NEW YORK – Peter Laviolette was asked Tuesday morning about the one thing he’d like to see different from the Philadelphia Flyers’ prior game, a 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday afternoon.
“There’s no one thing,” Laviolette said. “There’s a whole bunch of things. I think collectively as a group, we weren’t sharp. I make no excuses for it. We didn’t play well enough. There is no one answer. I could give you different answers but instead of reciting them all, I think we’ll just work on them on the iced and try to be a better group.”
The Flyers will have a chance to bounce back after a day off Monday when they face the New York Rangers on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. Laviolette said he felt his team had played three good games in a row before the loss in Tampa, and that stretch included a 2-1 win against the Rangers in Philadelphia on Thursday.
The common thread in the Flyers’ four losses this season has been poor special teams, and to some extent, far too many unnecessary penalties.
In their two wins, the Flyers are 3-for-10 on the power play and 7-for-8 on the penalty kill; in their four losses, they are 1-for-21 on the power play and have allowed eight power-play goals in 21 shorthanded chances.
The Flyers have also been outscored 10-2 and are 0-2 in the second half of back-to-backs this season.
“It seems penalties is one of the issues,” Flyers forward Danny Briere said. “Two were bad losses we didn’t play well in and in both cases it was the second game of a back-to-back and it’s an area we’ll have to improve. Everybody has to play the back-to-back games. We’ll have to better there.”
Briere said though his wrist is healthy enough to play against the Rangers, he isn’t ready to take faceoffs.
Laviolette was secretive about his lineup, but here are the lines he showed during practice:
Scratched: Kurtis Foster
Lilja would not say, but he appears to be checking into the lineup in place of Kurtis Foster. As for the fourth line, Rinaldo also didn’t confirm if he would replace Tye McGinn. It will likely be a game-time decision, as Rinaldo is coming off a leg injury.
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