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Flyers focus on added aggressiveness on offense

Monday, 04.28.2014 / 3:00 PM

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / Rangers-Flyers series blog

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Rangers-Flyers series blog
Flyers focus on added aggressiveness on offense

VOORHEES, N.J. -- The Philadelphia Flyers remain a confident bunch heading into Game 6 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH) because they feel they still haven't played their best game.

In order to get there, the focus has to be on being better in the offensive zone.

"We have to be more aggressive," defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "We have to get more shots. When we are more aggressive I think we create some turnovers, we score more, we get more shots on net. It comes down to being more aggressive.

"Sometimes you sit back a little too much and give too much room for the other team. That's not really our game. Our game is skating and forecheck hard and being aggressive. … We've got to play our game. It doesn't matter what they do. Sometimes we worry way too much about what they do, how many shots they block. Who cares? Just go out there and do your job, and we're going to be fine."

Through the first five games the Flyers have averaged a League-low 24.6 shots per game; that's down from their 30.4 regular-season average. They also have six goals at even-strength in the series, while allowing 12.

The Flyers have struggled to get shots through to the net due to the Rangers' shot-blocking ability. New York has blocked 90 shots in the first five games, including 28 in Game 3.

But they can't block every shot, so the Flyers believe quantity will equate to quality.

"They block a lot of shots, but it's up to us to find the lanes," Timonen said. "What's the way to get more shots? We've got to be skating more and aggressive and create some turnovers and put the puck in the net."

And with getting more shots the belief is that will create more second- and third-chance opportunities.

"There's a lot of rebounds in my opinion, but we don't get to those rebounds," Timonen said. "That's one of those things where we have to get better. In the playoffs you need dirty goals and those things are dirty goals. Get the rebounds that go in the net and get those goals. We just have to create more offense."

The other problem the Flyers have faced is when they have gotten pucks down low, they've been unable to generate chances due to the Rangers' quickness defending the puck carrier.

"They've been smothering us down low," forward Wayne Simmonds said. "As soon as you get the puck, you turn up and they've got three guys on you right away. We have to make smarter and faster decisions with the puck when we're getting it below the goal line. They have their two players in there right away and … if you don't get your other guy in there, the third guy comes in and picks up the puck."

The belief in the Philadelphia locker room is that by turning up the intensity in the offensive zone, they'll have a chance to win Game 6 and force Game 7 in New York on Wednesday.

"We talked about certain things we can do and we haven't done them good enough," coach Craig Berube said. "We have to get better at it here [in Game 6]. We've got to do a real good job with that.

"They're a fast team. They take time and space away from you quickly. So we need more guys in the battle quicker. And we need to play a quicker game out there, more aggressive."

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Quote of the Day

Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com