flyers took a 2-0 lead, the Bruins scored three goals in just over four minutes to take a 3-2 lead. Eric Nickulas scored the first with 14:18 to play in the period, beating a defender then firing into the net as he tripped over Niitymaki’s pads.

Joe Thornton tied the game when he broke in alone and beat Niitymaki on the glove side exactly three minutes later. Jiri Slegr gave the Bruins the lead when he fired a shot through traffic that beat Niitymaki glove side again, just 1:09 after Thornton’s goal.

“We had all the momentum,” Raycroft said.

But Forsberg scored his first goal on the power play with 8:56 to play in the second to tie it at 3-3.

“I think (the Bruins) came back really hard and looked really good, but then we got a little break and got that power play,” Forsberg said.

The Flyers were 2-for-6 on the power play, while the Bruins were 0-for-4.

Michal Handzus scored an empty-net goal in the final minute.

NOTES: The Bruins recalled LW Eric Healey from their AHL affiliate in Providence. Healey, from nearby Hull, played in his first NHL game after eight years in the minors. He took RW Glen Murray’s spot on the roster. Murray, with a team-leading 12 goals, sat out with a slight groin strain and is listed day to day. Sullivan said he is also likely to miss Saturday’s game at Ottawa. … D Kevin Dallman and RW Colton Orr were also scratches for the Bruins. C Patrick Sharp was a scratch for the Flyers. … Flyers LW Donald Brashear took a puck just above his left eye late in the second period that required stitches. He sat out the third period. … The Bruins have dominated the Flyers in Boston, with a 46-18-12 advantage in the series prior to Friday’s game.

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