All you need to know ahead of Flyers vs Bruins preseason clash

Flyers' Sean Couturier
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 11: Philadelphia Flyers Center Sean Couturier (14) reacts to referees after the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers on January 11, 2020 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Last week, the Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Boston Bruins, 4-2. Following that loss, the Flyers won their first preseason game against the Washington Capitals. What those wins, though unrelated games, have in common are matchup discrepancies. The Bruins played their starters against Philadelphia’s bottom six, second pair, prospects, and backup goaltender. Then, the Flyers played their starting lineup, sans Carter Hart, against a Capitals team missing potent game-changers.

Joel Farabee scored two powerplay goals, but Philadelphia’s penalty kill undid the powerplay’s effort. Against Boston, Martin Jones had a shaky performance. He recovered against Washington, who didn’t have Alexander Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, or Daniel Sprong in their lineup, to name a few.

Tonight, the Flyers could put a new lineup on the ice to take on the Bruins in their preseason rematch. Instead of Jones getting the start, it will be Carter Hart.

How do these two teams compare before their rematch tonight at the Wells Fargo Center?

Opposing Forces

The preseason is about correcting what didn’t work before the regular season begins. Against the Boston Bruins, we’re looking for an improved penalty kill from last Thursday.

Brad Marchand and Craig Smith scored consecutive powerplay goals, beginning a streak for four unanswered. While the penalty kill required glaring improvements, the Philadelphia Flyers were unable to strike during even-strength hockey. On paper, the Flyers faced an uphill battle, and it showed.

The usual suspects shined against the New York Rangers in the first period, but Linus Ullmark seemed as shaky as Martin Jones was. David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Marchand all scored in the opening period. Between those three, the Bruins scored a powerplay, even-strength, and shorthanded goal within the first twenty minutes. Philadelphia has yet to allow a shorthanded goal but pales in comparison to Boston’s special teams.

While Ullmark did earn a loss in overtime, the door is wide open for Jeremy Swayman to take on the starting role with the Bruins.

Unlike the first preseason contest between the Flyers and Boston, the Bruins will feature barely any veteran players. They’re sending a lineup akin to what they faced previously versus Philadelphia. Swayman should receive another look tonight with only one more preseason game remaining before the 2021-2022 regular season. If he performs well, he’ll put a lot of pressure on Ullmark, who presumably would start against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

An eye on the Flyers

While the lineup won’t closely reflect opening night as it did versus the Washington Capitals, the Philadelphia Flyers on paper should have the advantage: 

Namely, Claude Giroux and Justin Braun are receiving a maintenance day. Sean Couturier is the only veteran center on the Flyers roster for tonight’s game. Adam Clendening, Wyatte Wylie, and Linus Hogberg will receive ice time tonight, loaning Brian Zanetti to the OHL.

Aside from these lineups and a morning skate, much of this morning featured Alain Vigneault answering the accusations made by Robin Lehner. Vigneault outright denied Lehner’s claims, doubling down on any connection concocted about Nolan Patrick:

“I know Patty wouldn’t say that I’m pushing pills.”

Alain Vigneault; 10/4/2021

Furthermore, James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia’s NHLPA representative) spoke about Lehner’s allegations: 

“It’s always surprising when you hear someone, from a different organization who has never necessarily played for someone, saying stuff like that.”

James van Riemsdyk; 10/4/2021

At no point did van Riemsdyk turn a blind eye towards the subject matter. He stated his thoughts based on his time spent with the Flyers organization, noting that all decisions regarding player health have always come from the training staff. Thus far, the allegations don’t suggest evidence against Vigneault or Philadelphia. 


Back to tonight’s preseason contest between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers: 

  • Carter Hart victory.
  • Oskar Lindblom goal.
  • Elliot Desnoyers assist.
  • One or fewer powerplay goals are allowed by Flyers penalty kill.

It is the last preseason battle between these two franchises. The puck drops at 7pm, and you can watch the action on the NHL Network.

Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire