Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
Boston has been holding on to the second Wild Card spot in the East with 72 points through 63 games. Philadelphia is gunning for that spot, sitting just four points back of the Bruins , though the Black and Gold have two games in hand.
The Florida Panthers (70 points, 65 games) and Ottawa Senators (69 points, 63 games) are both chasing the Bruins as well.
Needless to say, the Bruins need to start creating separation in the standings. Saturday's game is yet another opportunity to do that.
"I think the intensity has been high for a while," Dennis Seidenberg said pregame from TD Garden. "We all know what we're playing for, especially today, we're playing against a team that's a few points back behind us so we all know the importance of this game, and we're looking forward to it."
"Every team we're going to play, it's going to be a fight, it's going to be a battle," said captain Zdeno Chara. "We have a number of teams that are really closing on us and some teams ahead of us that we're going to be facing and pretty much every game, it's going to be a big battle for every point."
"So it won't be different for whatever reasons for the rest of the season."
A strong game on Saturday will set the Bruins up for a back-to-back on Sunday when they host the Detroit Red Wings at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC (which will feel like 11:30 a.m., due to the turning the clocks ahead for Daylight Saving Time).
"We have to approach every game almost like a must-win," said Chara. "You know, it's only a few games left in the season and we have to really focus on having a good start, a good 60-minute game."
The Bruins have scored first in six straight contests entering Saturday's game, after going six of their previous seven games allowing the first goal. Their preparation has ramped up with the playoff race heating up.
"Guys seem to be a lot more intense and a lot more focused," said Spooner, who is making his first playoff push with the big club. "And I guess that's to be expected, so it's a good thing."
Following Friday's practice at TD Garden, Head Coach Claud Julien spoke about the message to his team as they head into the back-to-back and a busy month of March.
"[Saturday] is obviously a huge game for Philadelphia and it should be a huge game for us," said Julien. "Those are teams that are obviously gunning for us and if we ant some separation, then we've got to be able to win those kinds of games. I know we have Detroit the next day, but we also have Ottawa the beginning of the week and the month of March is going to be a tough one, as you know."
"We've just got to respond to it and make the most of it, and get ourselves going on a good roll here," the bench boss continued. "I still feel strongly that our team has played well - like [against Calgary] should have been a win, there's no doubt. Our finish is really the thing that tarnishes a lot of things."
"And when you don't win games, I look at bugs here and there and I look at the games over and over again, and the chances we get, and the chances we don't give the other team and everything else is just - right now, it's all about having some better finish when we do get those good scoring chances and that will solve a lot of the issues here."
Julien confirmed pregame that Gregory Campbell would be slotting back into the lineup against the Flyers. He was sidelined for the previous four games with an upper-body injury. Brian Ferlin will be the healthy scratch. Look for Campbell and Max Talbot to possible share faceoff duties, with two capable centers on the line.
Daniel Paille could skate alongside Campbell and Talbot, or Julien could swap him with Kelly to give Soderberg and Eriksson more speed.
Lucic Leading Way for Spooner, Pastrnak
The trio of Milan Lucic, Spooner and David Pastrnak has been showing spark offensively and starting to find chemistry, though they're still focused on being more responsible defensively. The forwards have combined for 10 points (four goals and six assists) in their past three games.
"It's been good. We've had some ups and some downs but I think for the most part, we've used our speed and stuff like that, so it's gone good," said Spooner.
Lucic has helped by leading the way for the two young guns.
"He's been in the League now for I think it's his eighth season now, so just to have a guy like that that has the experience and all of that kind of stuff is great," said Spooner. "Just in practice, he's been great and he's been telling us 'we've got to keep it going' and stuff like that, we've been playing well but there's still a lot of games left that we have to play."
Tightening Up the PK
The Bruins allowed two power-play goals on seven opportunities for the Flames in Thursday's 4-3 shootout loss. The Flyers own the third ranked power play in the League, and the Bruins contained them well during their previous matchup in Philadelphia in January.
"I think we want to be a little bit more aggressive," said Seidenberg. "We've been a little bit too passive in the last few games, letting them walk off the half wall or just giving them too much time in certain areas, so for us, we need to be a little bit more intense and jump them when we can, and don't let them set up and get those plays they want to."
Projected Lineup vs. Flyers March 7
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith
Milan Lucic - Ryan Spooner - David Pastrnak
Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Max Talbot
Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski - Dennis Seidenberg
Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid
Starter: Tuukka Rask // Backup: Niklas Svedberg
Healthy Scratch: Brian Ferlin
Injured: Brett Connolly (finger), David Krejci (MCL), Kevan Miller (shoulder, out for season)