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Flyers open defense of conference title vs. Sabres

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The only Stanley Cup photos at the Flyers practice rink are from the 1970s. The locker room walls in their home arena are spotless. The mood is a bit reserved.

That's just the way the coach wants it.

This preseason scene was all the proof coach Peter Laviolette needed to know his team had the oomph to win the Stanley Cup they fell two wins shy of bringing back to Philadelphia in June.

"There was no champagne on the walls," Laviolette said Wednesday.

Translation: No title, no party, no complacency.

Laviolette should know. A year after leading Carolina to its only Stanley Cup championship in 2006, he opened a training camp that had celebratory reminders in every nook of the organization. Parade pictures. Postgame celebration photos. The locker room felt stale, a booze-soaked reminder that everything the Hurricanes wanted to accomplish, well, they did.

They never made the playoffs again under Laviolette, and he was fired 2 1/2 years later.

Things might be different in Philadelphia. After all, Laviolette might be a Stanley Cup title away from a lifetime contract.

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