The Boston Bruins have yet to lose back-to-back contests this season. However, that streak was tested on Saturday night with a hard-fought 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Furthermore, the B’s recent win over a division foe extended their lead in the Atlantic to 11 points.
After a day off to digest the events from the weekend, the black and gold will partake in an afternoon game against the struggling Philadelphia Flyers.
Today’s Bruins Game Notes
The Bruins should keep their emotions in check after recently celebrating several achievements. First, Linus Ullmark got named to the All-Star Game roster. Second, last week, in California, they celebrated captain Patrice Bergeron’s 600th assist. Third, David Pastrnak completed a hat trick in Anaheim and reached the 30-goal plateau for the sixth time in his career. Now, the team will shift its focus to teammate David Krejci, who will skate in his 1,000th game today, an honor only achieved by six former Bruins players.
Despite losing on home ice for the first time this season (last Thursday), the B’s handled adversity the best way they could by winning what many call the game of the season against the Maple Leafs. Moreover, edging a division opponent with whom they have a long, storied history will be the boost the team needs as they embark on the second half of the season.
The Bruins are currently 1-1 on their latest homestand and look to finish the three-game set on a winning note, extending the league’s best home record, which stands at 20-1-3. Furthermore, in the last ten games, they are 7-1-2, while their upcoming opponents are 7-3-0 and on a three-game winning streak. Although they can be challenging to beat, the Flyers’ are the 16th rank team with a 9-8-6 record on the road.
Bruins & Flyers Players to Watch
The last time these two teams met in November, David Krejci collected two goals, with Jake DeBrusk and Tomas Nosek collecting the other tallies in a 4-1 win. One of Krejci’s linemates, Pavel Zacha, recently signed a four-year contract extension so he will be one to keep an eye on in this afternoon’s contest.
Zacha had two points against the Flyers last time and has two assists in his previous five contests. Moreover, now that the ink is dry on his new contract, he can focus on his game. The native of Brno, Czechia, has scored at least 30 points in four straight seasons and sits just five points away from reaching the plateau again. Although his goal production is down this year, he continues to rack up assists and is on pace to set a new career high this season. Additionally, in a game against a team currently minus 27 in goal difference, this could be the type of contest he needs to reignite his scoring touch.
Conversely, the Flyers are treading water this year, showing no significant signs of improvement or regression. Unfortunately, Travis Konecny did not get an All-Star Game nod, despite being the Flyers’ leading scorer by nine points. Still, in his last five contests, he’s registered a hat trick with nine points. Furthermore, he’s the only player on his team with more than 20 goals and could finish with 40 by the season’s end.
Bruins & Flyers Historical Notes
Monday afternoon will mark the 212th meeting between the two teams, with the Bruins holding a commanding lead in the overall matchup, 116-63-21-13, for a .624 winning percentage. Currently, the B’s have won the last two contests against the Flyers and, during the previous three seasons, are 8-2-1.
Historically, the Flyers hated playing at the old Boston Garden with a dismal record (12-38-7). However, since stepping onto TD Garden ice, their fortunes have improved with a 19-18-4-6 record.
Who’s Next for the Boston Bruins
After this matinee, the Bruins will fly down to New York for back-to-back contests against the Islanders on Wednesday and the Rangers on Thursday.