The Flyers face the Boston Bruins on Sunday evening, as Boston goes for a single-season, NHL-record 63rd win of the season.
The Flyers have won seven of their last eight games since the holiday break and get a test in the NHL’s leading team, the Boston Bruins, on Monday afternoon.
One day, you could be where the Flyers were to start the season, seven wins in the first 12 games. The next though, you can be where the Flyers are right now, mired in a five-game losing streak that is halfway to a mark that has become an identifier of where the franchise currently is.
The Flyers enter Thursday’s game in a four-game losing streak though, and now get the test of facing the NHL’s best team in the standings. The Boston Bruins come in with a 14-2-0 record and wins in four straight games.
Thursday’s 3-2 Flyers loss to the Bruins was one final game in a calendar year that has been as frustrating and disappointing as ever. Another loss in regulation brought the team’s current losing streak to six, and put a fitting conclusion to a 365-day period to forget.
This is a game with two teams going in opposite directions. The Flyers have lost five straight games going back to Dec. 30. The Bruins are fresh off a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night and have won five of their last six games since New Year’s Day.
The Flyers are 6-0 after a loss this season. They face another of those situations, as the Flyers welcome the Boston Bruins back to Philadelphia for the second time this season on Saturday night.
You can imagine how the result looked when the Boston Bruins, playing in their first preseason home game, took the opportunity to load up with roughly 90 percent of the NHL roster. It’s hardly a way to evaluate how one team looks against another. It did present some early warning signs that need to be addressed and cleaned up with exactly two weeks remaining until the regular season opener.
The Flyers got a regulation win on Saturday, scoring the only goal of the third period to claim a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins at Wells Fargo Center.
The two teams split the games earlier in the week with the Flyers winning on Monday night in overtime, then falling in regulation on Tuesday. That loss certainly felt like the final nail in the coffin on the Flyers playoff hopes, but if they are to make any bid at getting back in the race, a regulation win on Saturday against Boston is a must.
When it comes down to it, the loss that determined this perfectly defined the season – fall behind, rally back, struggle on special teams both ways, come up short. It should be no surprise that it was another loss to the Bruins, a team that has had their number all season and that has dashed their playoff hopes before, did it again.
The Flyers got a third-period power play in a tie game with a chance to grab the lead. Instead, they gave it away, allowing a shorthanded goal to Brad Marchand that proved to be the game-winner in a 4-2 loss to the Bruins at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers and Bruins meet again on Tuesday night, this time in Philadelphia, to complete the home-and-home and the second of three matchups this week that could ultimately determine the standings for good. For the Flyers, it’s another must just to keep pace.
The result was what the Flyers needed. How long it took was what they didn’t. In this critical week in their season, the one that will likely define whether they choose to buy or sell – or do a little of both – at the deadline, the Flyers needed to win games. They have one to start, certainly a step in the right direction.
Travis Sanheim delivered, with the help of Patrice Bergeron going down as Sanheim moved in on a counter-rush. Sanheim scored on Dan Vladar to give the Flyers a 3-2 overtime win, the team’s first over the Bruins this season, on Monday night in Boston.
If the Flyers still want to believe a playoff push is truly possible, these next two games against the Boston Bruins are their season. If the Flyers win both in regulation, they will move into a tie with the Bruins, though Boston would still hold the edge with two games in hand. Still, the pressure would be on for both sides. But a loss to Boston in either game essentially answered the big, looming question for the Flyers regarding their trade deadline approach. The first game gets going on Monday night.
Embed from Getty Images By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor If the Flyers were satisfied to take a point…
For the Flyers, the Bruins have been a thorn in the side for the entire season, handing them four losses so far. The road doesn’t get any easier as the Flyers head into this outdoor game in Lake Tahoe with a still shorthanded lineup.
The stage is set for Friday night at Wells Fargo Center, when the Flyers and Bruins meet again for the fourth time this season already. After going 0-1-2 in the first three, the Flyers are looking to get back on the right side of the results. Game time is at 7 p.m.
The problem is that the Boston Bruins are a good team too, so if you are going to live by the mantra that good teams find a way to win, better teams find a way to exploit that. The Flyers finally paid for their flaws this season, and now it is on them to learn from it.
David Pastrnak had a hat trick, scoring his third with 14.9 seconds left in the third to tie the game, then set up Patrice Bergeron for the win in overtime to hand the Flyers a 4-3 loss on Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center.
Facing the Bruins again should be another test for the Flyers. Boston sits one point behind the Flyers in the standings with a 6-1-2 record in nine games. Game time is 8 p.m.
Saturday’s game in Boston further exposed the Flyers flaws. The Bruins struck for the first goal of the game in the first and out-shot the Flyers, 10-4, in the opening period. A late second-period goal put the Bruins up by two, then everything unraveled again, as the Flyers were routed for the second time this week, losing 6-1.
Two nights after letting a two-goal lead slip away in the third and falling in a shootout, the Flyers take on the Boston Bruins again on Saturday night at 7 p.m.