The Philadelphia Flyers endured a November to remember for all the wrong reasons, capping the month with nine straight losses (0-4-5) while fans at the Wells Fargo Center chanted for coach Dave Hakstol to be fired following the latest setback. The Flyers look to embrace December and quiet the naysayers - including those in their own building - on Saturday afternoon when they host the Boston Bruins.
“We know it’s us. (Hakstol) doesn’t play the game. It’s us. I feel sorry (for him),” defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. “We’re the ones out there playing the game. We’re the ones putting the effort in, and it’s not good enough.” Captain Claude Giroux extended his point streak to five games (two goals, five assists) when he scored 48 seconds into Tuesday’s game versus San Jose, but Philadelphia mustered nothing else in a 3-1 setback. While the Flyers can’t buy a win, the Bruins defeated one of the league’s top teams (Tampa Bay) on Wednesday for their fifth victory in six outings. Brad Marchand, who notched a pair of assists in his return from a six-game absence due to an undisclosed injury, ravaged Philadelphia with three goals and as many assists as Boston went 2-0-1 in last season’s series.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), Sportsnet, NBCSN Philadelphia
ABOUT THE BRUINS (11-8-4): While Marchand and fellow forward David Backes returned from multi-game absences on Wednesday, Boston could see a few more familiar faces back in the lineup for Saturday’s matinee. Rookie Anders Bjork, who skated with the team on Friday, is expected to return after being sidelined for the last seven games with an upper-body injury. The 21-year-old and David Krejci joined the team in heading to Philadelphia, but the latter is doubtful at best after aggravating his back injury that sidelined him for a full month earlier in the season.
ABOUT THE FLYERS (8-10-7): Wayne Simmonds began the season on fire with a hat trick in the opener and three game-winning goals in the first five contests, but now the 29-year-old has barely ignited any semblance of a spark with one tally in his last 17 games. The former 30-goal scorer, however, has helped in the development of 19-year-old linemate and No. 2 overall pick Nolan Patrick, telling Philly.com that “I really like his hockey IQ and he seems like he is older than he is to me.” Brian Elliott has been pierced for 19 goals in his last four starts overall and owns a 3-6-3 career mark with an .889 save percentage against Boston.
1. Philadelphia RW/LW Jordan Weal is expected to draw back into the lineup after being a scratched in his last two games.
2. Boston LW David Pastrnak (team-leading 12 goals, 21 assists) is riding a four-game point streak.
3. The Flyers last lost 10 in a row in February 2008, posting an 0-8-2 mark.
PREDICTION: Bruins 4, Flyers 1