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Flyers pay big price for power-play failures

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

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Flyers pay big price for power-play failures
The Flyers had a pair of power plays in overtime, but failed to take advantage of either. In fact, they managed just one shot on their two opportunities.

NEWARK, N.J. -- Danny Briere didn't mince words when he asked about what happened to his team in its 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.

Danny Briere
Danny Briere
Right Wing - PHI
GOALS: 8 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 12
SOG: 24 | +/-: -4
"I think the power plays cost us the game tonight," he said.

The Flyers had a pair of power plays in overtime, but failed to take advantage of either. In fact, they managed just one shot on their two opportunities.

The Flyers went 1-for-5 with the extra man in the game, and now are just 2-for-16 in three games.

"I was trying to protect it the first two games saying good things were going to happen, it was just a matter of time," Briere said. "But the last two games, the all-round effort on the power play is not good enough. Seems like we just think they're going to let us do whatever we want out there. Their penalty-kill unit is outworking us by a mile. And it's the reason why we lost the last two games. If the power play is hungry, it's a different story. We could be up 3-0 instead of down 2-1."

The Flyers' extra-man struggles are stunning after the way they rolled through the Penguins in the first round, going 12-for-23 in the six-game series win.

"It's two totally different teams, two different penalty kills," Brayden Schenn said. "We just have to find a way to adjust and be better."

The Devils have attacked the Flyers far more aggressively than the Penguins did, and so far the Flyers have had not been able to adjust and raise their level of play.


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"They're coming after us," Briere said. "But we're trying to do everything by ourselves. We're not winning any battles by ourselves. We know they're coming hard, but we're not playing for each other. Either we're not winning our battles or we're not getting in there to help someone out. They're shorthanded and they're outnumbering us to the puck left and right. And when I say that I include myself. I'm in the group. We all have to be better on the power play."

Their first chance in OT came at 8:23 when Dainius Zubrus was called for boarding for a hit on Matt Carle. The Flyers didn't get a single shot, despite for a time having an extra advantage when New Jersey defenseman Mark Fayne lost his stick. But they never even attempted a shot.

"I knew [Fayne lost his stick] and that's why I kept the puck there for a little bit in the corner, trying to find an opening," Briere said. "Even when I went on the other side, they gave it to their defenseman and I gave it across to either Matt [Carle] or Jake [Voracek], to use that forward without a stick, but unfortunately Jake lost the puck behind the net."

Just over two minutes after the Zubrus penalty, the Flyers got another break when Bryce Salvador flipped the puck over the glass, earning a delay-of-game call. Again, the Flyers couldn't take advantage, as their only shot was a backhand attempt by James van Riemsdyk that Devils goalie Martin Brodeur easily stopped and held as a Flyers player crashed into the goal. Briere lost two ensuing faceoffs, and the Devils were able to kill off the penalty.

"I don't know what happened," Voracek said. "We're going to look at the video [Friday] and have to make sure we're better on Sunday."

With two days off before Game 4, coach Peter Laviolette will undoubtedly spend plenty of time with his power-play units.

"I think all five guys got to work harder," Claude Giroux added. "The reason why we've been successful this season is because we work hard and win a lot of battles and shoot pucks on net. So I think we have to go back to that."

Beyond the X's and O's or whatever they see on the video, Briere said it's time for the players on the two power-play units to take pride in their opportunity to be on the ice when the Flyers have the man-advantage.

"The 10 to 12 guys that are on the power play, it's time to step up here now and want to be out there," he said. "It's an honor to be out there. Right now we take it for granted."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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