The two teams split the games earlier in the week with the Flyers winning on Monday night in overtime, then falling in regulation on Tuesday. That loss certainly felt like the final nail in the coffin on the Flyers playoff hopes, but if they are to make any bid at getting back in the race, a regulation win on Saturday against Boston is a must.
The Flyers got a third-period power play in a tie game with a chance to grab the lead. Instead, they gave it away, allowing a shorthanded goal to Brad Marchand that proved to be the game-winner in a 4-2 loss to the Bruins at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers and Bruins meet again on Tuesday night, this time in Philadelphia, to complete the home-and-home and the second of three matchups this week that could ultimately determine the standings for good. For the Flyers, it's another must just to keep pace.
The result was what the Flyers needed. How long it took was what they didn’t. In this critical week in their season, the one that will likely define whether they choose to buy or sell – or do a little of both – at the deadline, the Flyers needed to win games. They have one to start, certainly a step in the right direction.
If the Flyers still want to believe a playoff push is truly possible, these next two games against the Boston Bruins are their season. If the Flyers win both in regulation, they will move into a tie with the Bruins, though Boston would still hold the edge with two games in hand. Still, the pressure would be on for both sides. But a loss to Boston in either game essentially answered the big, looming question for the Flyers regarding their trade deadline approach. The first game gets going on Monday night.
While it may have been an expected result given the circumstances, there were things on display where the lineup didn’t really matter. The Bruins have had the Flyers number all season. So has David Pastrnak. That wasn’t changing no matter who was on the ice.