The Philadelphia Flyers will play their toughest opponent remaining on their schedule, the Boston Bruins, today at 12:30 p.m. The Flyers have just three games remaining after this one, all against teams out of the playoffs.
Although Philly hasn’t looked great during its last stretch, the team has done enough to string together points. The Flyers are 4-0-3 in their last seven and defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 2-1, Wednesday night in their last game.
The Bruins have been even hotter, climbing the Atlantic Division to first place. They even helped the Flyers yesterday, shellacking the Florida Panthers 5-1.
WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF
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PUCK DROP: 12:30 P.M.
Line Combinations: Courtesy of Daily Faceoff
Philadelphia: Flyers Line Combinations
Michal Neuvirth is listed as day-to-day so Petr Mrazek gets the start with Alex Lyon back on the bench. Valtteri Filppula checks back into the lineup after missing a game with an injury. Dale Weise becomes a healthy scratch along with Robert Hagg and Taylor Leier.
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom – Nolan Patrick – Jake Voracek
Jordan Weal- Valtteri Filppula- Wayne Simmonds
Jori Lehtera – Scott Laughton- Matt Read
Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim – Andrew MacDonald
Brandon Manning – Radko Gudas
Boston: Bruins Combinations
What’s most impressive about the Bruins’ recent play is that they’re doing it with a banged-up lineup — and things got worse yesterday. Riley Nash and Brandon Carlo left the game against Florida early and it hasn’t been announced yet if they’ll be out. NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty speculated that Brian Gionta could play today and one of Zdeno Chara or Charlie McAvoy will return on the blue line. Still, that would leave Boston without one of its top two defenders and Rick Nash, who is out with an undisclosed injury.
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake Debrusk – David Krejci – Ryan Donato
Danton Heinen – Riley Nash – David Backes
Tim Schaller – Noel Acciari – Tommy Wingels
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Kevan Miller
Nick Holden – Adam McQuaid
THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH
Ivan Provorov’s recent stretch of games hasn’t been his best. The Russian has made more mistakes than usual and hasn’t been his most dominant. Of course, that’s all relative. He’s still been better than four other Flyers blueliners. But Wednesday against the Avalanche, Provorov had one of his best games of the year. It would be great for the team if that continues into Sunday’s tilt.
It seems like every year when the Flyers are making a late playoff push, a loss against the Bruins in March or April sets them back completely. Luckily, the team is in a decent spot right now, but fans won’t want this game to be the start of a decline with things still tight. Let’s hope that Philly’s last minute loss to Boston in early March was this year’s version.
Although Michal Neuvirth couldn’t even make it to half a game after returning from injury, it was obvious that coach Dave Hakstol was putting the former Capital in charge of the net. Unfortunately, he suffered another injury and Petr Mrazek was back between the pipes. The 26 year old responded with a strong game in Colorado, stopping all of the 17 shots he saw, including a late-game onslaught from the Avalanche. If Mrazek can carry that play into this game and the rest of the week, the Flyers won’t have any issues making the postseason.