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Flyers focused on solving home power-play woes

by Adam Kimelman

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers fans have gained a bit of a reputation over the years for their raucous behavior at Wells Fargo Center. Could it be affecting how the team performs on the power play?

"It's a little harder when 19,000 people yell shoot after 20 seconds on the power play," forward Jakub Voracek said.

The Flyers had the 25th-ranked power play at home during the regular season at 15.1 percent. After the Olympic break it was 9-for-56 (16.1 percent) in 14 games at Wells Fargo Center; however, that includes a 2-for-6 effort in the final two home games against the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes, teams that missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 12 games against teams that were playoff contenders, it went 7-for-50 (14.0 percent).

On the road the Flyers had the League's best extra-man unit at 25.2 percent, and went 2-for-4 on the power play in the first two games of their Eastern Conference First Round playoff series against the New York Rangers.

So why has the Flyers' power play performed so well on the road and so poorly at home?

"The fans get on us pretty hard here on our power play," forward Claude Giroux said. "I think we get impatient and we forget to stick with what we do. We're a patient power play. We wait for our opportunities and we rush it a little bit. We have to go back and play our power play."

Coach Craig Berube said he's as baffled as anyone else as to why the power play hasn't performed as well at home. He says a lack of patience in front of the home fans certainly is one reason.

To counter that, Berube believes simplifying things can be the best answer.

"We have to be smart and we have to shoot the hockey puck and get it through," he said. "We can't allow [Dan] Girardi, [Ryan] McDonagh, [Marc] Staal to constantly block shots. We need to do a better job of just getting it through. Doesn't have to be a real hard shot, just get it through on net with rebounds … that's important."

Vincent Lecavalier has played a big role on the second power-play unit for most of the season, and while he's seen the numbers, he doesn't put much stock in them, especially during the playoffs.

"Overall, I think our power play has been great home or away," he said. "[Tuesday] is a new game. Stats are in the past. I think we've been scoring some big goals on the power play, and we're going to try to do that [in Game 3]."


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