The Boston Bruins may have exercised the demons of last season’s game 7 playoff collapse when they defeated the Flyers, 3-0, on Dec. 1. But with the slate now wiped clean, the Bruins aren’t expecting the same type of easy result the second time around.
“Now you’ve got a team coming back, wanting to redeem themselves and get that win back that we stole from them in their home building,” Boston coach Claude Julien told the Boston Globe on Friday. “I would expect it to be a tough challenge. They’re an easy team to get up for, just like they’re going to say about us. It’s a natural rivalry that’s there and both teams are going to pull out their best.
“I expect an even bigger battle tomorrow, to be honest with you.”
Led by veteran forward Danny Briere’s pair of goals and an assist, the Flyers (18-7-5, second in the Atlantic Division) enter Saturday’s 7 PM contest at the TD Garden Arena coming off an easy 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brian Boucher made 31 saves to push his season record to 4-3-2. Briere leads the Flyers with 16 goals and seven assists in 27 games.
The Flyers, who have been slumping of late, are still 3-1-1 in Dec., and 6-1-3 in their last 10 games.
Boston (16-8-3, second in the Northeast Division) is coming off a convincing 5-2 win over the New York Islanders. Goaltender Tuukka Rask, who has been relegated to back-up duties, made 33 saves in the win. Power forward Milan Lucic netted two goals to extend his team-leading goal total to 15.
Boston is 4-0-1 in Dec., and 5-3-2 in its last 10.
Philadelphia’s Brian Boucher (4-3-2, 2.39 GAA), is making his second consecutive start against projected Boston goalie Tim Thomas (14-2-2, 1.49 GAA). Thomas made 41 saves and was the key component in his team’s shut out of the Flyers in the first meeting.