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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 5th (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (39-28-9) at Boston Bruins (52-18-7), 1 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - With a playoff spot still not quite a sure thing, the slumping Philadelphia Flyers will try to snap a two-game scoring drought on Saturday afternoon when they visit the Boston Bruins.
The Flyers have not scored in their last 130 minutes and 25 seconds of game action, since Vincent Lecavalier scored a game-tying goal in the final moments of regulation in last Sunday's shootout loss to the Bruins.
Philadelphia followed up with a 1-0 shootout setback to the St. Louis Blues before falling in defeat 2-0 against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.
Former Flyer netminder Sergei Bobrovsky made 37 saves to shut out his old team in his first start in Philadelphia since getting traded to Columbus.
Steve Mason, coincidentally a former Blue Jacket, yielded two goals on 27 shots as the Flyers fell to 1-3-2 in their last six games.
"He had a very strong game and was a big reason they won," Mason said. "They're a tough team to play against. They come at you extremely hard."
Philadelphia has gone 0-for-11 on the power play in its past four games and missed a big chance to strengthen its bid for a playoff spot. Instead, the Blue Jackets moved to within two points of the Flyers. On Friday, the Blue Jackets had a chance to draw even with Philly, but they lost a 4-3 regulation decision against visiting Chicago.
The Flyers, who have a game in hand over the Blue Jackets, trail the second- place New York Rangers by four points, but have played two fewer games than the Blueshirts.
Ray Emery is expected to get the start today for Philadelphia, which hosts the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday. Emery made 28 saves to get credited with a shutout versus the Blues and is 5-3-1 lifetime versus the Bruins with a 2.81 goals against average.
The Bruins come in having already clinched the Atlantic Division and are on the verge of securing the top spot in the Eastern Conference. They own an eight-point lead over the Metro-leading Penguins with five games to play, and can clinch the East today with a victory of any kind or a regulation loss by Pittsburgh later tonight versus the hosting Minnesota Wild.
Alternately, the Bruins could secure the top spot in the East if they get one point against Philly and the Pens lose to the Wild.
Boston also is tied for the most points in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues, who have 111 points as well. The Blues do have a game in hand and host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday afternoon.
The Bruins have lost back-to-back games, but Thursday's 4-3 overtime setback to the Toronto Maple Leafs gave the club a point in 17 of its last 18. Boston is 15-1-2 in that span.
Third-period goals by Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron forced overtime on Thursday, but Boston failed to score on a power play that extended into overtime and Toronto scored on its own man advantage 2:51 into the extra frame following a holding call on Torey Krug.
Brad Marchand recorded Boston's other marker, while backup Chad Johnson stopped 27 shots.
"(We had) too many ups and downs during the game," Bergeron admitted. "You don't win games if you don't play the 60 (minutes) in this league."
Bergeron matched a career high by notching a point in a 10th straight game. He has nine goals and five assists over that span.
Boston is likely to start Tuukka Rask today and he made 49 saves in last Sunday's victory. That effort improved Rask to 5-1-1 lifetime versus the Flyers with a 2.00 GAA.
The Bruins have won six of their last eight overall versus the Flyers and three of the last four played in Boston.
04/05 12:26:42 ET