PREVIEW: Bruins aim to make it four straight over Flyers

By Field Level Media
Feb 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Nicolas Aube-Kubel (62) checks Boston Bruins defenseman Jakub Zboril (67) during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Flyers have struggled mightily against the Boston Bruins all season.

The Flyers will look to snap a frustrating trend when they host the Bruins again on Friday. Philadelphia couldn’t hold a two-goal lead and fell 4-3 in overtime to the Bruins on Wednesday, dropping the Flyers to 0-3 against Boston this season.

Still, the Flyers have proved to be resilient. After the second loss to the Bruins, they rallied to win four in a row — sweeps against the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.

“It’s obviously a little frustrating not getting that win,” captain Claude Giroux said. “But I think we played better in games we’ve lost this year.”

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Giroux played in his 900th career game Wednesday to become the third Flyer in franchise history to accomplish the feat along with Bill Barber and Bobby Clarke.

Particularly frustrating was the fact that the Flyers committed four penalties, including an interference call on Scott Laughton that allowed Patrice Bergeron to score the game-winning power- play goal in overtime. The Bruins converted those four power plays into three goals.

In addition, David Pastrnak scored the first of his three goals on the first shift, just 12 seconds into the game.

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“They came out and scored on their first shift and you never want that to happen,” said the Flyers’ Kevin Hayes. “But I thought we handled it pretty well. I mean, they kind of handed it to us in the first five, six minutes, but we got back to basics.”

Basics have paid off as the Flyers have won seven of 11 games thus far.

“We know there’s another level we can get to,” James van Riemsdyk said. “We’ll keep pushing for that and continue to chip away at that.”

Bergeron added three assists to go along with his clutch goal while Pastrnak showed no ill effects of offseason hip surgery with three goals and one assist in only his third game back. It was Pastrnak’s ninth career hat trick.

The Bruins have dropped just one game all season even with an array of injuries.

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“It’s funny — I told him, my experience is sometimes what happens with guys when they miss that much time or it’s a whole offseason is … your hands and your timing are a little bit out of sync,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said, referring to Pastrnak. “Hah — he showed me. Obviously, he’s on a mission. Good for him. We need it. He’s a guy that’s predominantly a scorer, and you need those guys to win hockey games for you.

“He’s done it the last few nights. Clearly, he looks energized and ready to play, and we’re thankful for it and grateful,” Cassidy added.

The Bruins rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the Washington Capitals on Monday before coming back from two goals to beat the Flyers in overtime.

This veteran group never seems to panic.

“I think our guys knew — like the other night — that we were fine,” Cassidy said. “It wasn’t like we were getting dominated, and I think that’s the difference. Sometimes, if you’re not able to come back, you sit on the bench and go, ‘Boy, they’re not giving us much,’ and I think on both these nights, we knew we had opportunities. We just had to stick with it and bear down and get our break, and we did.”

–Field Level Media