Flyers-Bruins: What you need to know

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Flyers-Bruins: What you need to know

Flyers at Bruins – 1 p.m., CSN
TD Bank Garden, Boston, Mass.

Records
Flyers: 11-13-1 (Fifth in Atlantic Division, 11th in Eastern Conference)

Bruins: 15-3-3 (Second in Southeast Division, Fourth in Eastern Conference)

Last meeting
The last time these two clubs faced off, the Flyers rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime, but eventually fell to the Bruins, 3-2, in a shootout. Jakub Voracek and Matt Read each scored in regulation for the Flyers and Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves. Tyler Seguin and Chris Kelly tallied Boston’s regulation goals and Patrice Bergeron had the game-deciding marker in the shootout.

In the 2011-12 season series, the Flyers went 1-1-2 against the Bruins. They were outscored 16-9 in those four contests. Saturday will mark the first of three meetings between the two teams this year.

Previous games
The Flyers blew a three-goal, first-period lead in Thursday’s deflating 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Wells Fargo Center. Kimmo Timonen had a goal and two assists, while Voracek continued his stellar play with two tallies of his own. The loss was the Flyers’ second in a row and dropped them to 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings with 23 games remaining.

Seguin registered two goals and an assist to help the Bruins avoid another third-period collapse in Thursday’s 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bergeron had a goal and an assist and David Krejci tallied the Bruins’ other marker. Boston, which had blown leads in its previous two games, has recorded at least three goals in eight of its last nine contests.

Who's hot
No Flyer has been better offensively this season than Voracek. The 23-year-old has posted nine goals and nine assists in his last nine games. In his second season in orange and black, Voracek is on pace to score a career-high 23 goals and 56 points, even in a lockout-shortened campaign. He currently leads the Flyers in tallies (12), is tied with Claude Giroux for the team-lead in assists (17) and his first on the club with 29 points through 25 games.

For the Bruins, Bergeron and Seguin have provided a ton of offense as of late. Bergeron has two goals and four assists in his past three contests and is leading Boston in scoring so far this season with 21 points in as many games. As for Seguin, the former second-overall pick has potted four goals in his last four games after scoring just three in his previous 17.

Who's not
Danny Briere hasn’t been much of a factor for the Flyers over his past five games. During that span, the veteran forward has just two assists and is a minus-6.

A season after scoring a career-high 20 goals, Boston’s Kelly hasn’t struggled to find the scoresheet so far this year. He has found the back of the net just once this year and ranks towards to the bottom of the Bruins in plus/minus at minus-7.
 
Keep an eye on ...
The Flyers are the most penalized team in the NHL – they’ve been shorthanded 103 times so far this season. However, the orange and black have also been able to draw penalties, as they are second in the league in power-play opportunities with 103.

Over the past nine games, the Flyers’ power play has gone 13 for 39 (33.3 percent), but will face a tough test in the Bruins. Boston has the best penalty-kill percentage in the league at 91.9 percent.

Tuukka Rask has been one of the best netminders in the NHL so far this season. He enters Saturday with an 11-2-3 record, .923 save percentage and 2.09 goals-against average. In three career regular-season starts against the Flyers, Rask has gone 2-0-1 with a .926 save percentage.

Boston won’t be happy to see Simon Gagne back in a Flyers uniform. The last time Gagne faced the Bruins as a member of the orange and black, he scored the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals to help the Flyers advance in the Stanley Cup playoffs after being down 3-0 in the series.

Did you know?
The Flyers are the only team in the NHL that has failed to register a point when tied after two periods (0-5-0) this season.

Also, the Flyers' 13 losses in regulation are more than what the Chicago Blackhawks (one), Anaheim Ducks (three), Bruins (three) and Montreal Canadiens (five) have combined. 
 
Injuries
Flyers: Signs seem to point to Andrej Meszaros making his return from a left shoulder injury against Boston. The defenseman hasn’t played since leaving the Flyers’ 2-1 win over the New York Rangers on Jan. 24.

Tye McGinn (right orbital surgery) and Jody Shelley (left hip surgery) are on injured reserve and remain sidelined.

Bruins: Marc Savard is expected to miss the entire season with post-concussion syndrome.

Jordan Caron (upper-body) is on injured reserve.

Sound off
What do you think the Flyers have to do to turn things around?

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rickard Rakell broke a tie with his second goal with 2:34 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped Boston's four-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins on Wednesday night.

Rakell also scored in the second period for the Ducks and has 24 goals in his outstanding season. Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first victory since Jan. 23.

Frank Vatrano scored the tying goal in the third period for the Bruins, who hadn't lost since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7. Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara scored early goals, and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots.

Anaheim beat Boston for the seventh straight time (see full recap).

Rare goal from Russell lifts Oilers over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kris Russell's goal with 7:58 left was his first in more than a year and lifted the Edmonton Oilers over Florida 4-3 on Wednesday night to snap the Panthers' five-game winning streak.

Russell's goal was his first since Feb. 11, 2016, when he played for Calgary. He went goalless in his first 48 games with the Oilers.

Fellow defenseman Oscar Klefbom also scored for Edmonton, as did forwards Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Connor McDavid, who came into the night leading the NHL scoring race, had an assist on Russell's goal.

Aleksander Barkov, Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida. Keith Yandle had two assists for the Panthers, giving him 400 points for his career.

Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots for the Oilers, who have won their last eight games at Florida -- last losing on the Panthers' ice in 2002. James Reimer made 31 saves for the Panthers, who just completed a 5-0-0 road trip (see full recap).

Another solid effort for Flyers not enough in loss to NHL-best Capitals

Another solid effort for Flyers not enough in loss to NHL-best Capitals

BOX SCORE

You see it in their faces. Feel it in their voices.
 
And you wonder how it affects them night after night.
 
The Flyers played another pretty solid loss, as they say, Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals at Wells Fargo Center.
 
A lot closer than 4-1 makes it appear (see Instant Replay). It was a lot like that solid loss last week in Calgary, too.
 
“Maybe a little bit similar,” coach Dave Hakstol said. “Our effort was good start to finish. There’s always a couple mistakes you make you want to clean up and do better. I thought tonight we had more opportunities than we did in the Calgary game.”
 
They had more goals, too. Except two got taken away.
 
One for goalie interference. The other hit the crossbar and even after a long celebration and delay, was ruled no good.
 
That’s been the Flyers’ no-luck this season. It’s all gone wrong for them as their wild-card aspirations slip further away.
 
“It’s very frustrating,” team captain Claude Giroux said. “Same story. We need to find a way here. We say the same thing after each game. I like the way we’re playing.
 
“We played a good hockey game, not good enough. We have a challenge in front of us. In the past, we’ve been a team that doesn’t back down. We have to keep our heads high and battling.”
 
The Flyers had the right approach, coming out fast and aggressive on the Caps. In fact, Jakub Voracek scored 23 seconds into the game during a net scrum.
 
Thing was, Caps coach Barry Trotz correctly saw goalie interference as Dale Weise actually pushed Braden Holtby aside. It was an easy coach’s challenge to overturn the goal and that’s what happened.
 
Weise was beside himself after the game.
 
“What I was trying to do was brace myself so I didn’t bowl him over and it comes back the other way,” Weise said.
 
“I don’t know what else to do there. I’m trying to poke the puck with one hand and brace myself so I don’t hit him.”
 
Naturally, six minutes later, Brandon Manning turned a puck over along the boards with T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin and it resulted in Nick Backstrom getting a great setup in the high slot for a 1-0 Caps’ lead.
 
“Even after that, we came back and played well and had good chances,” Weise said. “It’s the same story every night. We don’t capitalize on it and give up a few chances and they score on their opportunities.”
 
That’s when frustration seeped in on the Flyers and the penalties began to mount. Sean Couturier tried to get away with an elbow. Didn’t work.
 
The Caps dazzled the Flyers with brilliant puck movement, culminating with Evgeny Kuznetsov’s goal to make it 2-0 at 16:28. He had two goals in the game.
 
While that could have ruined them, the Flyers came out hard in the second as Ivan Provorov appeared to score in the opening minute. However, replay confirmed his shot hit the crossbar. Two near-goals for the Flyers.
 
“I shot it and saw that [the puck] went up and I didn’t hear a sound,” Provorov said. “I thought it went in.”
 
No matter. Manning atoned for his first-period miscue by saving a puck from leaving the zone and then firing on net where Brayden Schenn scored a rare five-on-five goal by batting the puck out of the air to cut the Flyers’ deficit in half.
 
Of Schenn’s 19 goals, 14 have come on the power play.
 
Giroux’s line with Schenn and Wayne Simmonds consisted of the Flyers’ only players on the right side of the plus-minus category. And to show how deceiving that can be, Voracek worked his tail off, too, but was minus-3.
 
That’s how it goes these days for this group.
 
“It’s been a lot of games where it’s been one- or two-goal hockey games and it’s tough to do,” Schenn said. “We’re generating shots, but I don’t know if we’re generating enough chances.
 
“At the end of the day, you feel you play hard and a pretty good hockey game and end up scoring one goal again. Whether it’s 3-1, 4-1, you score one goal, you won’t win many hockey games.”
 
The Flyers are 3-6-1 since coming out of the All-Star break. Of those seven total losses, including overtime, they have scored more than one goal just once.
 
“We’ve got to rise above it, each and every one of us,” Hakstol said. “Get back at it. And that is what this group has continually done. We have to do that one more time here.”