The Boston Bruins (27-8-11, 65 points) continue their three-game road trip tonight when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers (23-16-6, 52 points) at the Wells Fargo Center. It is the second of three meetings on the season between the rivals. They will conclude the series in Philadelphia on March 10th. The Flyers took a 3-2 decision in the shootout on November 10th at TD Garden.
Puck drop is at 7:00 pm on NESN, NHL Network and 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Grzelcyk Likely To Play
Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was deemed a game-time decision tonight in Philadelphia on Sunday. Grzelcyk injured himself on Saturday night in the Bruins overtime victory over the New York Islanders. He was slashed in the leg by Islanders forward Derick Brassard on just his second shift of the night.
“Kind of weird, thought it was gonna be one of those stingers, but didn’t really go away for a while,” Grzelcyk told the Bruins official website. “Couldn’t really move out there, so there wasn’t much I was gonna be able to bring to the table…just kind of an awkward play. Wasn’t really expecting it, just how the play happened. It’s hockey, it is what is.”
The good news for the native of Charlestown? X-rays on the leg came back negative, and the injury is not expected to keep Grzelcyk out long term. In fact, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told the media that Grzelcyk is “fine to suit up” tonight in Philadelphia.
“Just an awkward spot in my leg, so I really didn’t have much mobility, tried it out in between periods and wasn’t able to put much weight on it,” said Grzelcyk. “Felt it was best to give it some time and hopefully be ready for tomorrow…felt a lot better than expected this morning, so it was nice to get out there and test it.”
Grzelcyk has 14 points (2 g, 12 a) in 45 games played this season for the Bruins. He has five points for the Bruins on the powerplay.
Chara Hits 1,000
Zdeno Chara will play his 1,000th game as a member of the Boston Bruins tonight. He is just the sixth player in the illustrious history of the organization to reach the special milestone. Chara joins Bruins legends such as Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk, Patrice Bergeron, Don Sweeney and Wayne Cashman.
“He treats his body so well on and off the ice, kind of showing the road for the D, no matter how big or small you are,” Grzelcyk said about his captain. “He’s always very vocal with us, on the bench pointing things out that we can do better and just watching him lead by example. It’s been an honor to call him my teammate.”
Chara signed with the Bruins on July 1st, 2006. He inked a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the club on the same day Marc Savard signed with the team. He made his Bruins debut on October 10th, 2006 against the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.
Chara played 29:52 in his Bruins debut, and collected two assists. He got those helpers on goals by Marco Sturm and Glen Murray. The Bruins would lose the game 8-3.
The Bruins have struggled in overtime this season, that is no surprise to anyone that has paid attention. The Islanders, on the other hand, have thrived in the extra frame this season. That’s why there was surprise when Patrice Bergeron scored his 19th goal of the season 93 seconds into the overtime period in Brooklyn on Saturday.
It was a giant weight off the shoulders of the Bruins, who have been hearing all about their inability to win in overtime and the shootout.
“It was nice,” Bergeron told reporters. “It’s been a while. You obviously work really hard to get those extra points, so it was needed. It’s been a while, like I said, so we’ll take it and move on.”
Bergeron gave tons of credit to his teammates for making the play happen. Specifically, Torey Krug got some love from the veteran.
“It was an amazing play by Torey,” Bergeron continued. “I was reading that there were two guys going at him so I figured that if I would stay in that pocket and the puck would come, I’d have a little bit of time and I did. Great play by him.”
Boston Bruins Lines
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Anders Bjork
Danton Heinen – Charlie Coyle – Brett Ritchie
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
John Moore – Matt Grzelcyk
Bruins lines are subject to change, as always. Bruce Cassidy confirmed that Halak will get the start. Cassidy also told reporters that Grzelcyk is “fine to suit up” tonight and is likely to play. Grzelcyk echoed his coach’s thoughts after morning skate in Philadelphia.
“Feeling good,” Grzelcyk said. “Today was a lot better than yesterday, excited to get out there tonight.”
David Backes, Par Lindholm and Connor Clifton are the expected scratches.
Philadelphia Flyers Lines
Claude Giroux – Kevin Hayes – Travis Konecny
Michael Raffl – Sean Couturier – Jakub Voracek
James Van Riemsdyk – Scott Laughton – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Joel Farabee – Connor Bunnaman – Tyler Pitlick
Ivan Provorov – Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim – Philippe Myers
Robert Hagg – Mark Friedman
Hart will start tonight, per Sam Carchidi. Flyers lines are subject to change. The Flyers are without forward Oskar Lindblom, who is battling cancer. We wish him all the best in his fight!
Nolan Patrick (head), Shayne Gostisbehere (knee) and Justin Braun (groin) are all on injured reserve and will not be available for the Flyers.