Sun, 07 Mar 2021

Bruins seek breakthrough against short-handed Flyers

Field Level Media
21 Jan 2021, 17:40 GMT+10

The Philadelphia Flyers will be searching for their fourth win in five games to open the season when they visit the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

The Flyers hope to build on their positive momentum from a 3-0 shutout of the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday in which backup goaltender Brian Elliott recorded40 saves in his first start of the season.

It's unclear if Carter Hart or Elliott will start against the Bruins.

Already without center Sean Couturier (ribs), the Flyers lost defenseman Philippe Myers and center Morgan Frost to injuries against Buffalo. Couturier remains out while Myers' and Frost's conditions likely will be updated Thursday.

The Flyers showed a good bit of resilience following a 6-1 loss to the Sabres on Monday.

"I think we took a step forward," Philadelphia winger Oskar Lindblom said, "but there are a lot of things we can be better at."

Flyers coach Alain Vigneault noted that Buffalo outshot his club 40-30 on Tuesday and outplayed his team in a number of areas. In this unique season, teams will have to respond quickly during brief, two-game series.

"Overall, this was a game where we had to bounce back and I thought our group showed great character," Vigneault said. "There's no doubt we needed a great pushback, and we got it."

The short-handed Flyers will need to continue their group effort as they head into two difficult games against the Bruins.

"Some other players are going to get the opportunity to step in the lineup," Vigneault said. "A lot of them have been waiting for this opportunity, so if they step in, they've got to be good for us and help us win games."

The Bruins are looking to avoid their third consecutive loss after opening the season with a win.

Their past two games were tough defeats, a 2-1 setback in overtime to the host New Jersey Devils on Saturday and a 1-0 defeat to the host New York Islanders on Monday.

Boston's offense has struggled in all phases with just three goals all season, two on the power play. David Pastrnak's absence following hip surgery has played a large role, but it's not the only reason. Pastrnak tied for the NHL lead with 48 goals last season.

The lack of scoring has put immense pressure on goaltender Tuukka Rask, but he is not overly concerned.

Not yet.

"It's early in the season and I think we're playing really good," Rask said. "If we play that team defense throughout the year, I think we're going to win a lot of games. I know the offense will come. We just have to stick with it and not hang our heads."

Still, the Bruins have yet to notch an even-strength goal, and they went 0-for-3 on the power play Monday. Improvement must be seen across the board, especially on offense.

"We're obviously focused on it," said winger Jake DeBrusk, who has yet to record a point this season. "It's what everyone's talking about. It's one of those things we're very aware of it, but we have confidence in our group. I think we're stacked up front. We know what we need to. It's just a matter of executing.

"Sounds easier than what it is, but we have faith in this room."

--Field Level Media

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