April 23rd, 2013 by

Bruins look to make it two in a row

Bruins look to make it two in a row

The Boston Bruins face a big question entering the last week of the season. Are they better off winning the Northeast Division, or are they better off not winning the division for a more favorable first round matchup?

If tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers is any indication, then the latter option looks like the route they’ll go (presumably).

For the second straight game, Nathan Horton will miss the game with an upper-body injury. Adam McQuaid, who also missed Sunday’s game, skated on a pair with Andrew Ference this morning and is probable for tonight.

With a four-game stretch in the next seven days, including a back-to-back with the Washington Capitals and Ottawa Senators this weekend, the Bruins will use both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin as they look to stay atop the Northeast. They are currently tied with the Montreal Canadiens for the top spot, but with a game in hand, earn the tiebreaker for the time being.

In a season to forget, the Flyers would like nothing more than to play the spoilers against their rivals. They accomplished that feat the last time these two teams played earning a 3-1 victory on March 30.

Gametime: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Wells Fargo Center
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins (27-12-5, 59 points), Flyers (20-22-3, 43 points)

Bruins’ projected lines

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Rich Peverley
Carl Soderberg-Chris Kelly-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Matt Bartkowski-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid

Anton Khudobin
Tuukka Rask

Flyers’ projected lines

Simon Gagne-Claude Giroux-Jakub Voracek
Matt Read-Brayden Schenn-Wayne Simmonds
Scott Hartnell-Sean Couturier-Danny Briere
Jay Rosehill-Adam Hall-Ruslan Fedotenko

Kimmo Timmonen-Erik Gustafsson
Oliver Lauridsen-Luke Schenn
Brandon Manning-Kurtis Foster

Ilya Bryzgalov
Steve Mason

Bruins to watch

There’s no question that Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin have been the team’s best trio all season long, but another threesome that was intriguing to watch over the last few games is Jaromir Jagr, Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly. According to the pregame rushes, the three will skate together as a unit tonight for the third straight game.

Both Jagr and Soderberg bring a physical presence to the ice, and Kelly, while primarily a defensive center, is capable of providing offense. The veteran is seeing chemistry with his fellow linemates in his last two games.

“It’s been good,” Kelly said after Sunday’s 3-0 victory over the Florida Panthers. “Obviously last game was Carl’s first game in the NHL and I’m sure he was pretty nervous. Today, I thought we played well. We generated some scoring chances and we weren’t in our end too long. It was fun.”

Flyers to watch

As mentioned earlier, 2013 is a year Flyers fans will want to forget quickly, but one positive this season is the play of Jakub Voracek. Despite being a minus-10 through 45 games – which isn’t bad considering Philly’s season – the former Blue Jacket leads his current team in goals with 20 (a career-high) and his 44 points trails only Claude Giroux (45). There’s no question that Voracek and Giroux have some chemistry going, and Flyers fans hope they can build off that in 2013-14.

Bruins linkage

McQuaid was named the Masterson Trophy nominee from the Boston Professional Hockey Writers Association chapter, given to the player who exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication from hockey (Joe Haggerty, Boston’s PHWA chapter head and CSNNE Bruins Insider).

Stanley Cup of Chowder explains why Claude Julien is getting lucky with his goaltending.

Flyers linkage

The Flyers will contribute to the One Fund Boston for tonight’s game (Flyers.com)

Tweets of interest

Philadelphia gives the Bruins a nice “Boston Strong” welcome – via B’s media relations guru Matt Chmura:

The legendary Don Cherry has a few words of wisdom for Nathan Horton

 

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