Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins Pick & Prediction MARCH 23rd 2024

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The level of consistency that the Boston Bruins showed on their way to winning the Presidents’ Trophy last season was simply remarkable.

Boston (41-15-15, 97 points) has gone through ups and downs this season, and there have been efforts that left second-year coach Jim Montgomery “surprised and disappointed.” That was the case in a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday.

A six-game road trip now lies ahead for Boston, beginning with a Saturday afternoon contest against the Philadelphia Flyers. It is being marked as an opportunity.

“There’s no doubt in this team, there’s no doubt in this locker room,” Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman said. “Whether you win or lose, there’s opportunity to grow and experience is gained. We’re gonna do that on this road trip. We’re looking forward to it.”

Boston led 1-0 after one period on Thursday before Artemi Panarin scored twice in the second. He finished New York’s three-goal run at the end of the game for a hat trick.

“I don’t think we checked well enough. I don’t think we competed hard enough on pucks,” Montgomery said.

The lack of “answering their push” — as forward Jake DeBrusk called it — will need to be addressed, but there is no better way to do that than against the quality opponents that are coming down the pipe.

Five of Boston’s six opponents during the trip are in playoff position.

“We need a response. Nobody’s happy in this room,” DeBrusk said. “As a team, we’ve got to deal with the adversity. … (Philly is) in a tight playoff race with five or six teams. … We want to see opponents that play with that desperation because we need to get tested by it.”

Despite losing three of its last four games (1-2-1), Philadelphia (35-26-9, 79 points) currently holds the third and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division.

There were positives to take out of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, as the Flyers overcame a pair of one-goal deficits to tie.

“We played good (and) did a lot of things really well,” defenseman Cam York said. “Easily could have won that game, so I think it goes to show we don’t really care who we play, we’re going to bring our game. We can beat the best teams in the league. We’ve shown that all year.”

Philly will look to do just that against a familiar team, which it just faced last Saturday in a 6-5 loss at Boston.

The Flyers, who scratched captain Sean Couturier for a second straight game on Thursday, have found recent success with Morgan Frost centering Travis Konecny and Owen Tippett on a line.

Konecny scored his team-leading 28th goal of the season in the third period against Carolina, but Frost has been a productive playmaker during his five-game point streak (three goals, four assists). Four of those contests have featured an assist for the 24-year-old center.

“He is more confident, and for the high-end offensive guys like he is, that can make a world of difference,” associate coach Brad Shaw said. “See the ice better, hold on to the puck a little bit longer when it’s necessary, and he has the vision, the hands, and the skill set to find guys that some other guys just can’t find.”

–Field Level Media

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