Well, this feels like familiar territory. As Miranda Priestly says in The Devils Wear Prada: ” A losing streak in April? Groundbreaking.” It’s going to be their seventh game in 11 nights for the Philadelphia Flyers as they host the Boston Bruins. It’s the third and final meeting between the two teams (there are after all only two games after today left) and the only game played at the Wells Fargo Center. If the Flyers are going to play above “hockey .500” to round out the season, this might be a good game to do so.
Boston Bruins (62-12-5, 1st in Atlantic Division:
Here is the projected lineup for today’s tilt:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Jake DeBrusk
Tyler Bertuzzi – Pavel Zacha – David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall – Charlie Coyle – Trent Frederic
A.J. Greer – Tomas Nosek – Garnet Hathaway
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm – Brandon Carlo
Jakub Zboril – Dmitry Orlov
The Bruins matched the record for single-season victories in an NHL season with 62. That is not going to be something that will damper their momentum coming to Philadelphia. In their previous meetings with the Flyers at TD Garden, they soundly defeated them, winning 4-1 on Nov. 17 and shutting out the Flyers by a 6-0 score in an MLK Day matinee on Jan. 16. They’ve wrapped up the President’s Trophy for the season and essentially the rest of the season is going to be tune-up games heading into the playoffs. The Bruins’ victory over the New Jersey Devils Saturday night was also their 33rd win on home ice this season, tying the club’s all-time mark.
There is likely NO doubt that the Bruins are very happy to have Hall back in the lineup. He’s been sidelined since February 25th after sustaining a lower-body injury against Vancouver. Hall did return in the Bruins’ 2-1 victory over the Devils in Boston on April 8th. He took four shots on goal in 12:12 of ice time in the game. Put him on with third-line linemates in the left-wing spot alongside Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic and they’re going to put Felix Sandstrom through his paces.
Tonight is going to be a goalie battle between Sandstrom and Jeremy Swayman. Swayman is having an excellent season in his young career. In 34 games played, he sits with a record of 22-6-4, 2.20 GAA, .921 save percentage, and four shutouts. He won his NHL debut in April 2021 against the Flyers. To add insult to that injury, he recorded a 29-save shutout of the Flyers in the 6-0 game at TD Garden on Jan. 16.
Philadelphia Flyers (26-37-13, 7th in the Metro division)
Here is the projected lineup for tonight’s match:
13 Kevin Hayes – 49 Noah Cates – 74 Owen Tippett
86 Joel Farabee – 48 Morgan Frost – 11 Travis Konecny
25 James van Riemsdyk – 21 Scott Laughton – 57 Wade Allison
44 Nicolas Deslauriers 58 Tanner Laczynski – 22 Brendan Lemieux
9 Ivan Provorov – 45 Cam York
6 Travis Sanheim – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
24 Nick Seeler – 77 Tony DeAngelo
32 Felix Sandström
79 Carter Hart
Sandstrom is going to be put through his paces He’s had a rough season: 2-11-3, 2.63 GAA, and A .881 save percentage. He was put in between the pipes during the third period of Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders after Carter Hart was pulled having made 15 of 18 saves. Hart’s been injured, had pretty much practice time and this is probably the reason he’s not getting the nod.
Linework is going to be the name of the game tonight. Are they going to stick with 12 forwards/ 6 defensemen personnel arrangement they’ve used the last two games or go back to 11 forwards and 7 defensemen? Who knows! Will DeAngelo re-enter the lineup and Justin Braun exit? The magic 8-ball says “reply hazy, try again.”
Regardless of the answers that head honcho John Tortorella gives us at 3:45, it’s going to be important for some of these guys to step up. Konecny is back after a 16-game injury and one goal would give him a 30-goal season. Frosty rattled off a five-point streak before a two-game slump. Torts and Co are going to need the guys to put in the attack in the Bruins’ zone if they’re going to escape with maybe at least one goal and avoid another shutout.
Catch the game as it’s nationally televised on TNT. The radio feed will be on 97.5 The Fanatic with an online simulcast on Flyers Radio 24/7.