NEW YORK – It’s become a chronic occurrence for the Flyers. Sometimes from their own volition, others from reputation. Regardless, it’s something that eats away at coach Craig Berube.
The Flyers take too many penalties.
They took six in the first two periods against the Rangers that led to five power play chances for the Blue shirts, who just so happen to have the sixth-best power play in the league, and while it wasn’t the primary reason for a 4-1 loss at Madison Square Garden, it was certainly on everyone’s mind after the game.
Although the Flyers penalty kill has been rolling of late, putting themselves behind the eight ball so often was a detriment they couldn’t overcome.
“We talk about it all the time,” Berube said. “It’s got to stop. It’s been better, but it wasn’t tonight for sure. Six penalties [in two periods] is too much. They have a really good power play. We stressed it before the game about not taking penalties and we ended up having two 5-on-3’s [against us]. They weren’t long ones but still, we use certain guys killing penalties and they end up playing too much. It’s too much stress on certain guys… You can’t take them. You can’t put your team in a hole like that.”
Although the Flyers stopped the first four chances – running their streak of kills to 26 straight, including both abbreviated two-man disadvantages – they couldn’t stop the fifth one as Sean Couturier failed to clear the zone and Chris Kreider slowly skated in on Emery before banking a shot of Braydon Coburn’s skate and into the net, making it 4-0 Rangers.
“We thought we were still in it until that fourth goal,” Streit said. “We though if we could get a power play and maybe get a goal we could be right back in it, but that fourth goal was the nail in the coffin.”
It was, but the Flyers problems were building from before that.
“We had a lot of penalty killing and when that happens, a lot of guys were killing a lot and getting tired while other guys were just sitting on the bench,” said Claude Giroux, who doesn’t kill many penalties anymore and as such played just 16:13 in the loss. “We are the most penalized team in the league so we need to find a way to stay out of the box. We had six penalties the first two periods. That can’t happen. It gives teams momentum.”
And the Rangers could have finished with seven or eight goals if they didn’t botch a couple of good chances, or Emery didn’t make a few big saves. For once, the Flyers penalty kill was a bit lucky.
NOTES: The Flyers lost for the seventh consecutive game at Madison Square Garden… The Flyers fell to fourth place in the Metropolitan Division, but remain in playoff position holding the first wild card spot with 36 games to play… The Flyers gave up three goals in the first period for the first time this season… Streit scored the lone goal for the Flyers. Vinny Lecavalier picked up an assist on the goal. It was the 500th of his career… Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves for the Rangers while Ray Emery made 31 stops for the Flyers… The only Flyers who didn’t register a shot on goal were Tye McGinn and Jay Rosehill… Luke Schenn fought with Dan Carcillo in the second period and Brayden Schenn fought with John Moore at the end of the game. It was the first time the two brothers fought in the same game in their careers.
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