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Preview: Bruins battle Flyers in home opener

The B’s welcome a contender to the friendly confines of TD Garden.

NHL: Eastern Conference Qualifications-Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Just the Facts

When: 7 PM

Where: TD Garden

How to Watch: NBC Sports Network, NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN Site: Broad Street Hockey

Know Your Enemy

  • 3-1-0, six points, first in the Eastern division
  • Travis Konecny: 4-2-6 in four games
  • Carter Hart: 2-1-0, 3.66 GAA, .899 SV%

Game Notes

Two of the Eastern Conference’s juggernauts clash in the Bruins’ 2020-21 home opener.

Despite lofty preseason expectations for both, only the Flyers look to be playing up to their potential thus far.

The Bruins’ 1-1-1 record has been padded by a stellar penalty kill and solid positional defense. However, without an even strength goal, the Bruins are sorely missing any real scoring punch.

Averaging just a goal per game, the Bruins will need to light the lamp more often to keep paced with the high-octane Flyers’ offense.

Averaging 3.75 goals per game to kick off the campaign, the Flyers have mixed veteran stars with emerging young talent up front. Their potent attack will provide a stern test to many of the Bruins’ young defensemen and is certainly a step up from the attacking core of the Devils and Islanders.

While the Bruins’ penalty kill has looked phenomenal, young forwards Anders Bjork and Jack Studnicka will be tested against a Flyers power play that has converted on a quarter of its opportunities on the man advantage.

Aside from being drubbed by the Buffalo Sabres in their first match-up, the Flyers have encountered nothing but smooth sailing so far, winning their three games by a 14-5 margin.

Despite their abbreviated success, their underlying possession numbers do not suggest a team leading their division - rather, they imply the opposite: the Flyers are dead last in shots-for percentage by a wide margin at 40.31%.

The team’s Corsi For percentage tops only the Islanders and at five-on-five, the Flyers expected goals per 60 minutes resides at 1.92. For perspective, the Bruins metric for the same statistic is 2.14. (Not the time to mention five-on-five scoring? Oh. Got it.)

As the first of (at least) eight meetings between the teams this season, tonight’s battle will be pivotal for the Bruins to establish momentum and get their offense on the right track.