Flyers hope to have Rasmus Ristolainen back against Bruins


The Philadelphia Flyers will look to open the season with points in three consecutive games when they host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

The Flyers began the season with one point in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks and then throttled the expansion Seattle Kraken 6-1 on Monday.

Eleven different Flyers picked up at least one point, and goaltender Carter Hart stopped 23 of 24 shots in the impressive five-goal victory.

Philadelphia will aim to keep the positive home momentum moving against the Bruins.

“We’ve got a good group here. We have fun at the rink,” Hart said. “But we know when it’s time to go to work.”

After a choppy opener, the Flyers were much more consistent for 60 minutes against the Kraken.

“I think we were just more direct as a line,” said Travis Konecny, who scored a goal. “We were shooting the puck, and if the shot wasn’t there, then don’t force anything.”

The Flyers will face a formidable opponent when the Bruins arrive in town. And they might have a valuable offseason acquisition available to join them.

Philadelphia’s 6-foot-4 defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen appears to be on target to return from an upper body injury. He practiced Sunday and participated in Monday’s morning skate.

Head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn’t officially commit to Ristolainen’s return, labeling him “day-to-day.”

“Risto brings a lot to our team,” Travis Sanheim said. “His physicality is definitely one of (those things). He sets a tone out there, he keeps guys second-guessing. That definitely helps when you’ve got him on the ice, puts guys on their heels. You need that from time to time.”

The Bruins will be searching for their second consecutive victory to open the season following a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars last Saturday.

Brad Marchand scored two goals – a penalty shot and an empty net goal which sealed the victory.

The Bruins looked to have solid team chemistry in the opener. The goal now is to keep it going on the road against a quality opponent.

“It just dragged on,” Marchand said, referring to training camp. “But I think with the group we have – we’ve bonded so quick already and really come together quickly. I think we’re all really excited to see what we’re gonna do this year, how it’s gonna play out.”

Like Hart, the Bruins also feature a solid young goaltender in 22-year-old Jeremy Swayman. He finished last season with a 7-3-0 record and then stopped 27 of 28 shots against the Stars last Saturday.

“Going into it, I just wanted to treat it like another game, no bigger or smaller than what I’ve played before,” Swayman said. “Now, I do realize the magnitude of it, and it’s pretty special, something I’ll never forget. I think it’s gonna be a really fun year.”

“I love that kid,” Marchand added of Swayman. “He’s such a good person in the room and off the ice. He fits in great, he’s so genuine and he’s been very calm from the first day he’s been here.”

–Field Level Media

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