Philadelphia Flyers (11-13-1--23pts)
Boston Bruins (15-3-3--33pts)
TV: CSN - RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic
1. WELCOME TO BEANTOWN
This is the first and only meeting at Boston, and one of three games on the season against the Bruins… Last year, the Flyers went 1-1-2 in the season series, with three of the four games being decided by one goal, including two past regulation play… The Flyers went 1-0-1 at Boston and have had a lot of success in beantown as of late, losing just once in regulation play in the last five seasons, going 6-1-3 in the last 10 games… The Bruins have won three of their last four games at home, while the Flyers have won two of their last three games on the road.
2. SPECIAL TEAMS
The Flyers have scored two power-play goals in each of their last two games and multiple goals on the man advantage in four of their last six contests, going 10-for-27 (37 percent) in that six-game span… The Flyers have also killed off 20 of 22 penalties in those six games (90.1 percent)… The Bruins have posted just four goals on the power-play in their last eight games, going 4-for-20 (20 percent) in that span.
3. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER
Today is the first of games on back-to-back days for the Flyers, who take on the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night… The Flyers are 2-4-0 in the first game of back-to-backs this season… Today is also the seventh day game for the Flyers who have won four-straight starts in the daytime and own a record of 4-2-0 this season… The Bruins have the highest winning percentage in the Eastern Conference and third highest in the NHL at .785 (Chicago & Anaheim)… Boston owns a 10-0-1 record when scoring the first goal… The Bruins have the fewest goals allowed in the third period of any NHL team (12)… Ilya Bryzgalov owns a lifetime record of 5-2-3 with a 2.59 GAA against the Bruins… The Flyers have scored nine goals in the first minute of regulation periods this season.
4. Player to watch FLYERS: Jakub Voracek - (RW) #93
Voracek continues his stellar play after recording a pair of goals in his last game to extend his goal-scoring streak to three games… He has at least a point in nine of his last 10 games, recording six multi-point games in that stretch… Voracek leads the team in points (27) and goals (12), while being tied in assists (17)… His 29 points are also tied for fifth in the NHL… Last season, Voracek had two goals in four games against the Bruins.
5. Player to watch BRUINS: Brad Marchand - (LW) #63
The Bruins, 5-9 winger leads the team with 12 goals and has been their hottest player as of late, recording a four-game point streak where he has seven points (2g-5a)… Marchand also has a stretch going where he has posted at least a point in eight of his last nine games (5g-7a)… Against the Flyers, he has seven points (3g-4a) in 10 career games, including four points (1g-3a) in the four-game season series last year.
"Ultimately you have to make a response to that. We have to go into Boston and aim to right the wrong, and that's what we're looking to do."
- Peter Laviolette
The Boston Bruins have had plenty of chances for revenge since their historic meltdown against the Philadelphia Flyers, and they've usually taken advantage.
Tuukka Rask, however, hasn't gotten one yet.
If Rask is in net for Boston on Saturday against the struggling Flyers, it would be his first appearance versus Philadelphia since Game 7 of the teams' memorable 2010 playoff series.
The young Finn had seized the starting job that season, posting a 1.97 goals-against average, and he won seven of his first nine postseason games as the Bruins built a 3-0 series lead on Philadelphia in the conference semifinals.
The Flyers, though, staged a stunning rally to eliminate Boston, overcoming a three-goal deficit in Game 7 with four unanswered goals against Rask.
Tim Thomas has played throughout the Bruins' 10-1-1 stretch in this series since, including a four-game sweep in the 2011 playoffs. But Thomas is gone and Rask is thriving in the starting role again, and he seems especially primed to play Saturday after getting a rest during the Bruins' most recent game.
Anton Khudobin was in net Thursday as Boston (15-3-3) beat Toronto 4-2 to avoid a third straight defeat.
The Bruins squandered third-period leads in losses to Montreal and Washington, and the Maple Leafs scored to make it a one-goal game in the third Thursday. But Boston sealed the win on Tyler Seguin's empty-netter, his second goal and third point of the game.
"You can't live in the past," coach Claude Julien said. "I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. When you lose two games the way we did, I knew it was going to be tough.
"There's peaks and valleys along the way and we're going through it like any other team," he said, "except for Chicago."
The valleys have been rare for the Bruins this year. They have the best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference, and they can take over the East's points lead - for at least a few hours - with a win in this matinee.
Boston is 3-0-0 in afternoon games in 2013 after going 12-14-2 in such contests over the previous two seasons.
The Flyers (11-13-1) have had a much tougher time in this shortened campaign, putting themselves in danger of missing the playoffs for only the second time since 1994. They're coming off back-to-back losses to the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh, and they blew a three-goal lead against the Penguins in Thursday's 5-4 defeat.
Forward Scott Hartnell called the letdown "embarrassing," but coach Peter Laviolette struck a more positive tone after the game.
"It can't break us," Laviolette said. "We need to come back and win a game."
It's unclear if Ilya Bryzgalov will be in net after being pulled Thursday. He has allowed eight goals on 36 shots in the last two games, although he's 3-0-2 with a 1.96 GAA in his career at Boston.
The Bruins have scored at least three goals in eight of their last nine games, and Patrice Bergeron has led the way with 14 points in that stretch. Last season, Philadelphia struggled to slow down Seguin, who had three goals and three assists as Boston won three of four meetings.
Offense hasn't exactly been the problem lately for the Flyers, especially with Jakub Voracek posting nine goals and nine assists in his last nine games.
Philadelphia's power play has gone 13 for 39 (33.3 percent) in that stretch, but that unit will face a tough test Saturday. The Bruins have the league's best penalty kill at 91.9 percent.
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