The Philadelphia Flyers will meet the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden for a matinee matchup on Saturday. This will be the second meeting between the two clubs this season. In the first matchup, Philadelphia notched a 3-2 victory in a shootout and Flyers goalie Steve Mason recorded 45 saves in the win.
The Bruins are returning home after a four-game road trip that saw them earn five out of a possible eight points. The Flyers are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games but were able to win their last game against Vancouver in a shootout, 5-4.
Both of these teams have struggled at different ends of the ice this season, making this matchup very interesting. The Bruins have not been able to produce goals consistently, while the Flyers have had a hard time keeping pucks out of their net. On the other side, Philadelphia has been able to score while the Bruins’ Tuukka Rask has been one of the top goalies in the NHL. Quite simply, this game will come down to which team can exploit the opposition’s weakness better.
The Flyers will be hoping their offense can overpower Zdeno Chara and Rask and open up an early lead — Boston will be looking to take advantage of Philadelphia’s struggling defense to get their offense back on track. It is hard to tell which team will get an edge, but one thing that can be counted is it being a very physical contest.
Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins
TD Garden-1:00 p.m. E.S.T
Broadcast Channels-NESN, NHLN-US, SN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
2016-17 Season Series: Flyers Lead 1-0
Philadelphia Flyers-22-16-6- 50Points
Road Record: 8-10-3
Hot Players: Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux, Brayden Schenn
Key Injuries: Mark Streit
Michael Raffl-Claude Giroux-Travis Konecny
Nick Cousins-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Dale Weise-Brayden Schenn-Wayne Simmonds
Chris VandeVelde-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Matt Read
Ivan Provorov-Andrew MacDonald
Michael Del Zotto-Brandon Manning
Nick Schultz-Shayne Gostisbehere
Boston Bruins-22-18-5- 49 Points
Home Record: 9-10-0
Hot Players: Torey Krug, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand
Key Injuries: Matt Beleskey, Colin Miller
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano-David Krejci-David Backes
Tim Schaller-Ryan Spooner-Riley Nash
Anton Blidh-Dominic Moore-Austin Czarnik
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
John-Michael Liles-Kevan Miller
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] David Pastrnak leads the Boston Bruins with 19 goals this season, but he hasn’t scored in his last 12 contests.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] Tuukka Rask was forced to leave the last game against the Nashville Predators after getting hit in the neck by a Roman Josi slap shot. He practiced on Friday and is ready to start against the Flyers according to the team.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] Brayden Schenn has found the back of the net for the Flyers in three of his last four games. He has 29 points on the season and will be looking to keep his goal streak going.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] Philadelphia has scored 18 more goals than Boston so far this season but the Bruins have given up 27 less goals than the Flyers. This game could come down to a duel in the crease.
Every game in the NHL is important, but this contest can have a significant impact on the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Flyers are sitting in the last Wild Card spot and the Bruins are holding down second place in the Atlantic Division. Just one point separates them and the race for the final playoff spots will be tight. This game could end up being the difference between making the playoffs or sitting at home and watching at the end of the season.
Anthony Pagliarulo is a Boston Bruins contributor for The Hockey Writers. He is a Massachusetts native and a Worcester State University alumni. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @APags87.