Flyers Honor Bruins Tonight
Philadelphia Flyers (20-22-3) vs Boston Bruins (27-12-5)
Wells Fargo Center — Philadelphia, PA
7:30 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet and 97.5 FM The Fanatic
Setting the Stage
The Flyers will honor the Bruins tonight. This is Boston's first trip to Philadelphia since the Boston Marathon bombing last week. The Flyers will wear a "Boston Strong" decal on their helmet and patch on their jerseys. After the game, each jersey will be auctioned off and donated to onefundboston.org as well as the other half of their 50/50 raffle.
Boston is battling for the number two seed in the Eastern Conference whereas the Flyers are eliminated from the playoffs for just the second time in 18 years.
Jaromir Jagr makes his return to Philadelphia. He played an integregal part of their team last year and the development of stars like Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.
This is the final of three meetings between the two teams. Boston took the first game, 3-0, back on March 9 in Boston and the Flyers won the second at home, a 3-1 win on March 30.
What to Expect
The Flyers are just looking to finish the season strong. This is a competitive group of young players as shown the past two seasons. To them, this year was a fluke and they are looking to prove that with a strong finish and prepare for next season.
As for Boston, everyone knows the tough team they are and it was on display Sunday against the Penguins. Both Philadelphia and Boston have a bit of bad blood towards each other and it'll be interesting to watch that unfold during the game despite the circumstances of tonight's game with Philadelphia honoring Boston.
The Masked Men
Steve Mason will likely get the start for the Flyers, which he should as this season winds down. Ilya Bryzgalov has done enough this year in terms of starting and Mason should get the final three starts. In five games (four starts), Mason has a 2.09 GAA and .931 save percentage with the Flyers.
Anton Khubodin could get the start tonight as the Bruins may rest up Tuukka Rask a bit for this game. In 13 starts, Khubodin has a 2.20 GAA and .925 save percentage.
Keys to the Game
1. Jagr. It's going to be interesting to see how Jagr is defended in this game. The Flyers know first-hand how a 40+ Jagr plays his game in the NHL and that could be an advantage. Unfortunately, only one of the defensemen in their lineup actually can call him a teammate from last season.
2. Mason. He's playing for more than just pride. He's playing to impress for next season. He will need to continue to be sharp. Even though the win will be meaningless for the Flyers, it will mean a lot for Boston and that will test Mason.
3. Forecheck. Boston is a fantastic defensive team and they will be tough to penetrate down low. A strong forecheck works wonders against any team though. Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell and Ruslan Fedotenko need to do the dirty deeds to win puck battles and create chances.
“We have all seen what Boston has gone through and how they all rallied together. As someone from New England, I know how much pride that city has. We too have been moved by what we saw last week in Boston and wanted to do our part.” -- Flyers president Peter Luuko.