BOSTON _ My, isn’t this turning into an interesting stretch of games for the Flyers.
For those who think the NHL’s regular season is a waste of time, you should have tuned into the Flyers’ pulsating 2-1 overtime win in Boston on Saturday night. If the game didn’t get you excited, well, you just don’t enjoy hockey.
And, now, comes this: The streaking Flyers, who are 7-1-3 in their last 11 games, against the out-of-this-world Pittsburgh Penguins, winners of 12 straight. The teams will meet Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center, which, we suspect, won’t have a difficult time matching the electric atmosphere that filled TD Garden here on Saturday.
Rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovky is 2-1 against the Penguins this season and was expected to start on Tuesday.
But Brian Boucher, who was brilliant in Saturday’s win over the Bruins, is making a strong case to get the nod. In his last four starts (3-0-1), Boucher has a 1.21 goals-against average and a .960 save percentage.
“I thought he was in control of the game tonight,” coach Peter Laviolette said, echoing his sentiments following the Flyers’ 4-1 win in Toronto Thursday.
For the season, Boucher has a 2.23 goals-against average and .919 save percentage, while Bobrovsky has a 2.29 GAA and .922 save percentage.
Lavvy will have a few days before deciding on Tuesday’s goalie against Sidney Crosby and Co.
Crosby has scored in 18 straight games for the Pens, who have dropped a pair of 3-2 decisions this season to the Flyers in Pittsburgh. The Penguins beat the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center, 5-1.
Crosby is having a sick-sick-sick season _ 26 goals, 25 assists and 51 points in 31 games.
When the Flyers have contained Crosby, they have beaten the Penguins. Crosby was scoreless in the teams’ opener and he managed just an assist in the Flyers’ other 3-2 win.
In the Penguins’ 5-1 triumph, Crosby had two goals and an assist.
Tuesday’s game will be a battle for first place in the Atlantic Division. The Penguins (21-8-2) have 44 points _ one more than the Flyers (19-7-5).
It’s not only the battle of Pennsylvania, but it will decide who has the best overall record in the NHL.
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Breakaways. Kimmo Timonen was a team-best plus-2 and blocked five shots…..Chris Pronger took a game-high six shots…..Boston won 58 percent of the face-offs….After being outshot by a 34-26 margin in regulation, the Flyers had a 7-2 edge in OT....Laviolette's parents were in the crowd.
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