One team is looking to stay among the teams in the playoff conversation while another hopes to distance themselves from the rest of the pack.
With six points separating the Bruins and Flyers in the third and final meeting between the two teams this regular season, Saturday’s matinee promises to be an entertaining contest at TD Garden.
In their final game before heading out to Western Canada this week, the Bruins hope to earn another needed two points and create a little distance between the Maple Leafs and Islanders. The Leafs and Isles both hit the road this evening with respective matchups in Carolina and St. Louis.
Fresh off a nice bounce-back game against the Red Wings – two nights after a difficult loss in Ottawa – the Bruins hope to continue their offensive outburst from Wednesday’s 6-1 victory. The Flyers enter Saturday’s contest tied for 23rd in both goals allowed with 193 and average goals allowed per game at 2.92.
Since Bruce Cassidy took over, the Bruins have only lost once at TD Garden. We’ll see if their home success continues before a pivotal four-game Canadian road trip that also includes their last matchup with the Leafs a week from Monday.
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Backes
Drew Stafford-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano-Austin Czarnik-Jimmy Hayes
Matt Beleskey-Dominic Moore-Riley Nash
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Colin Miller-Kevan Miller
Flyers projected lines
Jordan Weal-Claude Giroux-Wayne Simmonds
Brayden Schenn-Valtteri Filppula-Jakub Voracek
Nick Cousins-Sean Couturier-Matt Read
Chris VandeVelde-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Travis Konecky
Ivan Porvorov-Andrew McDonald
Brandon Manning-Shayne Gostisbehere
Michael Del Zotto-Radko Gudas
– Under Cassidy, the Bruins had escaped the injury bug for nearly the first month of the season. They haven’t had the same luck over the last two games, however, as Ryan Spooner (concussion) and Tim Schaller (lower body) both left during contests against the Sens and Red Wings. The two forwards are out this afternoon in this pivotal contest. Matt Beleskey will take Schaller’s place in the lineup, while Jimmy Hayes will likely stay on third line duty with Austin Czarnik and Frank Vatrano.
– Since Cassidy took over, the Bruins have scored the first goal in all but three contests. The Flyers are no strangers in giving up the first goal having done so 40 times. But even in allowing the first goal, the Flyers have been a resilient bunch having won 16 times when giving up goal No. 1 – good for third most in the league. The Bruins have done a good job gaining momentum after scoring first and will need to do the same today in another pivotal contest.
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