The Philadelphia Flyers will need to elevate their play offensively as they take on one of the NHL’s best defensive teams in the Boston Bruins.
After having their five-game home winning streak snapped by the Tampa Bay Lightning in their last contest, the Philadelphia Flyers will face off with yet another tough opponent in the Boston Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers took the first meeting between these two squads, defeating the Atlantic Division leaders back in early November at the TD Garden (remember when this team could win on the road? I don’t). They’ll hope to do more of the same here tonight and try to avoid dropping their seventh game out of their last nine.
One way they can do so is by maybe, I don’t know, scoring a goal? One would be a start. The Lightning were able to shut Philadelphia out on Saturday and completely neutralized their counter attacks to the point of a 67-32 Expected Goals For percentage at 5-on-5 with Score and Venue Adjusted, per Natural Stat Trick. Not ideal. The bad news is that Boston is a slightly better team defensively than Tampa according to their goal totals, giving up the third-least amount of Goals Against among all teams in the NHL while the Bolts sit ninth in that category. They also tie for the second-best save percentage, as Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak have been up to their old tricks as a duo so far this season. Philadelphia will need players like Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny, and especially somebody like James van Riemsdyk to step up their level of play in the opposing zone if they want to avoid another losing streak.
In a brief lineup note for you all, Philly announced yesterday afternoon that they’ve recalled Connor Bunnaman from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms while sending David Kase back to the AHL ranks. Bunnaman has experience at the center position, which is an area the Flyers have been lacking in lately in the bottom two lines and was riding a three-game point streak with the Phantoms prior to his call up, as well. Expect him to play in this one and slot in on the third-or-fouth combo.
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Puck drop is set for 7 pm EST. You can watch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia, TVAS and Sportsnet East, Ontario, and Pacific in Canada, or nationally on the NHL Network.