The Boston Bruins will be looking for their third straight victory when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Boston defeated Philadelphia the last time these teams met. That was on Tuesday when the Bruins won, 4-2. That was a bit of sweet revenge after Philadelphia defeated Boston the previous night, 3-2. Both teams won their games on the road.
Here you can find the best picks, news, and stats for this East Division battle at the Wells Fargo Center. Boston is the favorite at -120. This according to PointsBet Sportsbook, which puts the odds for Philadelphia at +100 as the underdog.
Goaltender Tuukka Rask remains out for Boston as does backup Jaroslav Halak. The Bruins hope that defenseman Charlie McAvoy will return for Saturday’s game. He is listed as questionable. Philadelphia lost left-wing Isaac Radcliffe 10 days ago. He is not expected to return for another week.
Bruins Edge Capitals
Boston (21-10-6) earned their second straight victory with a 4-2 defeat of Washington on Thursday. Rookie Jeremy Swayman earned his second straight victory for Boston, stopping 31 of 33 shots. Brad Marchand and Craig Smith each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins.
Boston is fifth in the NHL in goals allowed per game at 2.46 and has the best penalty-killing unit in the NHL at 87.7%. Swayman will return to the net on Saturday. In his two career starts he is 2-0-0 with a 2.01 GAA and a .947 save percentage.
Boston is 16th in the NHL in goals scored per game at 2.78 and is 23rd in shooting percentage at 8.7%. They are eighth on the power-play at 24.1%. Marchand has been on fire for Boston, leading the team with 19 goals, 28 assists, and 47 points. He has 11 points in his last five games, including two four-point games.
Flyers Lose in Shootout to Islanders
Philadelphia (18-15-6) rallied from a two-goal deficit to force overtime but lost in a shootout to the Islanders, 3-2. Carter Hart had a solid evening in net, stopping 21 of 23 shots. Jakub Voracek tied the score with his seventh goal of the season.
Philadelphia is 14th in the NHL in goals per game at 2.95 and is 14th in shooting percentage at 9.9%. They are 21st on the power-play at 18.9%. Voracek now leads the team in points with 32. Claude Giroux had an assist in the loss to New York, giving him 31 points, tied for second on the team.
Philadelphia is 30th in goals allowed per game at 3.51 and is 29th in penalty killing at 73.5%. It will likely be Hart back in the net on Saturday. He is 8-10-5 with a 3.78 GAA and a .873 save percentage. Hart has allowed seven total goals over his last three starts.
- 4-0 in their last four games on the road.
- 5-2 in their last seven games when playing on one day’s rest.
- 1-4 in their last five games.
- 1-6 in their last seven games on the road.
The Winner Prediction
Swayman is proving to be the real deal. The rookie has been outstanding in his two starts and, with Philadelphia getting mediocre goaltending from their own netminders, Boston clearly has the edge. Also, the Bruins have won the last four contests between these teams in Philadelphia. The Flyers are playing poorly and are going to lose.
Pick: Take Boston at -120.
If Swayman continues the pattern of the first two contests, then he will allow two goals in this game. He has already beaten Philadelphia in Philadelphia on Tuesday, so will not be the least bit concerned about playing the division rival on their home ice. The question is how many goals well Hart gives up. Boston scored four against him on Tuesday, so I look for that again here.
Pick: Go over 5.5 at -115.