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Penalties doom Flyers in Game 4's 10-3 loss

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

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Penalties doom Flyers in Game 4's 10-3 loss
The Flyers gave the Penguins nine power plays. Pittsburgh scored on four of them en route to a 10-3 win in Game 4.

PHILADELPHIA -- Through three games of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, the Philadelphia Flyers had touted how proud they were of their ability to stay disciplined and avoid ill-timed or unnecessary penalties.


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All of that talk went out the window in a second period that saw them whistled for seven minor penalties, as well as a 10-minute misconduct and game misconduct for forward Zac Rinaldo.

For the game, the Flyers were called for 16 penalties totaling 64 minutes -- compared to the Penguins' 10 penalties totaling 36 minutes.

And unlike Game 3, where most of the penalties were for physical play, the ones the Flyers were guilty of Wednesday two for interference, one for holding, another for holding the stick.

In all, the Flyers gave the Penguins nine power plays. Pittsburgh scored on four of them en route to a 10-3 win.

The nine power plays were nearly as many as the Flyers had allowed in the first three games (12).

Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen chalked it up to one thing.

"Skating," he said. "When we skate we're a really good team. When we don't, we take penalties. The system was not there [and] skating is the biggest one."

After what happened in Game 3, Timonen said he knew Game 4 would be more closely policed by the officials, and said he believed the Flyers earned every trip to the penalty box.

"There were a couple penalties I think they should have let go," he said, "but it wasn't them. It was us. We were bad today."

And the Flyers, knowing just how good a power play that features Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang can be, knew giving that group so many chances would be a recipe for disaster.

"Like we said early on in the series, they have one of the best power plays in the League," said Claude Giroux. "You give them opportunities, they're going to put it in. We've got to do a better job of being disciplined. Can't give that team a lot of power plays like that."

While the Penguins were taking advantage of their chances, it meant some of the Flyers' biggest offensive weapons were stuck on the bench.

Danny Briere, the team's second-leading scorer, played just 14:09. Jaromir Jagr played just 13:56, Jakub Voracek 13:13, Brayden Schenn 12:18, and Wayne Simmonds just 10:58. Those five players had combined for eight goals and 14 assists in the first three games.

If the Flyers want to end this series in Game 5 on Friday, they know those key offensive performers have to be on the ice, and that means staying out of the penalty box.

"We certainly need to make a change," coach Peter Laviolette said. "We can't go to the box, but we did, we're guilty of it. Can't do it."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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