The depleted Philadelphia Flyers will look to avoid a fifth straight loss to the Boston Bruins this season when the teams compete in the NHL Outdoors Sunday in Stateline, Nev.
The Flyers will be without a number of key players who remain on the league’s COVID-19 list, including captain Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom and Scott Laughton.
“We definitely miss those guys, for sure, but we had a lot of guys step up (Thursday) and we’ll have the same thing for Sunday,” Flyers goaltender Carter Hart said. “We’re going to need guys to step up in different roles and we have the guys who can do that.”
If the Flyers hope to defeat Boston, they’ll have to improve on the power play. Philadelphia is 3 for 14 with the extra skater in the four games against the Bruins this season. Conversely, the Bruins are 7 for 13.
“Boston, without a doubt, is one of the top teams in the NHL,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said. “They’ve played extremely well against us. I felt for the most part, other than that one game, they have been very competitive and hard-fought (games). It goes down to, at the end of the game, can you make a defensive play?
“Can you make an offensive play? Are you getting that save?”
The Flyers fell 3-2 in a shootout to the New York Rangers on Thursday. The same short-handed team now will face a difficult challenge in a unique setting.
“If the NHL thinks this can help the game … I’m in,” Vigneault said.
The Bruins will be attempting to halt a two-game losing streak following defeats to the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils.
Boston also lost David Krejci with a lower body injury against the Devils. He’s not expected to play against the Flyers.
The Bruins will certainly be motivated, however, considering their performance appeared to be lethargic against the Devils.
“I don’t think anyone is happy with this game tonight,” said Jake DeBrusk, who notched a power play goal, his first of the season.
Turnovers led to all three Devils goals. Those types of miscues haven’t occurred in the four meetings against the Flyers.
“They were winning the races, the one-on-one battles,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We just weren’t doing what we had to do to win. We just have to buy in a little bit more.”
The Bruins had won nine of 10 before this two-game skid. The goal now is to start another streak and continue their hold over the Flyers.
David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron have been dominant against the Flyers this season, but overall, generating consistent offensive pressure has been a problem.
“It’s been an issue for our team here,” Cassidy said. “We tend to overpass a little bit. There’s certain players that come around, and others we have to hammer away on. We’ll continue to do that. But the onus becomes on the player when he’s on the ice to make the right decisions, right? Coaches, we’re here for structure. We’re here to instill discipline, culture, how we want to play, identities, all those things.”
–Field Level Media
–Field Level Media