Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers Pick & Prediction MARCH 16th 2024

The Boston Bruins begin their longest remaining homestand of the regular season when the Philadelphia Flyers pay a visit Saturday night for the first of two meetings between the teams in consecutive weeks.

Earning a 2-1 overtime win in Montreal on Thursday to go to 4-1-1 in their last six games was key for the Bruins, who sit just one point behind the first-place Florida Panthers in both the Eastern Conference and overall NHL standings.

Coach Jim Montgomery liked seeing his team bank two points without having its ‘A’ effort.

“It’s an important (win),” Montgomery said in Montreal. “I didn’t think we had our normal legs for whatever reason, but our guys dug down and found a way to win, and Montreal’s playing real good, sound hockey right now.”

It was the Bruins’ 24th game that required an extra session. Jake DeBrusk scored the game-winning goal off a Brad Marchand feed just 25 seconds into overtime.

Like every game at this time of year, it was an opportunity to build up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in less than a month’s time.

“That’s kind of what you build towards. You want to be perfect, you want to build your game,” DeBrusk said.

Montgomery has seen added confidence in both DeBrusk and goaltender Linus Ullmark since last week’s NHL Trade Deadline as both were the subject of various rumors.

DeBrusk has two goals and an assist in his last three games, while Ullmark has won back-to-back, stopping 56 of the 58 shots he’s faced.

“Those two and other players, too, who may have had doubts,” Montgomery said. “The trade deadline’s not a fun time for anyone the week leading up to it. … They love being Bruins and it shows in the way they’re playing right now.”

Thursday also marked the Bruins debut of defenseman Andrew Peeke, who was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Matt Grzelcyk and forward James van Riemsdyk were both unavailable against Montreal (illness).

Philadelphia has alternated results for nine straight games (4-4-1) entering the matchup in Boston, most recently suffering a 6-2 loss to Toronto on Thursday.

Owen Tippett and Tyson Foerster scored the Flyers’ goals, but the three-goal bursts by the Maple Leafs that came in between were too much to overcome.

While assistant coach Brad Shaw feels that the Flyers have done well throughout the season in not allowing goals to snowball into more, that resiliency did not show in their most recent outing.

“We seem to be able to weather the storm and gather ourselves and get back on the attack,” Shaw said. “For whatever reason, they put another one in the net right away and it just feels like a bit of a tsunami coming.”

Flyers head coach John Tortorella will return to the bench in Boston after serving a two-game suspension for “unprofessional conduct directed at officials” during the first period of last Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was also fined $50,000.

The power play has also not been kind to Philadelphia as its 13.2 percent success rate is the NHL’s lowest. Power-play goals in consecutive games — after a previous 0-for-10 streak — have improved that mark.

“At this time of year, you gotta be ready to play, you can’t just go out there and put your stick on the ice and hope for the best,” Flyers forward Scott Laughton said. “(The effort on Thursday was) not hard enough. It’s not good enough.”

–Field Level Media

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