Game 42 Preview: Flyers look to win 3 in a row

The Flyers will look to go 3-0-0 on their current four-game homestand Saturday afternoon, as the Boston Bruins visit Wells Fargo Center for the first and only time this regular season.

It's been a while since both teams met, as they last played on Oct. 8 — a game the Flyers lost 2-1, in their season opener. Sean Couturier scored the lone Flyers goal, while Steve Mason made 31 saves on 33 shots.

Couturier's also scored once this homestand, in the first period of Thursday's 3-2 overtime win against Washington. That was his 10th tally of the season, and he stands just three goals away from his career-high mark of 13 goals — set last year, as well as his rookie season in 2011-12.

Out of the lineup for the Flyers will be Nicklas Grossmann, who is expected to miss up to three weeks with an upper-body injury. Andrew MacDonald will take his place in the lineup, after missing Thursday's game as a healthy scratch for the second time this season. Loui Eriksson is expected to return to the Bruins' lineup, as a slash to the hand taken Wednesday night against Pittsburgh caused him to miss the team's next game on Thursday.

The Flyers continue to be led offensively by Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux. Voracek's 49 points — which, naturally,  include Thursday's overtime beauty against the Capitals — continue to lead the NHL, as he sits two points ahead of Dallas' Tyler Seguin. Giroux's 45 points tie him with four more players in the league. Additionally, both players are expected to be announced to the NHL's All-Star Game on Saturday.

Steve Mason is expected to start in the cage for the Flyers, after earning wins in both of this week's games. He finished with a spectacular 41-save effort against Ottawa, and followed that up with a 26-save record against the Capitals. Those W's improve his record to 8-12-6, with a 2.48 GAA and .919 save percentage.

Leading the way for the Bruins (21-15-6) offensively is Patrice Bergeron, with 10 goals and 31 points. Brad Marchand — one of the NHL's peskiest forwards — leads the team in goals, with 11. 

Defending Vezina Trophy winner Tuukka Rask continues to be the clear-cut No. 1 goaltender for the B's, with a 16-10-6 record. He's not posting similar numbers this year as he did in his Vezina campaign, as his save percentage is on pace to be the worst of his career (.913). His 2.52 GAA is also his highest since 2010-11, when he served as Tim Thomas' backup. 

Rask, though, has posted marvelous regular-season numbers against the Flyers. His record against them stands at 7-1-1 all-time, with a 1.90 GAA and .924 save percentage.

With 39 points, the Flyers sit nine points behind the Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. A win would help the Flyers gain valuable ground, and the wild card is somewhat of uncharted territory for the Bruins — who are perennially expected to run the table in the Atlantic Division year-after-year.

Game Notes
  • Power Play: Flyers (6th, 1st at home), Bruins (16th, 27th on road) 
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (30th, 13th at home), Bruins (22nd, 16th on road) 
  • The Flyers have not beat the Bruins on home ice since April 23, 2013 — a 5-2 victory. Oliver Lauridsen scored his first NHL goal in that game, while Simon Gagne scored his last goal as a Flyer.

Flyers scratches:  Zac Rinaldo, Nicklas Grossmann, Carlo Colaiacovo

Flyers Projected Lineup

Line 1: Brayden Schenn-Claude Giroux-Jakub Voracek
Line 2: Michael Raffl-Scott Laughton-Wayne Simmonds
Line 3: R.J. Umberger-Sean Couturier-Matt Read
Line 4: Chris VandeVeldePierre-Edouard Bellemare-Vincent Lecavalier

D-Pair 1: Andrew MacDonald-Mark Streit
D-Pair 2: Braydon Coburn-Nick Schultz
D-Pair 3: Michael Del Zotto-Luke Schenn

Goalie: Steve Mason

Where to Watch

Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Rob Riches is a contributor to Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Riches61

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