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Game 31, Preview and Open Thread: On the Scene of the Winter Classic, Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins

#13 Philadelphia Flyers (14-15-1, 29 pts) at #5 Boston Bruins (16-9-6, 38 pts)
TD Garden - 7:00 PM EST - Boston, MA
TV: The Comcast Network HD, NESN HD
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 205
This is the open game thread.
Behind Enemy Lines: Stanley Cup of Chowder

A little over three miles away from TD Garden, through the Back Bay section of Boston, they're prepping the ice at Fenway Park for a little get together between the Bruins and Flyers on New Years Day. But if the team from Philadelphia is still floundering come January 1, that game will certainly lack some of the luster. Beating the Bruins at home tonight would be a nice first step toward turning the season around.

After a flat performance on Saturday night in Newark, the Flyers have no time to reflect as they'll play four games over the next six nights. At the same time, they can't trap themselves into looking ahead to a home and home with Pittsburgh coming up on Tuesday and Thursday. Boston is one of the better teams in the East yet again, and they'll certainly make the Flyers pay for such an error.

As has been the case over the last several weeks, it's the same old problems that are plaguing this team. No offense, no competitiveness, weak power play, etc. When will this hit rock bottom? For the love of Gene Hart, make it be tonight.

Braydon Coburn is out of the lineup tonight, hobbled with an ankle injury. Perhaps that's a reason for his weak play over the last... all season? Ole-Kristian Tollefsen returns to the lineup. Also, Dan Carcillo will be back in action tonight, fresh off his four game suspension. Don't sucker punch anybody tonight, please.

Good news for the Flyers: Milan Lucic is still out for Boston. Still, Boston is 8-1-2 in their last 11.

After the jump, line combinations, starting goaltenders, questions to answer, and our in-game open thread.

Flyers Line Combinations - conflicting reports, but this is what I've come up with.
Richards - Carcillo - Carter
Hartnell - Giroux - Briere
JVR - Pyorala - Asham
Laperriere - Kalinski - Cote

Carle - Pronger
Parent - Timonen
Bartulis - Tollefsen

Starting Goaltenders

Brian Boucher 11 592 3 7 25 2.53 259 234 .903 0

Tim Thomas 18 1077 7 7 45 2.51 507 462 .911 3

As you can see, Thomas hasn't had an excellent season thus far. Tuukka Rask has had a lot of playing time of late.

Questions To Answer

  1. Tim Thomas hasn't won a game since the 2nd and hasn't been great this season. Can the Flyers take advantage?
  2. Claude Giroux has scored the Flyers' last three goals. CAN SOMEONE ELSE SCORE, PLEASE?
  3. Can the Flyers get the first goal and gain some momentum early?
  4. Power play. Goals?
  5. How's Tollefsen look now that he's back in the lineup?
  6. Does Carcillo noticeably hold back at all, fresh off his four game suspension?

Tonight's game has been pushed from CSN over to sister channel The Comcast Network. Channel 8 (and 201 in HD) on Comcast systems in the Delaware Valley. Otherwise, listen in at 610 WIP and, as always, join us here for the conversation. LET'S GO FLYERS!