The Bruins are getting ready to face the Philadelphia Flyers, possibly the hottest team in the NHL. The Flyers come into tonight’s game on a nine-game winning streak with a chance to take over first place in the Metro Division. The Bruins just had a four-game win streak snapped and are looking to get back on track. With a win the Bruins would be the first team in the league to reach 100 points. The Bruins also need a win to prevent the Flyers from sweeping the season series. It’s not going to be an easy task, especially with both Carlo and Krug missing the game with upper-body injuries.
Tuukka Rask will likely be back in net despite a rough outing against the Lightning in the last game. On the year Rask has been fantastic, a 25-8-6 record to go with a 2.18 goals against and a .926 save percentage. These numbers have him as a favorite for the Vezina trophy. Unfortunately Rask is also just 2-3 in his last five games, so a big win tonight could go a long way to getting him back in top form for the stretch run. A game on the road is just what Rask needs after losing his last two home starts..
The Flyers will send Carter Hart out as their starter. Hart has a record of 24-12-3 with a goals-against of 2.43 and a .913 save percentage. He’s been a big reason for the Flyer’s recent winning streak, with a seven game winning streak of his own as a starter. During the current seven game winning streak Hart has only allowed 12 goals. After a less than stellar start to his season Carter Hart is showing why he is one of the best young goalies in the league.
Players to Watch
The Flyers have been impressive across the board during their recent stretch of great play. One player who has been a big reason for their resurgence is Jakub Voracek. In his last five games he has ten assists. While he hasn’t been scoring himself, his set up ability has been a driving force for the Flyers offense. On the back end Ivan Provorov has also stepped up his game, chipping in six points in his last five games. Claude Giroux continues to be one of the top offensive options for Philly, also with six points in his last five games.
For the Bruins the first player to watch is Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy has already been playing a big role, with six points in his last five games. But with Krug out McAvoy is the likely choice to move to the top power-play unit. The Bruins power play has not been at it’s best, but a new quarterback in McAvoy might inject some energy into it. Another player to watch, who we all already watch every game, is Brad Marchand. Marchand is currently on a twelve game scoring streak, with 17 points coming in that span. I would also keep an eye on the second line. As they continue to build chemistry as a unit they have looked dangerous, and could have a breakout game any time now.
This game should be another playoff-type atmosphere, much like the last two games against Tampa. The short-handed Bruins defense will have it’s hands full trying to stop the Flyer’s fifth-ranked offense. A big key for the Bruins will be winning faceoffs. The Flyers are the number one faceoff team in the league, and limiting their puck possession will go a long way to earning a win. After the tough loss to Tampa, getting a win over another top their team would show the Bruins are still top dogs in the East. If the Bruins can control the faceoff circles and get some early offense they should walk away as the first team in the NHL with 100 points. Don’t forget to check out all of our other pages to stay up to date on everything happening in Boston sports.
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