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Flyers seek to end struggles against rested Bruins
(SportsNetwork.com) - The struggling Philadelphia Flyers will try to put the brakes on a three-game losing streak when they welcome the well-rested Boston Bruins for Saturday's afternoon battle at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers were handed a 5-2 setback Thursday in Columbus, giving the club three consecutive losses for the first time since an 0-2-1 slide from Dec. 7-11.
It also marked Philadelphia's sixth loss in eight games and the recent funk has dropped the Flyers into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, where they are tied with Detroit. Philadelphia is even with Columbus in points, but the Blue Jackets took over the third automatic spot in the Metropolitan Division because they hold the current tiebreaker due to having played two less games than the Flyers.
Philadelphia led Columbus 2-1 in the early stages of the second period, but allowed the Blue Jackets to score four unanswered goals to skate away with the win. Ex-Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky faced his former team for the first time and stopped 26-of-28 shots to record the win.
Brayden Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier tallied for the Flyers, while Ray Emery was left in for all five scores on 39 shots in defeat.
"We're just not defending very well and we're not very good in our own end," Flyers head coach Craig Berube said of the team's recent struggles. "I don't think it's a work-ethic thing. I think it's just execution for the most part."
Philadelphia has lost two straight and four of its last five home games after going 10-0 as the host from Nov. 9-Jan. 8. The Flyers are 13-9-1 as the home team on the season.
The Flyers have won two straight over Boston, but the Bruins have taken nine of the last 13 meetings. Philly also has won the last two encounters at Wells Fargo Center, but the B's have claimed 11 of the past 15 in the City of Brotherly Love.
Boston hasn't played since beating the visiting Los Angeles Kings on Monday. The 3-2 regulation win was just the third victory in the last seven games for the defending Eastern Conference champions.
Brad Marchand tallied twice, including the game winner early in the third period to help the Bruins edge the Kings at TD Garden. Chad Johnson came up with 21 saves and Torey Krug added the other score for the Bruins, who bounced back from Sunday's 3-2 shootout loss in Chicago.
"I'm pretty impressed with our team and how we've handled ourselves," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien.
Boston, which is tied with Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division, is playing two straight on the road and will close the brief swing Monday against the New York Islanders. The Bruins are just 12-10-1 on the road this season compared to a stout 19-5-2 record on home ice.
The Bruins could have defenseman Dougie Hamilton back in the lineup today after he sat out the last four games with a concussion. Hamilton was cleared for contact on Friday and participated in practice.
Boston forward Chris Kelly also was cleared for contact on Friday and he could play Saturday for the first time suffering a fractured right fibula on Dec. 7 against Pittsburgh.
01/25 08:45:19 ET
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