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Philadelphia Flyers Set to Take on the Boston Bruins for the First Time This Season

January 25th, 2014 at 10:53 AM
By Scott Erik Anderson

The Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins are set to face each other this afternoon for the first time this season. The last time the Flyers and Bruins played each other was April 23, 2013.

tonyjuliano / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: tonyjuliano / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

LAST TIME THEY MET

Back on April 23, the Flyers came away with the victory as they defeated the Bruins 5-2. Flyers goaltender Steve Mason put on a great performance for the game as he saved 39 of the 41 shots sent his way. The five goals scored by the Flyers came from Matt Read, Scott Hartnell, Jakub Voracek, Oliver Lauridsen and Simon Gagne. 

HISTORY AT THE WELL

The Flyers may be a great team when playing at home in the Wells Fargo Center as their win streak at home has proved that. However, there are some teams that have a great amount of success when they travel to Philadelphia. One of those teams is the Bruins. In the last 10 games at the Wells Fargo Center, the Bruins have won nine of them. Their overall record is 9-0-1. 

DEFENSE. DEFENSE. DEFENSE.

The Bruins have what the Flyers are lacking right now and that is defense. At the beginning of the season, the Flyers struggled as a whole. The only standout on the blue line was Nicklas Grossmann as he has been one of their most consistent players. As the season progressed, so did the Flyers defense. However, as of late, the defense has disappeared again. 

The Bruins are known to have one of the best defensive groups in the league and it's led by the big man, Zdeno Chara. In addition to their blue line, the offensive players are very capable defenders as well because they always try to get back. The Flyers seem to be lacking the drive put them in a position to win games. It has shown in their last eight games where they are currently 2-4-2. In order for the Flyers to have any chance of winning this afternoon, they need to show up for all 60 minutes and play their hearts out. Playing for all 60 minutes has been a huge struggle for the Flyers for the entire season, but Flyers have still managed to make it over the .500 mark. However, their time above .500 is quickly running out if they don't turn things around immediately.

WHO IS STARTING BETWEEN THE PIPES?

Steve Mason will be getting the start between the pipes today. For the season, Mason has a 2.57 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage with a 19-12-5 record is 38 games played. Despite the Flyers recent overall performance, Mason and Ray Emery are not at fault for the skid. Both goalies have been playing well, but when the defense breaks down in front of them, there is only so much they can do to keep the Flyers in contention to win games. 

Mason has played well against the Bruins in his career. In four games against Boston, Mason has a 3-0-1 record to go with his .957 save percentage and 1.48 goals-against average. The Bruins have only scored six times against Mason.

INJURY UPDATE

Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo remains on the injured reserve while he recovers from a high left ankle sprain. He skated during the option practice that was held on Friday, but he will be out for a couple more weeks in order to fully heal. The higher the sprain, the longer it takes to recover.

The Bruins will likely be without three of their players this afternoon. Chris Kelly is recovering from a broken right fibula, Dougie Hamilton is recovering from a recent concussion and Adam McQuaid is recovering from a leg injury.


Tags: Boston Bruins, Bruins, defense, Flyers, Hockey, Mason, NHL, Nicklas Grossman, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Flyers, Steve Mason, Zac Rinaldo

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