Bruins Game 51 Preview: Philadelphia Flyers

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PHOTO CREDITS: (The Canadian Press)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

For the third and final time in the 2018-19 season, the Bruins and Flyers will meet for a game, the second of which being in Boston in the TD Garden. The Bruins are coming off of a 4-3 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, a game where only the first line seemed to have the offensive capability to score goals. Boston managed to get a point and now they sit only one point behind Montreal for the third spot in the Atlantic Division with one game in hand.

The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to get six of a possible six points in the three games in four days for them this week. On Monday, the Flyers beat the Jets 3-1, a game where the Flyers did a great job keeping the Jets on the outside and away from any scoring opportunities. On Tuesday, the Flyers played again, beating the New York Rangers 1-0 the final score. Anthony Stolarz stopped all thirty-eight saves in the game. The Flyers aren’t close to the playoffs, however, sitting ten points behind Pittsburgh for the final wild-card position.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 14-8-3 2.43 GAA .919 SV% Last Game*: 28 Saves in 5-2 Win vs STL

PHI: Carter Hart 7-5-1 2.52 GAA .922 SV% Last Game: 31 Saves in 3-1 Win vs WPG

*Not including the game vs NYR due to the injury suffered early on.

Who’s Hot

The Flyers have not had a good history with goaltenders but lately, goaltending has actually been one of their strong suits. In their last win against the Rangers, Anthony Stolarz was unbeatable, stopping all 38 shots against. However, the 48th Overall Pick (2nd Round) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Carter Hart has been great as of late. The Flyers netminder is the first Philadelphia goalie to have a four-game winning streak before the age of twenty-one. Hart has allowed a combined ten goals over the four games that he has won as well over the Wild, Bruins, Canadiens, and Jets dating back to January 14th.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Brad Marchand has been on a tear for the Bruins lately, scoring a point in each of his last five games and has totaled three goals and six assists for nine points in that span. In the loss against the Jets, Marchand tallied three assists on the night – an assist on every Bruin goal scored. Brad now has 19-37-56 numbers in forty-nine games this year, second-most on the team.

Sean Couturier has been doing well for Philadelphia as well. The 26-year-old forward has six points in his last five outings including a hat-trick against Boston back on January 16th. Couturier is second for points on the Flyers with nineteen goals, twenty-one assists for forty points. Couturier will be looking to have another big game against the Bruins tonight.

Who’s Not

Claude Giroux has been the best forward for scoring on the Philadelphia Flyers for many years and he has continued that trend so far this season. With that said, the Hearst, Ontario, Canada native has failed to get on the score sheet once in the past three consecutive games, even while playing around twenty minutes per game. It is very likely that Giroux can explode one of these games, as he did put up a career-high 102 points in the 2017-18 season.

Jake DeBrusk has not had a terrific year this season and with the season winding down, he will need to change that soon in order for the Bruins to be contenders again. DeBrusk has 14-4-18 totals in 41 contests this season and he has failed to score a point in the last three games and only one point in his last seven games.

Wayne Simmonds has been involved in many trade rumors in the past years, but his recent lack of production may be a cause of concern for teams wanting to trade for the 30-year-old forward this trade deadline. Simmonds has fifteen goals, eight assists for twenty-three points in fifty points. Wayne also has a -11 rating on the Flyers this year, the second-worst among forwards on the roster.

Milestone Watch

Boston Bruins:

  • G Tuukka Rask is one win away (252) from taking sole possession of first for most goaltender wins in Bruins history, passing Tiny Thompson (252)
  • F David Backes will be playing in his 900th career NHL regular season game
  • D Brandon Carlo will be playing in his 200th career NHL regular season game
  • D Zdeno Chara is two goals away from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (23) from tying Derek Sanderson (24) for second-most SHG in Bruins history
  • F Brad Marchand is one game-winning goal away from taking sole possession of 7th most GWG in Bruins history
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one game-winning goal away from taking sole possession of 3rd most GWG in Bruins history
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PHOTO CREDITS: (The Associated Press)

Philadelphia Flyers:

  • No notable milestones can be reached tonight.

Bruins vs Flyers Outlook

If the Bruins think for whatever reason that tonight’s game against the Flyers will be a walk in the park towards an easy win, then they are in the wrong mindset. Surprisingly, the Flyers have been a good hockey team since returning from the All-Star Break. With wins over the Jets and Rangers on back-to-back nights and a win over the Bruins earlier in the month, the team will be striving for another win tonight as they head into their fourth game this week on Saturday.

For the Bruins, they need every point that they can get their hands on. With a game on Sunday coming up against the Washington Capitals, a team that the Bruins have trouble with, this is the type of game to get two points. Boston did have a decent outing against Winnipeg on Tuesday, but Bruce Cassidy needs more depth scoring in order to win the game tonight.

The Bruins have the second-best power-play percentage in the league, at a 27.3% success rate on the man-advantage. The Flyers are dead-last on the PP, scoring on only 12.9% of their power-plays this season. On the penalty-kill, the Bruins are the sixteenth-best in the league (80.3%) and the Flyers are 28th in the league (76.4%). The winning team tonight will win the season series two games to one.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST in the TD Garden. Below were the lines Cassidy had rolling in the morning skates.

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