NHL: Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers Preview & Picks Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Monday, 26 November 2007 02:43
NHL Headline News

Measure of Revenge

The last time they faced the Philadelphia Flyers, one of the Boston Bruins' best players ended up in the hospital and hasn't returned to the ice since.

The Bruins look to post a rare road victory and gain a small measure of revenge Monday night when they continue a six-game road trip against the first-place Flyers.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Philadelphia -180 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 73% of bets for this game have been placed on Philadelphia -180 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

In Philadelphia's 2-1 road victory over Boston on Oct. 27, Flyers defenseman Randy Jones checked Bruins center Patrice Bergeron from behind in the first period. Bergeron lost consciousness and was taken from the ice on a stretcher after he was slammed face-first into the boards.

Diagnosed with a severe concussion and a broken nose, Bergeron hasn't played since the hit and there remains no timetable for his return.

Jones was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct and later suspended two games by the NHL.

"Words really can't express the way that I feel right now. I am very apologetic for the hit and what I did," Jones said in a statement released by the team. "It was not intentional. It is something that I have never done before and it is not part of my character. I am extremely sorry.

"I hope he does OK and everything works out for him. I wish him nothing but the best in his recovery."

Boston (11-8-2) has gone 5-4-2 without Bergeron - second on the team last season with 70 points - and clearly misses his playmaking ability. Only the New York Islanders (49) have scored fewer goals than the Bruins (52).

A punchless offense proved too much to overcome as Boston opened its trip Saturday with a 2-1 loss to the Islanders, settling for a split of a home-and-home series. P.J. Axelsson scored for Boston, which dropped to 1-4-1 in its last six road games.

"We didn't put out our best effort," forward Marc Savard said. "We didn't apply any pressure. We just sat back on our heels. We need to go to Philly and have 20 guys going, not just a couple."

Tim Thomas was Boston's best player in back-to-back games against the Islanders, stopping 49 of 52 shots. Thomas is 3-1-1 with a 2.77 goals-against average in five career starts versus Philadelphia.

Savard has one goal and eight assists during a six-game point streak overall. He has three goals and seven assists in his last five contests against the Flyers.

Philadelphia (13-7-2) became only the third team this season to win in regulation at Ottawa on Saturday, as red-hot Daniel Briere had a goal and two assists in a 4-3 victory over the Senators.

R.J. Umberger, Scott Hartnell and Mike Richards also scored for the Flyers, who have at least one point in six of seven games (4-1-2).

Despite playing without regular linemate Simon Gagne the past eight games, Briere has produced seven goals and five assists during that span.

"For myself, it's been kind of a roller coaster this season, especially since Gagne went down, it's been tough," Briere said. "I've been switching lines left and right, but the last few games it seems to be clicking. That winning goal was a perfect example. It was probably my easiest goal of the year."

With Antero Niittymaki making a rare start Saturday, Martin Biron figures to be back in net Monday. Biron is 6-1-2 with two shutouts and a 2.05 GAA this season at home.

The Flyers have won three straight against the Bruins.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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