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Bruins at Flyers, 22/1/2012


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http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Bill-Meltzer/Flyers-Gameday-12212-vs-Bruins/45/41530

MINI-PREVIEW 7:05 AM EST

In their penultimate game and final home match before the All-Star break, the injury-depleted Philadelphia Flyers (28-14-4) will take on the Boston Bruins (30-13-2) at the Wells Fargo Center. The game starts at 3 PM EST and will be broadcast locally on CSN Philly.

This is the third of four regular season meetings between the teams, and the last one in Philadelphia. The teams have split the two games this season in games that could not have been more dissimilar.

On opening night of the 2011-12 season, the Flyers traveled to Boston. After an interminable celebration of the Bruins' Stanley Cup championship from last season, Brad Marchand got his team off to a 1-0 lead. But goals by Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek turned a late first period deficit into a 2-1 lead at intermission. Making his Flyers debut, Ilya Bryzgalov made 22 saves and the team controlled the majority of the final 40 minutes to skate off with a 2-1 victory.

On Dec. 17, the Flyers rode a seven-game winning streak and brought the best record in the Eastern Conference into a Saturday matinee with Boston. Unfortunately for Philly, the game turned into an utter disaster. Before they even knew what hit them, the Flyers found themselves in a 2-0 hole before the game was even 3 minutes from the opening faceoff.

It only went downhill from there. Bryzgalov was pulled early. Sean Couturier was struck in the head by a Kimmo Timonen shot. Philly couldn't defend or forecheck very well in what turned into a 6-0 Bruins romp. Tim Thomas made 31 saves for the shutout.

Entering today's game, both the Flyers and Bruins will be playing for the third time in less than 7-2 hours. The Flyers are coming off a costly 4-1 win road win over the New Jersey Devils yesterday, while the Bruins dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the New York Rangers yesterday, decided on a Marian Gaborik power play goal with 3.6 seconds remaining in the five-minute extra frame.

Yesterday, the Flyers lost Jaromir Jagr to his fourth groin pull of the season, while Danny Briere was diagnosed after the game with a concussion. The club is still without James van Riemsdyk (concussion) as well, so the forward lines will have to be juggled today. The club has called up Tom Sestito and Ben Holmstrom from Adirondack.

Scott Hartnell scored a pair of goals for the Flyers yesterday, while Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds (empty net goal) added single tallies for Philadelphia. Bryzgalov played one of his best games of the season yesterday; actually pretty close to his opening-night performance in Boston and second-game shutout of Devils in October. I would suspect Peter Laviolette will give him another crack at the Bruins today, despite the back-to-back.

Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference will have a telephone hearing with Brendan Shanahan this morning regarding his hit against Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh in yesterday's game. Ference was assessed a charging major and game misconduct. It would be very surprising if no suspension is forthcoming.

PROJECTED LINEUPS (subject to change)

FLYERS

Hartnell - Giroux - Zolnierczyk

Talbot - Couturier - Voracek

Read - Schenn - Simmonds

Sestito - Holmstrom - Shelley

Timonen - Coburn

Carle - Bourdon

Gustafsson - Meszaros

Bryzgalov

[bobrovsky]

BRUINS

Lucic - Krejci - Horton

Marchand - Bergeron - Seguin

Pouliot - Kelly - Peverley

Paille - Campbell - Thornton

Chara - Boychuk

Corvo - Seidenberg

Kampfer - McQuaid

Thomas

[Rask]

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Sestito - Holmstrom - Shelley

At least with Sestito in their we can expect the Flyers to at least be tougher and not back down.

Bruins should be the more tired team - going to the last second of OT in a big game yesterday.

If the Flyers can get the jump on them in the first period they have a shot at it. Lets hope TImmy lays an egg.

@flyercanuck last I heard it was Bryz was planned to go back to back. He played well yesterday. I say, give him his shot to quiet everyone down a bit.

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@Spinorama sestito have been making a difference though. Not to often you see Chara go down to the ice.

I love Sestito in the lineup. I just looked at Shelley him and Holmstrom and wondered how they were gonna roll that line. Turned out Lavi put Sestito on the third line. I liked that move cause you want to have to toughness spread out and he obviously possesses more hockey ability than Shelley and I liked Holmstrom staying on the 4th as opposed to the third because then you have some decent hockey ability to make up for the lack of it that you get with Shelley.

Team toughness couldn't have been better today. I'll take the point but they deserved to win.

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