The Boston Bruins have enjoyed the NHL’s best home-ice advantage over the last three seasons, but TD Garden proved to be anything but friendly to the Bruins in their opening homestand.
After turning things around on the road, they’ll try to bring the success home Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers, who continue to struggle offensively.
Boston (2-3-0) went a league-best 71-22-13 at home over the last three seasons but has dropped its first three games there for the first time since losing its first four in 1965-66.
The Bruins bounced back with victories at Colorado and Arizona, however, outscoring those teams 11-5.
"You’ve got to try to find the positive things out of it," coach Claude Julien told the team’s official website, referring to the homestand. "We did, and we just kept building on it. It was nice to see us reap the benefits from those adjustments on the road."
Limiting opportunities for the Avalanche and Coyotes seemed to be crucial to Boston’s improved play. The Bruins gave up a combined 45 shots compared to an average of 31.0 in the first three.
The power play was also successful in the 5-3 win at Arizona on Saturday with Patrice Bergeron scoring twice on the man advantage in the final 11 minutes. David Krejci also tallied on a second-period power play. His two assists pushed his point total to nine, placing him among the league leaders.
"We’re moving the puck really well and we’re taking what’s open. We’re not trying to force plays right now," Bergeron said. "We’ve got to do some more of that."
Philadelphia (2-2-1) has been limited to one goal in three of its last four games. Only five players have scored goals with Matt Read and Brayden Schenn scoring two apiece.
Some of the Flyers’ struggles may be due to bad luck, as they’re outshooting opponents 161-155. Sean Couturier scored their lone goal in the third period of Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Dallas, which came despite a 35-32 advantage in shots.
Philadelphia was unable to build off its season-high goal total in last Wednesday’s 3-0 win against Chicago.
"You don’t always get the bounces. All you can really do is look to the positives in this game and build on it from there," forward Wayne Simmonds told the team’s official website. "We have another one tomorrow night. That’s the best part about the NHL. We have another opportunity for redemption."
Simmonds led the team with 28 goals in 2014-15 but is still looking for his first this season. Jakub Voracek, who ranked fourth in the NHL with 81 points, is also scoreless, along with Michael Raffl, the team’s fourth-leading goal scorer a season ago. That trio has combined for 34 shots.
Steve Mason made 30 saves Tuesday after missing two games due to personal reasons. He could be spelled on the second night of a back-to-back in favor of Michal Neuvirth, who posted shutout victories in his first two starts.
Tuukka Rask owns a 4.29 goals-against average and .851 save percentage for Boston but is 8-1-0 with a 1.43 GAA in his last nine starts against Philadelphia.
The Bruins have won 15 of the last 19 meetings and five in a row at home.