Whether you weigh their last few wins all that much or not, the Philadelphia Flyers remain on a roll. The Flyers beat the Bruins 4-1 in the first NHL Return to Play round-robin game on Sunday.
Heading into the pandemic pause, the Flyers saw a nine-game winning streak end against the Bruins. Being that the Flyers won on Sunday and also their exhibition against the Penguins, this team’s been on quite an upward trend.
Again, there’s only so much you can take from these past two W’s, but it’s better to be on the winning side than not.
Round-robin game notes for Flyers, Bruins
The goalies: Hart gets some time in, mixed bag for Halak in relief of Rask
- Yes, this was technically Carter Hart‘s “playoff debut.” No, this game didn’t give us the best idea of how the young goalie will respond to top-level pressure. Because this felt more like somewhere between an exhibition game and a regular season contest. With that caveat in mind, Hart performed very nicely against the Bruins, making 34 out of 35 saves.
- Again, Hart didn’t face a keyed-in Bruins squad. Or, at least the Bruins have to hope this isn’t a keyed-in effort.
- Not the greatest outing for Jaroslav Halak. Halak gave up four goals against the Flyers, including one where he didn’t take the greatest angle against Scott Laughton. Halak probably wasn’t too pleased allowing this goal against Nate Thompson, either:
- Overall, Halak gives the Bruins a strong backup, even if Sunday didn’t go so well. Even so, Tuukka Rask finished as a 2020 Vezina Trophy finalist, so the Bruins have to hope that they can go with (a healthy) Plan A once the First Round rolls around.
[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]
Did any Flyers, Bruins get hurt? And other lineup notes from round-robin game
- Matt Grzelcyk took a puck to the face, but seemed OK.
- Michael Raffl needed help off of the ice after an awkward fall late in the Flyers – Bruins round-robin game. It’s a shame for Raffl, who played well on Sunday. This might improve Joel Farabee and others chances of taking a spot away from Raffl.
- While they didn’t make much of an impact, the Bruins must be pleased to see all of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak get some game action in.
- Bruce Cassidy said Rask had been “feeling better” even if Halak got the nod, for whatever that’s worth.
- Shayne Gostisbehere didn’t play for the Flyers. Will he eventually work his way back into the mix? This certainly doesn’t seem like the best sign for “Ghost.”
Eastern Conference round-robin schedule
Monday, Aug. 3: Capitals vs. Lightning, 4 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Lightning vs. Bruins, 4 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Thursday, Aug. 6: Capitals vs. Flyers, TBD
Saturday, Aug. 8: Flyers vs. Lightning, TBD
Sunday, Aug. 9: Bruins vs. Capitals, TBD
You can watch all the NHL playoff streams on the NBC Sports app.
Sunday’s other NHL games
Round-robin: Blues vs. Avalanche, 6:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN; livestream)
Game 1: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs, (joined-in-progress) 9 p.m. ET (NBCSN; livestream)
Game 1: Wild vs. Canucks, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN; livestream)
MONDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Game 2: Rangers vs. Hurricanes, 12 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 2: Jets vs. Flames, 2:30 p.m. ET (NHL Network)
Round-robin: Capitals vs. Lightning, 4 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Round-robin: Stars-Golden Knights, 6:30 p.m. ET (NHL Network)
Game 2: Canadiens vs. Penguins, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 2: Blackhawks vs. Oilers, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.