Flyers – Bruins: Battle for First in East | GAME PREVIEW


GAME DAY | Philadelphia Flyers vs Boston Bruins Preview, TV, Start Time, Statistical Match-up, Projected Lines, Starting Goalies, Keys to Victory, Flyers Tickets

Game Preview

Forward Momentum

Since the last meeting between the Flyers and the Bruins, Philadelphia has gone on to win four straight games, lifting them to third place overall in the NHL and leading the East Division. But Boston is nipping at their heels, and the Flyers will need to continue to build on what they’ve done this week to come out with two points at the end of the night, which would catapult them to the top of the standings.

Last game (January 31, 2021): PHI 4  NYI 3  F-OT

For a complete game recap: Flyers – Islanders: Farabee Hat Trick, Second Sweep

Players to Watch

  • Carter Hart
    The young Philadelphia netminder had two solid performances this week after his last unpleasant outing with the Bruins, which the Flyers lost 6-1. It’ll be important for Hart to put that game out of his mind once again as he faces an offensively strong Boston team which will be looking to repeat their last performance against this club.
  • Erik Gustafsson
    Alain Vigneault confirmed that Gustafsson will slot back into his position on the third pairing tonight as the coach tries to find the best combination of defenseman for his team. Gus will need to show marked improvement in tonight’s game. Vigneault has called him out on his play, and the defenseman himself admitted recently that he has not been playing the kind of hockey he should be. His leash is likely getting shorter and shorter.
  • James van Riemsdyk
    After reaching 100 assists and 200 points as a Flyer with his four-point game on Sunday, van Riemsdyk is poised to reach the 100-goal mark as a Flyer – he just needs two goals to reach that milestone. His play has been markedly elevated this season, and his power play presence has not gone unnoticed. Look for him to continue his upward momentum.

Keys to Victory

  • Calm in the Crease
    Brian Elliott has been a steady, calming presence this season when the Flyers needed it. Hart needs to emulate that tonight with a solid performance in goal, allowing the team in front of him to concentrate on putting pucks in Boston’s net.
  • Better Backcheck
    With the addition of David Pastrnak back in the Bruins lineup, the Flyers will need a strong backcheck more than ever. Their forechecking has looked better lately, and on Sunday the team’s backcheck showed a lot of improvement. That’s something that has to continue tonight to avoid complete domination in the defensive zone by the Bruins.
  • Rattle Rask
    It’s not secret that Tuuka Rask is an emotional goaltender, and nothing rattles his cage more than an aggressive net-front presence. Guys like Connor Bunnaman, Travis Konecny, and Joel Farabee would do well to stir the pot with Boston’s volatile goaltender to try to throw him off his game.

Statistical Matchup
Wells Fargo Center, PA | February 3, 2021, 8:00 PM ET | TV: NBCSN, SN, TVAS 

2020-21 statistics

14 (7th) Points (rank) 15 (6th)
6-1-2 Record 7-2-1
2-1-2 Home/Away 5-1-0
6-1-2 Last 10 7-2-1
3.11 GF/G 3.50
2.22 GA/G 3.00
30.0 PP% 25.8
88.2 PK% 75.7
56.16  CF% 44.07


Pre-game Quotes
 Alain Vigneault: “I’m looking for the six best defensemen that give us a chance to win on any given night.”
Projected Forwards, Defense and Goaltenders (subject to change)
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Ritchie – Krejci – Smith
Frederic – Coyle – Wagner
Blidh – Kuraly – Bjork
Girous – Patrick – Voracek
Lindblom – Hayes – Konecny
van Riemsdyk – Laughton – Farabee
Raffl – Bunnaman – Aube-Kubel
Lauzon – McAvoy
Clifton – Carlo
Zboril – Miller
Provorov – Gostisbehere
Sanheim – Myers
Gustafsson – Braun
Out of the lineup
Scratched: Lindholm, Moore, Kuhlman, Vladar
Injured: Kase, DeBrusk, Grzelcyk, Studnicka
Scratched: Hagg, Friedman, Morin
Injured: Couturier, Frost
Goalies (2020-21 statistics)
Tuuka Rask Carter Hart
Record: 3-1-1
GAA: – 2.49
Sv%: – .890
SO: 0
Alternate: Jaroslav Halak
Record: 4-2-1
GAA: – 3.34
Sv%: – .900
SO: 0
Alternate: Brian Elliott
 Game Expectations
This will not be an easy matchup for the Flyers tonight, as Claude Giroux skates in his 900th career game, and it could turn into a wide-open shooting match. Brad Marchand will likely try to start trouble, but with Boston having of the better power plays in the league, the Flyers would be best served by staying out of the penalty box.

Bottom Line

The defense needs to maintain solid coverage, the neutral zone needs to be clogged up, and the Flyers can’t let the Bruins run away with this game right out of the gate. High energy level and a good tone set by the veterans will go a long way in getting a victory in South Philadelphia tonight.

 Video Highlights

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By Amy Johnson, Lead Correspondent
The Flyers Report
Copyright © 2021 Rocket Sports


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