Game Day: Flyers / Bruins
The Flyers are coming off a controversial Shoot out loss to the Calgary Flames and a loss in OT to the NJ Devils. The Flyers were given the day off Sunday after having just finished a tough part of their schedule which had them playing 10 games in 17 days. Mike Richards and Claude Giroux both received and extra day off on Monday as a "maintenance day".
The Flyers used Tuesday to work with their struggling power play unit which is 2 for its last 34. Peter Laviolette has mentioned recently that Nikolay Zherdev would see more time on the power play, that was not the case on Tuesday. There were two power play units put together for practice Tuesday and Zherdev was not on one.
What seemed to be the top unit consisted of Mike Richards, Claude Giroux, Ville Leino up front with Pronger and Timonen at the points. The second unit had Scott Hartnell, Danny Briere, Jeff Carter up front and Andrej Meszaros and Matt Carle at the points. Zherdev is a skilled goal scorer who will contribute on the power play if given the opportunity.
The Flyers have an overall losing record against the Bruins 61-87-21 and don't fare much better at home 35-38-10. The Bruins have won the last two regulation matchups one in Boston the other in Philly.
The Flyers would execute what was one of the biggest come backs in NHL history when they came all the way back from a 3-0 games deficit against the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Bruins will come to Philly tonight with something to prove, they still have a bad taste in their mouth and a win tonight would sure help wash it out.
Unfortunately for the Bruins this is not a playoff series and a win tonight is just 2 points, an important 2 points, but not the playoffs. For the Flyers who are coming off their 3 day break the question is, will they come out fresh with lots of jump in their skates or will it take some time to get back on track?
The Bruins have been struggling on offense lately, in their last two games they have totaled 78 shots and only scored once. In their last five games the Bruins are 1-3-1 scoring 8 goals and averaging 36 shots on goal per game.
Recently they have cleared cap space for Marc Savard who will not be in tonight's lineup but would help this team out in the scoring department. They traded Matt Hunwick to the Avalanche for Colby Cohen former Boston University Terrier and Villanova, Pennsylvania native. Cohen will report to the Providence Bruins of their AHL affiliate.
In The Nets
It would make sense for the Flyers to go with Sergei Bobrovsky (12-3-2) tonight against the Bruins as he should be well rested. This would be his first start against Boston. Bobrovsky is 6-0-1 at home this season and is currently second in All-Star voting behind Carey Price who are who are both write-ins.
The Bruins will likely go with Tim Thomas (11-2-1) 1.56 GAA .951 SV% with 4 shutouts this season. He is 4-0 lifetime versus the Flyers and has an 8-0 road record. He has come back from his off season surgery this season and has outplayed Tukka Rask earning the majority of the starts.
Today in Flyers History
Tonight's game will be the first time these two teams have faced each other on this date. The Flyers had two trades on this date and two shutouts. Bernie Parent had a shutout when the Flyers beat the Kansas City Scouts 10-0 in 1974. Roman Chechmanek had the other in 2001 a 2-0 win over the Tampa bay Lightning.
If the Bruins come out with a chip on their shoulder as predicted, the Flyers will need to match that intensity and use their body to take control of the game. With the work they did on Tuesday with the power play, the Flyers come into this game looking to turn their power play woes around.
With these power play line combinations from practice, the hope is they will provide that much needed spark that has been absent lately. Probably the toughest task tonight will be solving Tim Thomas, he has been great this season and the FLyers have a tendency to disappear against certain goaltenders and with his record versus the Flyers it would not be a surprise if tonight was one of those nights.
The Bruins leading goal scorer and points leader is Milan Lucic with 10 goals and 9 assists for 19 points this season. He is closely followed by Nathan Horton with 8 goals and 10 assists .13 players on Boston's roster have scored 2 or more goals and only 2 players are without a point, newly acquired Colby Cohen and Jamie Arniel who has only dressed for one game this season.
Leading the way for the Flyers is Mike Richards with 9 goals 16 assists for 25 points, he is followed closely by Claude Giroux with 12 goals and 11 assists. Giroux's 12 goals are tied for first i=on the team with Danny Briere . Sean O'Donnell and Andrej Meszaros are a plus 17 and plus 15 respectively for the defense. On the offensive side Scott Hartnell leads the way with a +12 followed by Briere +11 and Ville Leino +10.
On Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center there were 2 familiar faces at the WWE Raw. Peter Laviolette and Chris Pronger presented John Cena with his own Flyers jersey.Read more and see the jersey here.
Step Up Players
Scott Hartnell, Jeff Carter, Matt Carle