Flyers RR Gameday: 8/2/20 vs. BOS
GAME PREVIEW: FLYERS VS. BRUINS
In the first game of a three-game round robin for playoff seeding among the top four teams in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, Alain Vigneault's Philadelphia Flyers (41-21-7) take on Bruce Cassidy's President's Trophy winning Boston Bruins (44-14-12) at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Sunday afternoon.
Game time is 3:00 p.m. ET. The game will be nationally televised on NBC. After this game, the Flyers will play the Washington Capitals on Thursday (Aug. 6) and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (Aug. 8).
During the regular season, the Flyers went 2-1-0 against the Bruins. Both wins came via shootout (Boston went 0-7 in shootouts this season).
The Flyers are the designated road team for this game. Boston has the last line change.
Regular season rules apply during the round-robin, unlike the best-of-five qualifier series. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, the teams will play a five-minute overtime at 3-on-3, followed by a shootout if necessary.
The Flyers are coming off a 3-2 overtime win in an exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. Sean Couturier (delayed penalty) and Kevin Hayes scored in regulation and Scott Laughton tallied the game-winner in OT. Carter Hart went the first two periods (11 saves on 12 shots) and Brian Elliott (13 saves on 14 shots) finished up.
Hart is the confirmed starter for Sunday's game. Look for Tyler Pitlick to skate on Nate Thompson's line, along with Michael Raffl. With Scott Laughton on second-line left wing and James van Riemsdyk on the third, Joel Farabee will be a healthy scratch. The defense pairing of Robert Hägg and Justin Braun, who did not play in the exhibition game on Tuesday, will be in Sunday's lineup.
During the regular season, Travis Konecny led the Flyers in scoring with 61 points (24 goals, 37 assists) in 66 games. He was followed by Selke Trophy finalist Sean Couturier (22 goals and 59 points in 69 games), Jakub Voracek (12 goals, 56 points), team captain Claude Giroux (21 goals, 53 points) and Kevin Hayes (23 goals, 41 points). Ivan Provorov led the blueline with 13 goals and 36 points.
The Bruins had a disjointed training camp, with multiple prolonged absences, and struggled early in a 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in an exhibition game on Thursday. David Pastrnak scored the lone Boston goal as the team tried in vain to climb out of the 3-0 hole it dug for itself in the first period.
Tuukka Rask, the Bruins' Vezina Trophy finalist goaltender, was declared unfit to practice on Saturday. His status for Sunday's game is uncertain. If Rask is unavailable, veteran goalie Jaroslav Halak will get the start.
There was better news for the Bruins on Saturday in terms of top-line left wing Brad Marchard. The veteran mega-pest was a full participant in practice and is good to go for Sunday after he had to leave the exhibition game midway through the third period.
Pastrnak led the Bruins in scoring during the regular season (48 goals, 95 points), followed by linemates Marchand (28 goals, 87 points) and Selke Trophy finalist Patrice Bergon (31 goals, 56 points). They were followed by defenseman Torey Krug (nine goals, 49 points), veteran second-line center David Krejci (13 goals, 43 points) and third-line center Charlie Coyle (16 goals, 37 points). Jake DeBrusk notched 19 goals among his 35 points.
Projected Lineups (subject to change)
28 Claude Giroux - 14 Sean Couturier - 93 Jakub Voracek
21 Scott Laughton - 13 Kevin Hayes - 11 Travis Konecny
25 James van Riemsdyk - 38 Derek Grant - 62 Nic Aube-Kubel
12 Michael Raffl - 44 Nate Thompson - 18 Tyler Pitlick
9 Ivan Provorov - 15 Matt Niskanen
6 Travis Sanheim - 5 Phil Myers
8 Robert Hägg - 61 Justin Braun
79 Carter Hart
37 Brian Elliott
PP1: Giroux, Couturier, Konecny, Provorov, Voracek
PP2: JVR, Hayes, NAK, Sanheim, Niskanen
63 Brad Marchand - 37 Patrice Bergeron - 88 David Pastrnak
74 Jake DeBrusk - 46 David Krejci - 68 Jack Studnicka
10 Anders Björk - 13 Charlie Coyle - 83 Karson Kuhlman
20 Joakim Nordström - 52 Sean Kuraly - 14 Chris Wagner
33 Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
47 Torey Krug - 25 Brandon Carlo
48 Mark Grzelcyk - 79 Jeremy Lauzon
41 Jaroslav Halak
[80 Dan Vladar]
PP1:DeBrusk, Bergeron, Marchand, Krug, Pastrnak
PP2: Studnicka, Krejci, Coyle, Grzelcyk, McAvoy
TEAM STATS (League ranking, via NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick)
GPG: PHI 3.29 (7th), BOS 3.24 (9th)
GAA: PHI 2.77(T-7th), BOS 2.39 (1st)
5-on-5: PHI +18 (153-135), BOS +36 (141-105)
Power Play: PHI 20.8% (14th), BOS 25.2% (2nd)
Penalty Kill: PHI 81.8% (11th), BOS 84.3% (3rd)
Special Teams Index: PHI 103.6 (11th), BOS 109.5 (1st)
SHG: PHI 8 (T-6th), BOS 5 (T-19th)
SHGA: PHI 6 (T-14th), BOS 7 (T-21st)
Average Shots: PHI 31.4 (16th), BOS 32.1 (10th)
Shots Against: PHI 28.7 (1st), BOS 30.0 (8th)
Corsi: PHI 51.02% (9th), BOS 50.85% (12th)
Scoring chances: PHI 50.91% (13th), BOS 51.53% (11th)
High-danger chances: PHI 50.83% (12th), BOS 52.03% (7th)
Expected goal differential: PHI 50.64 (14th), BOS 51.67 (10th)
Faceoffs: PHI 54.6% (1st), BOS 51.0% (7th)