The Philadelphia Flyers will attempt to establish a National Hockey League record of 29 consecutive games without a loss when they visit the Boston Garden today for a 1:15 p.m. game against the Boston Bruins.
The Flyers needed a goal with 4:08 remaining Thursday night to tie the Pittsburgh Penguins, 1-1, to keep their unbeaten streak alive and tie the mark of 28 set during the 1977-78 season by the Montreal Canadiens.
The Flyers are 20-0-8 during their stretch; Montreal was 23-0-5.
Flyer Coach Pat Quinn says the streak has had a slightly negative effect on his team's play, although the Flyers are 20-1-9 overall, hold a 14-point lead over the second-place N.Y. Rangers in the Patrick Division and own the best record in the NHL.
"The pressure of the streak has been showing in the way we've played," Quinn said. "We've been tentative in many games, like we were playing not to lose rather than win."
Center Rick MacLeish concurred, "We played their (Pittsburgh's) game the first two periods. I don't know why we do it. We had St. Louis in here and although we beat them we sort of played along with them the first two periods."
Against Pittsburgh, the Flyers took 16 of their 35 shots in the third period, finally sliding one past Greg Millen, the Penguin's rookie goalie, when Behn Wilson scored after a pass across the crease from Dennis Ververgaert.
The Penguins argued vehemently that Wilson had kicked the puck into the net, but referee Newell disagreed.
The Flyers earned a 2-2 tie in their only other meeting this year with the Bruins, who beat Toronto, 10-0, Thursday. They would settle for a repeat today.
Getting past the Bruins on their home ice will be no easy feat. Boston is 18-8-5, second to Buffalo in the Adams Division. Gerry Cheevers will likely be in goal for Boston today.