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Preview; Bruins play second game in two days against East-leading Flyers

March 27, 2011

Just a day after a 1-0 loss to the Rangers the Bruins will travel to Philadelphia where they will take on the East’s top seeded Flyers. The Flyers also played yesterday, taking a 4-1 decision against the Islanders before traveling back to Philadelphia.

The Flyers look pretty comfortable in the top seed in the East. They lead the Washington Capitals by two points with two games in hand so barring a substantial skid they should hold home ice throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bruins will most likely take the third seed, they’re still up five points on the Canadiens and now have two games in hand. It would take a lot for the Bruins to jump up to the second seed.

James van Riemsdyk netted his first career hat trick in the 4-1 win on Long Island. The former second overall pick has never really impressed me, even in his college days, but there is no denying his potential. JVR now has 19 goals on the season and his mixture of size and youth make him a very dangerous factor in the playoffs. He’s the kind of depth player that makes the Flyers the most feared team in the East. He’s big and skilled and yet only relied upon as a third line player. He goes up against inferior lines a lot and pounces on them, making it hard to match up with the Flyers depth wise.

The Bruins had a hangover from their game against the Canadiens when they hosted the Rangers. The offense didn’t show up until the game was nearly over. The Rangers did a great job of muddling the neutral zone and keeping the Bruins skilled players honest with physicality. The Flyers will likely be as physical if not more but will be a lot more loose in the neutral zone than the Rangers were.

Expect Tim Thomas to get the start in net against Brian Boucher. Sergei Bobrovsky played last night and had to make 36 saves so the Flyers will most likely give him rest. Thomas is 9-2-2 lifetime against the Flyers but gave up five goals last time he played the Flyers.

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