The Bruins enter on the heels of two hard losses — one to the Maple Leafs Tuesday in overtime and the other to the Penguins Sunday, a game in which they lost their leading scorer of the past two seasons in Marc Savard for what appears to be the remainder of this season. They will try to not let that — and the fact that the man responsible for that hit, Penguins forward Matt Cooke, was not suspended — serve as a distraction and beat a Flyers team that has won two straight in the fourth game of a seven-game road trip.
WHEN AND WHERE
Thursday, March 11, 7 p.m.
Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
Bruins (29-24-12, 70 points, fourth place in Northeast Division, eighth place in Eastern Conference)
Flyers (35-26-4, 74 points, third place Atlantic Division, sixth place Eastern Conference)
HEAD TO HEAD
This is the first time the Flyers and Bruins have met since the Bruins beat Philadelphia 2-1 in overtime in the Winter Classic at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day. The Bruins are 1-1-1 against the Flyers this season and will look to take the season series with a win.
The Bruins lead the lifetime series 86-56-22-4.
The Bruins know that they let one slip away in their 4-3 overtime loss to the Leafs Tuesday and realize they need to clean up their game.
"Again, it’s just those little mistakes that keep getting us in trouble, and we just got to keep cutting down on those," Bruins coach Claude Julien told Bostonbruins.com..
"That’s where pretty much every team is at this stage of the year, is minimizing those costly mistakes."
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Milan Lucic–Vladimir Sobotka—Miroslav Satan
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton
Mark Stuart–Dennis Wideman
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Seidenberg
*Jeff Penner–Johnny Boychuk
*Note Zdeno Chara is questionable with a lower-body injury
Simon Gagne–Mike Richards–Dan Carcillo
Danny Briere–Jeff Carter–Scott Hartnell
James van Riemsdyk–Claude Giroux–Arron Asham
Darroll Powe–Blair Betts–Ian Laperriere
Chris Pronger–Matt Carle
Kimmo Timonen–Lukas Krajicek
Braydon Coburn–Ryan Parent
Tuukka Rask is 14-8-4 with a 2.14 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. Rask started seven straight games for the Bruins before injuring his knee against Montreal on March 2. He was 4-1-2 during that seven-game stretch. Rask has three shutouts.
Tim Thomas is 15-16-8 with a 2.47 GAA and a .917 save percentage. Thomas has four shutouts and is 2-1-1 in his last four starts. He made 26 saves in the 4-3 overtime loss at Toronto Tuesday.
Michael Leighton is 16-7-2 with a 2.71 GAA and .908 save percentage. Leighton has one shutout. Leighton made 23 saves in the Flyers' 3-2 win over the Islanders Tuesday. Leighton improved to 7-0-1 in his last eight starts with the win.
Rhode Island native Brian Boucher is 4-12-1 with a 2.89 GAA and .895 save percentage.
Patrice Bergeron had a goal and an assist Tuesday. He leads the team with 40 points.
Zdeno Chara is second on the team in points with 35 and leads the team with 30 assists.
Marco Sturm scored his team-leading 20th goal Tuesday and also added an assist. He has a goal and two assists in his last two games. Sturm now has seven 20-goal seasons.
Mark Recchi had a goal and two assists Tuesday. Recchi is third on the team with 34 points.
Dennis Seidenberg got his first point as a Bruin with an assist Tuesday. He now has 22 helpers and 24 points.
Jeff Carter has nine goals in his last nine games and has 27 points (17 goals, 10 assists) in his last 27 games. He leads the Flyers in goals with 31 and points with 57.
Captain Mike Richards has a six-game point streak going with three goals and six assists during that stretch. He is second on the team with 54 assists.
Chris Pronger leads the blue line with 48 points and the team with 40 assists. He has six assists in his last five games.
Simon Gagne has 13 points in his last 13 games and 32 points this season.
BLACK AND BLUE
Andrew Ference is expected to be out until at least Saturday with a groin injury.
Marc Savard is out with a concussion and could be out for the season.
Zdeno Chara is day-to-day with a lower-body injury
Goalie Ray Emery is out for the season after bone graft surgery.
THIS DATE IN BRUINS HISTORY
On March 11, 1971, the Boston Bruins become the first team in NHL history to get 50 wins in one season, when they beat the Kings 7-2 in Los Angeles.
“I’m both surprised and angered. The last couple days I've been lobbying Colin Campbell and the [NHL] hockey ops staff in regards to this shot on Savard. The issue here is that right now there's no infraction for what Cooke did. He didn’t leave his feet. He didn't charge. He didn’t use an elbow. It was a shoulder hit to the head. It was a very surgical shoulder hit to the head. What I tried to convince the hockey ops staff was to take it outside the current rule and to use the repeat offender criteria and implement an infraction of an intent to injure, so there you have your infraction. And that should distinguish this from the Richards-Booth hit. And that was the issue here. They didn’t want to and they couldn’t distinguish it from the Richards-Booth hit. So I’m disappointed.”
—Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli responding to Matt Cooke not being suspended.
Marc Savard is not doing well after suffering a concussion Sunday.
Sidney Crosby’s missing glove from the gold medal game turned up in a good friend’s equipment bag, none other than Patrice Bergeron.
The Flyers are getting a lot from their fourth line.
The Flyers won their 14th straight over the Islanders Tuesday.
Almost one year later, the NHL is still employing dartboard justice.
Some Lightning stars are quite unhappy that Matt Cooke wasn’t punished for his hit on Marc Savard
The Bruins could be on the verge of falling into a downward spiral out of the Eastern Conference playoff race, losing Marc Savard and having their captain Zdeno Chara battle a lower-body injury. They’re also dealing with the distraction of the Savard-Cooke incident and the pressure is on. They played a strong road game for the first seven periods of this road trip, but in the second period of their 4-3 overtime loss to Toronto, they veered away from their game plan.
Tonight, against a confident Flyers team they must get back to basics and block out the distractions. This team has shown that it can play its game, and now it’s time to do it consistently. Time is running out and it’s time for the Bruins to dictate their game.