A big rivalry unveils the first game of one of two round-robin tournaments taking place before the official playoffs begin. It will be the Philadelphia Flyers going up against the Boston Bruins, who are tied one of the top favorites to win this year’s Stanley Cup.
The round-robin tournaments include the top four seeds in each conference; at the conclusion, the winner will have the No. 1 seed in the conference. This is a chance for the top teams to sharpen their skills while the rest of the league fights to actually make it into the playoffs.
Philly won two of the three regular-season matchups against Boston, but the aggregate total was tied at 9-9. This should very well end up being another tight battle between the two.
Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins
East Qualifying Round Robin
3:00 p.m. EST (Watch: NBC)
PHI: Carter Hart (24-13-3, 2.42 GAA/.914 SV% this season)
BOS: Tuukka Rask (26-8-6, 2.12 GAA/.929 SV% this season)
Odds & Betting lines (William Hill)
Total: 5.5 goals | Over: +105 | Under: -125
PHI | Moneyline: +115 | Puck Line (+1.5): -225
BOS | Moneyline: -135 | Puck Line (-1.5): +195
BOS: Tuukka Rask -G (DTD), Brad Marchand -F (DTD) Ondrej Kase -F (O), Nick Ritchie (O)
Rask Ready to Go?
Maybe not. According to Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, Rask didn’t practice yesterday because he “wasn’t feeling well.” If Rask can’t go, it’ll be Jaroslav Halak getting the start. Halak was 18-6-6 with a 2.39 GAA and .919 SV% during the regular season.
David Pastrnak was tied for third-most points (95 – 48 G, 47 A), along with Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers. Meanwhile, Travis Konecny led the Flyers this season with 61 (24 G, 37 A).
Flyers Not Expected to Shine Offensively
Despite the news with Rask, the Flyers are tied for having the lowest implied team total (ITT) in goals today at 2.6, along with the Arizona Coyotes.
Flyers Moneyline (+115)
Prior to the league-wide stoppage, the Flyers were the hottest team in the NHL, and we’ve got confidence that they can keep that going. Rask already had a finger injury and now this latest issue of “not feeling well.” To add on, the Bruins didn’t look good at all in their exhibition game which would make this more of a spot where they’d try to get right. Philly seems like it’s more ready to go in this situation, and Hart is back in net full time now that he’s healthy.