Home » Blog » Bruins Look To Clinch Top Spot, Host Flyers

Bruins Look To Clinch Top Spot, Host Flyers

On Saturday Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins will look to handle the Flyers once more, securing the Eastern Conference's top playoff seed in the process.

On Saturday Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins will look to sweep their season series with the Philadelphia Flyers, securing the Eastern Conference’s top playoff seed in the process.

While all eyes prepare for tonight’s college basketball action in North Texas, the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins will kick start the day with a head-to-head matchup that will likely impact the NHL’s Eastern Conference standings.

Opening faceoff at TD Garden is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET.

Boston (52-18-7, 111pts) will take to the ice knowing that a win will secure the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.

Currently eight points clear of the Pittsburgh Penguins with five games to play, and with the head-to-head advantage secured, the Bruins are all but assured to lock up home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference portion of the playoffs.

Head coach Claude Julien won’t be content with first in the East though. With the Bruins tied with the St. Louis Blues for the league’s best record, he’ll look to spur his team on to the Presidents’ Trophy and home advantage throughout the postseason.

Before he can do that, he’ll need to guide his team back to winning ways. The Bruins have dropped two in a row following road losses to the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. Thursday’s game north of the border went to overtime after the B’s rallied, but the Leafs went home with the final say.

Prior to this two-game skid, Boston had won 15 of its last 16 to charge to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Julien will be confident his team can return to this form heading into the final week of play.

Philadelphia (39-28-9, 87pts) is in for a lot rougher final stretch than their opponents on Saturday.

After washing away a poor start to the season with a sustained run that saw the team climb into playoff contention, the Flyers have struggled once more of late. With a 1-3-2 record over the last six, Craig Berube’s side is precariously clinging to a postseason berth.

The Flyers will go into Saturday’s game two points clear of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the race for the third automatic qualifying spot in the Metropolitan Division. Were the Flyers to be overtaken in that race, they would then have to fend off Toronto and the New Jersey Devils, currently three and five points behind respectively.

Berube would do well to keep his message to the team simple: just win!

But winning has come hard over the last 10 days or so. The Flyers will look to prevent a four-game losing streak on Saturday. They’ll also look to actually score.

The Flyers were shutout against St. Louis on Tuesday before being blanked by the Blue Jackets on Thursday, a game that marked the first time Columbus had ever won in Philadelphia. Now the Flyers will look to avoid a franchise-first three-game scoreless drought.

The Bruins and Flyers faced off just last Sunday in the City of Brotherly Love. The Bruins took that game 4-3 following a shootout, adding to a 6-1 victory at Wells Fargo Center back on January 25. A win on Saturday would mark Boston’s first season sweep of the Flyers since the 1989-90 campaign.

Tuukka Rask (34-15-5, 2.04 GAA, .930 SV%) is likely to sit between the pipes for the Bruins. Ranked in the league’s top five in wins, goals against average and save percentage, Rask is 2-0-0 against the Flyers this season.

Steve Mason (31-18-7, 2.53 GAA, .916 SV%) will take to the goal for the Flyers. He’s 0-1-1 against the Bruins this season.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins odds for 04/05/2014

Boston (-186) opened as the moneyline favorite over Philadelphia (+169) and will look to secure an 13th win in 16 games against the Flyers.

The Bruins have won five of the last six the two sides have played at TD Garden.

The total (5.5) is expected to go under, which leaves bettors with an opportunity to make some money.

Both games between the sides this season have finished with seven goals. The under has paid out in five of Boston’s last seven at home but the over has cashed in in eight of Philadelphia’s last 11 on the road, as well as the last three head-to-head matchups.

The over certainly looks like the smart bet in this one.

For a full list of today’s NHL odds, click here.

For updated NHL futures odds, click here.

For a selection of NHL team prop bets, click here.

For a selection of NHL player prop bets, click here.

  • 100%