The Boston Bruins (11-3-2, 24 points) look to get back on the right side of things this evening as they play host to the Philadelphia Flyers (9-5-2, 20 points) in the first of three meetings on the season. The Bruins have dropped back-to-back games in regulation for the first time this season, laying a stinker in Detroit on Friday night.
Puck drop is 7:00 pm and the game can be seen live on NESN.
Switching Things Up
Charlie Coyle has been a consistent presence down the middle for the Bruins this season. Tonight, he shifts to the wing. It’ll be a change for the veteran, who has almost exclusively been used as a center since being acquired from the Minnesota Wild last February. It might not seem like much, but there is a big difference between playing center and playing on the wing.
“I think playing wing, usually you’re the first guy on the forecheck, get to initiate body contact and win puck battles,” Coyle told the media this morning. He’s expected to fill Jake DeBrusk’s role on the second line with David Krejci and Danton Heinen. DeBrusk, according to Bruce Cassidy, will be out until at least next weekend with a lower-body injury.
Pair Of Swedes Back In The Saddle Again
Par Lindholm and Joakim Nordstrom will return to the lineup for the Bruins tonight. As a result, Peter Cehlarik is likely to return to AHL Providence. Both Lindholm and Nordstrom have missed over a week of action. “Super excited to be back playing,” Nordstrom told reporters with a big smile after morning skate.
Nordstrom will reunite with Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly on the Bruins fourth line. Lindholm is expected to center Andres Bjork and Zach Senyshyn on the third line.
Two guys who will not be playing tonight? David Backes and Brett Ritchie. The veterans just aren’t ready to go yet. Backes is feeling better, according to Cassidy, but there is no further update on his status at this time. Ritchie, along with Cehlarik, did not skate this morning.
New Look Rival
The Bruins and Flyers have had some heated matchups over the years. The Flyers are looking very different than a season ago. Carter Hart is now the undisputed starter, with veteran Brian Elliott mentoring him as the backup. Radko Gudas was flipped to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Matt Niskanen in the off-season, while Justin Braun was acquired from the Sharks.
Up front, the Flyers added local product Kevin Hayes via free agency. Behind the bench, veteran coach Alain Vigneault returns after year off. He’s been a breath of fresh air to a Flyers team that missed the playoffs a season ago.
The Flyers are coming off of a 3-2 shootout victory last night in Toronto. Claude Giroux scored in the shootout before Sean Couturier put the dagger in Toronto’s heart.
Boston Bruins Lines
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Danton Heinen – David Krejci – Charlie Coyle
Anders Bjork – Par Lindholm – Zach Senyshyn
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Connor Clifton
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Tuukka Rask got the start in Detroit on Friday, but Halak going tonight has nothing to do with Rask’s loss. This was the plan all along, as Cassidy said Friday morning that Halak would go tonight. The Chara-Clifton pairing goes together for the second straight game. They made their debut against the Red Wings on Friday.
Philadelphia Flyers Lines
James Van Riemsdyk – Claude Giroux – Joel Farabee
Oskar Lindblom – Sean Couturier – Travis Konecny
Carsen Twarnyksi – Kevin Hayes – Jakub Voracek
Michael Raffl – Mikhail Vorobyov – Tyler Pitlick
Ivan Provorov – Matt Niskanen
Shayne Gostisbehere – Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim – Philippe Myers
Brian Elliott got the start last night in Toronto, so Hart goes tonight in Boston. Former BU Terrier Joel Farabee makes his NHL regular season debut in Boston. He’s played in ten games this season and has four points thus far (2 g, 2 a)