The Boston Bruins (10-3-2, 22 pts, .733 P%) will try to embrace the atmosphere at NHL Lake Tahoe and beat the Philadelphia Flyers (8-3-3, 19 pts, .679 P%) for a fifth straight time this season when they take their game outdoors tonight (7:30 PM ET, NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVAS, SN1).
With sunshine and melting ice already forcing the start time of this game to be switched twice in 48 hours, the Boston Bruins plan to keep it simple and soak in the moment.
“Dumbing it down is the simplest way to go,” Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy told the media Saturday as the first NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe game entered a 10 hour and 37-minute delay. “Guys get back to their roots as kids and play hockey.”
The Boston Bruins enter tonight’s game trying to bounce back from arguably their worst loss of the season Thursday when they fell 3-2 to the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden. The Flyers are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Rangers at home Thursday.
Both teams come into this game banged up. The Flyers are missing seven regulars and the Bruins have four regulars out of their lineup. More on that below.
Tuukka Rask (6-2-1, 2.51 GAA, .906 save percentage) will be back between the pipes for the Boston Bruins tonight and Carter Hart (5-2-3, 3.31 GAA, .902 save percentage) will get the nod for the Flyers.
– The Boston Bruins have dominated the Flyers this season, going 4-0-0. Three of those four games were come-from-behind wins for the Bruins but they have outscored the Flyers 18-9 this season.
– ‘The Perfection Line’ has lit the Flyers up this season. Brad Marchand (3g, 3a), Patrice Bergeron (3g, 5a), and David Pastrnak (3g, 2a), has been nothing short of phenomenal against the Flyers and the main reason the Boston Bruins are undefeated against the Broad Street Bullies.
– Another major factor in the Bruins’ success against the Flyers this season has been the stellar netminding of Tuukka Rask. Rask is 3-0-0 with a 2.60 GAA and .893 save percentage against the Flyers this season.
– As mentioned above, both the Boston Bruins and the Flyers will be missing some key players. The Bruins won’t have three regulars on their blue line as Kevan Miller (load management), Matt Grzelcyk (lower-body), and Jakub Zboril (upper-body) won’t play. The Bruins will also be without their second line center in David Krejci, who suffered a lower-body injury Thursday and will miss his first game of the season. Forward Ondrej Kase remains on the injured reserve list with an upper-body injury.
– With Krejci and Miller out, the Boston Bruins recalled forward Jack Studnicka and defenseman Urho Vaakanainen on Friday. Studnicka will play in his seventh game this season. He has a goal in six games thus far. Vaakanainen will be making his 2021 season debut.
– The Bruins went 2-for-3 on the powerplay Thursday and are now 14-for-47 on the man advantage. They’re sixth in the NHL with a 29.8 percent success rate.
-The Boston Bruins PK was the only bright spot on Thursday, killing off all four Devils’ powerplays. They’ve now killed 48 of 54 powerplay attempts against and are first on the PK in the NHL with an 88.9 percent success rate.
– The Boston Bruins are 3-1-0 in outdoor games. They beat the Flyers 3-2 in overtime at the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park. They lost 5-1 to the Montreal Canadiens at the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium and the Bruins beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 at the 2019 Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium.
– Flyers goalie Carter Hart has struggled against the Boston Bruins this season going 0-1-2 with a 4.53 GAA and .865 save percentage.
– Former University of New Hampshire star James van Riemsdyk has been a thorn in the collective side of the Bruins again this season. JVR has three goals and two assists in four games against the B’s this season. Dorchester, MA native, and former Boston College star Kevin Hayes has also nagged his hometown team with two goals and two assists in four games.
– As mentioned above, the Flyers are missing seven regulars. Over the last two weeks, the Flyers were ravaged by a COVID outbreak and had two games postponed since they last played the Bruins on Feb. 5. Justin Braun, Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom, and Jakub Voracek all remain on the COVID list. Morgan Frost is also still on IR with a shoulder injury.
-The Flyers are 9-for-47 on the powerplay and 18th in the NHL with a 19.1 percent success rate.
– The Flyers penalty kill has killed off 35 of 49 powerplays against and are ranked 29th in the NHL with a 71.4 percent success rate.
The Flyers are 1-2-1 in outdoor games. In addition to the overtime loss at Fenway Park in 2010, the Flyers also lost the 2012 Winter Classic 3-2 to the Rangers at Citizens Bank Park and the 2017 Stadium series game 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field. The Flyers lone outdoor win came in the 2019 Stadium series with a 4-3 overtime win over the Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field.
Boston Bruins Lines
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Nick Ritchie – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Anders Bjork – Jack Studnicka – Jake DeBrusk
Trent Frederic – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner
Jeremy Lauzon – Charlie McAvoy
Urho Vaakanainen – Brandon Carlo
John Moore – Connor Clifton
Philadelphia Flyers Lines
James van Riemsdyk – Sean Couturier – Joel Farabee
Michael Raffl – Kevin Hayes – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Connor Bunnaman – Nolan Patrick – David Kase
Samuel Morin – Andy Andreoff – Maxim Sushko
Ivan Provorov – Philippe Myers
Travis Sanheim – Shayne Gostisbehere
Robert Hagg – Erik Gustafsson