Flyers-Bruins: Game 46 Preview

Flyers return to host Bruins; Manning, Weal in, Gagner out

Monday night marks the return to the ice for the Flyers after a three-day hiatus that came unscheduled. Winter Storm Jonas erased the Flyers meeting with the Islanders on Saturday, giving them a three-day break in game action.

While the break allowed the Flyers a chance to refuel for their final two games before the All-Star break, it also interrupted a stretch of seven games in 12 days.

That said, the Flyers are also sitting on back-to-back regulation losses following a six-game points streak as they host the Boston Bruins for the final time this season on Monday night. The opening face-off is set for 7 p.m.

Flyers Leaders GP G A P Bruins Leaders GP G A P
Claude Giroux 45 14 23 37 Patrice Bergeron 47 18 25 43
Jake Voracek 45 6 27 33 Loui Eriksson 47 15 24 39
Wayne Simmonds 45 12 14 26 Ryan Spooner 47 10 25 35
Brayden Schenn 43 11 13 24 David Krejci 37 11 23 34
Sean Couturier 36 9 13 22 Brad Marchand 42 19 12 31
Player to Watch
28 Claude Giroux 46 David Krejci
Last 5 Games: 2 G, 5 A, 7 P, +2 Last 5 Games: 0 G, 1 A, 1 P, E
There are two reasons Claude Giroux is worth watching tonight. For one, in past games, we've seen Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds, Giroux's linemates, net key goals at crucial times. Giroux was on his way, scoring a late power-play goal in Pittsburgh that cut the lead to one. Giroux seemed to be energized after the goal. Additionally, in the Flyers meeting with the Bruins less than two weeks ago, Giroux assisted on all three Flyers goals and his line was clearly the best for the Flyers in the win.
The Flyers have two wins against the Bruins this season, but their last, less than two weeks ago, saw the Bruins without one key member of the lineup. David Krejci is among the scoring leaders on the team and missed 10 games this season with injury. With him now back in the lineup, the Bruins are looking for more consistency to their game and more points from one of their top producing forwards.
Goalie Matchup
30 Michal Neuvirth 40 Tuukka Rask
10-5-2, 2.05 GAA, .936 SV% 16-14-4, 2.47 GAA, .917 SV%

Michal Neuvirth gets the call for the first time since last Sunday's win against Detroit. Perhaps that's the motive with the start. The Flyers are coming off back-to-back regulation losses and need points. Nothing against Steve Mason, who was good in both games, but the Flyers just seem to play better in front of the backup.

Tuukka Rask is ready to go after getting Saturday off in the Bruins 3-2 shootout win over Columbus. Since taking the loss in Philly on Jan. 13, Rask turned in two very solid starts, including a 38-save performance in a 4-1 win over Montreal on Jan. 19, but lost his last start to Vancouver, allowing three goals and making 23 saves in a 4-2 loss.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Scratches: Sean Couturier, Evgeny Medvedev, R.J. Umberger

Left Wing Center Right Wing
93 Jake Voracek 28 Claude Giroux 17 Wayne Simmonds
24 Matt Read 12 Michael Raffl 10 Brayden Schenn
20 R.J. Umberger 21 Scott Laughton 19 Jordan Weal
76 Chris VandeVelde 78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 25 Ryan White
15 Michael Del Zotto 3 Radko Gudas  
55 Nick Schultz 32 Mark Streit  
53 Shayne Gostisbehere 23 Brandon Manning  
30 Michal Neuvirth    

Brandon Manning returns to the lineup for Evgeny Medvedev, who struggled in his last few games. Jordan Weal makes his season debut, but not in the spot you would think. R.J. Umberger remains in the lineup and Sam Gagner comes out. Dave Hakstol announced the change about two hours prior to game time.  

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-22nd, 28th at home), Bruins (2nd, 10th on road)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (25th, T-21st at home), Bruins (T-5th, 2nd on road) 
  • Recent History vs. Bruins
    • Oct. 21, 2015 – The Flyers rallied from a 4-2 third-period deficit for a 5-4 overtime win in Boston. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Sam Gagner scored in the first before Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds each scored third-period goals to tie the game. Giroux scored on the power play in overtime to give the Flyers the win. Michal Neuvirth made 10 saves on 12 shots before exiting with injury. Steve Mason stopped 16 of 18 shots in getting the win.
    • Jan. 13, 2016 – The Flyers rallied again in the third for a 3-2 win on home ice. Jake Voracek scored late in the first to give the Flyers the lead, but Boston came back with two goals in the second by Kevan Miller and Loui Eriksson. Wayne Simmonds scored the equalizer on a two-on-one with 9:50 to play and Mark Streit followed with the game-winner just 1:22 later. Steve Mason made 30 saves in the win.
  • Flyers leaders vs. Bruins
    • Jake Voracek – 18 games, 5 goals, 11 assists, 16 points
    • Mark Streit - 42 games, 2 goals, 29 assists, 31 points
    • Claude Giroux – 26 games, 6 goals, 13 assists, 19 points
    • Michal Neuvirth - 6 games, 1-3-0, 3.65 GAA, .858 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Mark Streit: 5 points to reach 400 for career
    • Jake Voracek: 9 goals to reach 100 as a Flyer

Where to Watch
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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