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Ice Breakers: Bruins-Flyers, Monday 12/14

The TD Garden will host a Winter Classic preview this evening, as the Philadelphia Flyers (14-15-1) come to the Hub for a matchup with the Bruins (16-9-6).

Boston is coming off a disappointing 3-2 overtime loss at the hands of the New York Islanders, a team the B’s just can’t seem to figure out this year. Despite the loss, Boston still is on an impressive 8-1-2 streak in their last 11 games.

Heading in the opposite direction are the Flyers, who are 2-8-0 in their last 10, and 1-4-0 since switching to new head coach Peter Laviolette. After Tuesday’s big 6-2 win over the Islanders, Philly has dropped their last two matchups, a 2-0 shutout to Ottawa and a 4-1 loss in New Jersey.

Here now, a closer look at tonight’s skate at the Garden…

  • The Flyers won 4-3 in a shootout in the first matchup of the season between these two teams, back on Oct. 22nd.
  • Philly leads the NHL in penalty minutes per game, at 17.8.
  • The injury bug has hit the Flyers hard lately. Centers Blair Betts (shoulder) and Darroll Powe (shoulder), along with winger Simon Gagne (groin) and goalie Ray Emery (abdomen surgery) all will miss tonight’s game.
  • On the score sheet, Philly is led by center Jeff Carter (11G, 14A), followed by veteran center Mike Richards (13G, 12A), and left wing Scott Hartnell (9G, 12A). Claude Giroux has scored the team’s last three goals.
  • In goal, with starter Ray Emery sidelined indefinitely with an abdomen injury, the net will be manned by backup Brian Boucher (3-7-0, 2.53GAA). Also, the Flyers have called up Johan Backlund from their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. Backlund has yet to see NHL action.
  • Early indications from this morning’s pregame skate point to Tim Thomas starting tonight’s game in goal for the Black and Gold.

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