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Flyers must blunt Hawks' quick strikes

by Adam Kimelman
PHILADELPHIA -- Under the header, "when it rains, it pours," take a look at how and when the Chicago Blackhawks have scored goals in the Stanley Cup Final:

Game 1 --  two goals in a 4:04 span in the first period to turn a 1-0 Flyers lead into a 2-1 Blackhawks advantage.

Game 2 --  two goals in 28 seconds late in the second period of what became a 2-1 Chicago victory.

Game 4 --  two goals in 3:49 in the third period to turn a Flyers blowout into a one-goal nail-biter.

Game 5 -- 
three goals in 5:58 in the first period to blow open the game; two goals in a 1:25 span of the second period to crush Philadelphia's momentum after the Flyers scored a goal in the period's first minute; and two goals in 1:47 in the third to keep Philadelphia at bay.

In those three games, the Flyers won just once. So other than the obvious -- better shifts after Chicago goals -- what can Philadelphia do to stem the tide?

"Just stay focused," defenseman Matt Carle said. "You've heard ever since you're a little kid, the most important shift is always one after a goal. I think we need to try to focus and step up after they score and try to counteract that."

A big shift after allowing a goal can take many forms, but however it happens, it has to add up to a positive shift.

"You want to take (momentum) away, if it’s a big hit or go play in their zone," Ian Laperriere said. "It's more that than anything else to transfer the momentum to our side and go play in their zone. If you give those young guys and skill players time to make plays in your zone, they're going to burn you and they showed us that the last couple games."

The Flyers know Chicago is a talented, opportunistic team -- you don't average more than 3.5 goals per game in the postseason on charm and good looks -- it's just a matter of being smarter with the puck to limit their chances.

"If you just gave up a goal, don't turn the puck over because you know they're coming back," Laperriere said. "They're a transition team. If you turn the puck over in the neutral zone they're going to come back with confidence and they're going to score more goals. It's us being a little smarter, and everything is going to take care of itself."

Coach Peter Laviolette said he wasn't concerned with Chicago's propensity to go on big scoring runs. "That's not something we really talked about," he said. "I have confidence we'll show up and we'll play hard tomorrow and we'll bring our best game to the table."

Defenseman Braydon Coburn might have the best plan to counteract Chicago's quick-strike, multiple-goal ability.

"Just bounce back and score one ourselves."

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