As the NHL All-Star Break looms, the Philadelphia Flyers ( 25-18-6) have entered a tailspin. Losers of four straight they will have their hands full on Saturday afternoon as they host the Boston Bruins (30-9-9) in the final game for both teams before the layoff.
The Bruins are 6-1-3 in their last ten games entering Saturday’s contest. The Flyers have struggled to find a rhythm after losing Owen Tippett to the injured reserve. In the midst of their losing streak, they have been outscored 21-10. Most recently the Flyers were shut out by the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.
John Tortorella spoke about his team’s recent play postgame on Thursday:
“We’re struggling to make plays. We doubled them up in shot attempts; I think we had seventy-five shot attempts. A number of them were wide. Blocked shots by them; they did a good job there. We’re just not developing much offense.”John Tortorella 1/25/2024
The Flyers will look to turn things around and head into the break on a high note, but it will be no easy task as they will need to take down one of the best team’s in the NHL.
The Bruins have been playing well all season. They are tied for the most points in the league with the Vancouver Canucks. Most recently they are coming off of a 3-2 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators. The game was closer than the oddsmakers had predicted, but good teams find ways to win games. Brad Marchand spoke about his team’s play after the game:
“These are games you need to learn how to win going down the stretch. Every team is playing well and they’re better than what their record is.”Brad Marchand 1/25/2024
Overall, the Bruins are a tough opponent top-to-bottom. Their power play ranks fourth in the NHL, they are fourth in the league in goals against average (2.60), and sixth in the league in goals scored per game (3.44).
The Bruins also have an outstanding goaltending duo in Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark. Swayman boasts a 2.30 GAA and a 94.2% save percentage this season, while Ullmark holds a respectable 2.82 GAA and a 91.2% save percentage.
Here are the tentative lines for the Bruins today:
The Flyers will induct Mark Recci into their Hall of Fame prior to Saturday’s contest. Recci played for the Flyers from 1991-1995 and then again from 1998-2004. He holds the franchise record for most points in a season for his performance in the 1992-1993 campaign in which he totaled 123 points (53g, 70a).
As for the current team, the Flyers need to put up a fight today against a tough team to gain some momentum heading into the All-Star Break. Their second-ranked penalty kill will have its hands full against a solid Boston power play should the Flyers find themselves down a man on the ice. Top-line wing David Pastrnak is third in the league in power-play goals scored.
The Flyers do not have many players coming into this game hot, however, Joel Farabee and Cam Atkinson have been accumulating points as of late. Atkinson has racked up seven points (3g, 4a) in his last five games and Farabee has garnered six points (2g, 4a) in his last five performances. Atkinson talked about what his team needs to do to get back on track after Thursday’s loss:
“I think it all comes down to control what we can control and I don’t think we played hard enough, every single guy, myself included. I think we have a lot of great players that can score goals. For me, I was there for 26 games [on his goalless streak] right? So, I think for me I score my goals in the dirty areas and I think we all have to take a page out of that book and get a greasy goal. Rebound goal, it doesn’t have to be tic-tac-toe. I think once that happens, we’ll start rolling.”Cam Atkinson 1/25/202
Here are the Flyers’ tentative lines for this afternoon:
Place Your Bets (via) Draftkings
Philadelphia Flyers (+136)
Boston Bruins (-162)
Brad Marchand anytime goal (+160)
Travis Konecny anytime goal (+140)
Charlie McAvoy over .5pt (-105)
Cam Atkinson over .5pt. (+100)
How to Watch
Puck drop will be at 12:30pm at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. You can watch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia or listen to the action on 97.5 the Fanatic.
John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP