It may seem hard to believe, but the Flyers are at the halfway mark of their season. Of course, their first half ends with one of their biggest games this season, as they play host to the Boston Bruins for the second of a three-game series.
Valuable standings ground is at stake for the Flyers (18-15-7). With 43 points, they sit four points behind the Bruins (21-15-5) for a wild card spot. It won't be an easy task though, as the Bruins are looking to turn hard luck around after dropping four of their last five games, and sputtering to a 3-6-1 record in their past 10 games.Out of the lineup for the Orange and Black is Shayne Gostisbehere, who will miss his second-consecutive game with a lower-body injury. While 'Ghost' practiced on Tuesday, he will stay out of the lineup on a day-to-day basis.
|Flyers Leaders||GP||G||A||P||Bruins Leaders||GP||G||A||P|
|Claude Giroux||40||12||18||30||Patrice Bergeron||41||15||23||38|
|Jake Voracek||33||4||22||26||Loui Eriksson||41||14||20||34|
|Wayne Simmonds||40||10||12||22||David Krejci||35||11||22||33|
|Brayden Schenn||38||9||12||21||Ryan Spooner||41||9||20||29|
|Sean Couturier||34||9||11||20||Brad Marchand||36||15||11||26|
|Player to Watch|
|14 Sean Couturier||11 Jimmy Hayes|
|Last 5 Games: 4G, 2A, 6P, +5||Last 5 Games: 2G, 1A, 3P, -1|
|35 Steve Mason||40 Tuukka Rask|
|9-10-5, 2.72 GAA, .913 SV%||14-12-4, 2.49 GAA, .916 SV%|
Steve Mason posted his third shutout of the season in Saturday's win, and faced the lowest amount of shots faced in a full game (20) this season. He made 16 saves in 42:09 of relief for Michal Neuvirth the last time the Flyers and Bruins met.
Tuukka Rask expects to return between the pipes for the Bruins, after a 28-save performance on 30 shots against the New York Rangers on Monday. In 13 games against the Flyers, Rask is a staggering 9-1-2 with a 2.07 GAA and .929 SP.
Flyers Projected Lineup:
Scratches: Jordan Weal, Shayne Gostisbehere
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|93 Jake Voracek||28 Claude Giroux||17 Wayne Simmonds|
|12 Michael Raffl||14 Sean Couturier||10 Brayden Schenn|
|76 Chris VandeVelde||78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare||25 Ryan White|
|24 Matt Read||21 Scott Laughton||20 R.J. Umberger|
|15 Michael Del Zotto||3 Radko Gudas|
|32 Mark Streit||55 Nick Schultz|
|82 Evgeny Medvedev||23 Brandon Manning|
|35 Steve Mason|
Expect the same lineup that shut the Islanders down to be rolled out against the Bruins. Jordan Weal will continue to sit, after being acquired for the Flyers a week ago. His debut with the Orange and Black remains postponed.
- Power Play: Flyers (28th, 29th at home), Bruins (1st, 7th on road)
- Penalty Kill: Flyers (25th, 18th at home), Bruins (8th, 4th on road)
- The Flyers have won their last five home games, dating back to Dec. 15.
- Milestone Watch: Nick Schultz will play his 1,000th career game. Of those 1,000 games, 120 have come in a Flyers uniform.
- Recent history vs. Bruins:
- Oct. 21, 2015 -- The Bruins took a 4-2 lead into the second intermission, but goals from Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds just 2:36 apart tied the game with 9:36 to play. Giroux would put the game away on a 4-on-3 advantage in overtime. Tuukka Rask made 32 saves, while Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth (who left after the first period) combined for 26.
- March 7, 2015 -- Brad Marchand's overtime goal to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead was arguably the start of the tailspin that led to the Flyers missing last year's playoffs, as they proceeded to drop eight of their next 10 games. Marchand's OT tally was his second of the game, while Jakub Voracek and Chris VandeVelde scored the Flyers' two goals. Mason turned away 34 shots, while Rask stopped 29.
- Jan. 10, 2015 -- David Pastrnak's two goals, and another from Chris Kelly, lifted the Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Flyers. Claude Giroux's goal with 5:47 to play in the third period gave the Flyers some life, but they ultimately fell short. Steve Mason left that game early in the first period with a lower-body injury, and Ray Emery made 10 saves in relief.
Where to Watch
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Rob Riches is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia and Sports Talk Philly. Follow him on Twitter @Riches61