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Flyers motivated to win for ailing owner

Philadelphia aims to make playoff run for Ed Snider

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers had some extra motivation to earn a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Flyers chairman Ed Snider, who has been home in California recovering from an illness, was on the mind of the players after they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday to clinch the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"You get a little emotional when you start thinking about it," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "We know that he's happy we made the playoffs. He's excited. It's going to ... we're definitely playing for him right now."

Snider, 83, was part of the ownership group that was granted an NHL expansion franchise in Philadelphia in 1966 and has been atop the Flyers organization for 50 years.

"You're thinking about him," forward Jakub Voracek said. "He's a guy that is one of the best owners in sports overall. His dedication to hockey, his dedication to Philadelphia has been amazing. It is still amazing."

Video: PIT@PHI: Hart sings anthem to Snider on FaceTime

The Flyers visited Snider at his home during a trip to California in December and took a group photo. But his absence for the team picture March 31 on the ice at Wells Fargo Center was noticeable.

"You look in the hallway [at past team photos], and it's the first time he isn't in a picture," said forward Wayne Simmonds, who scored two goals against Pittsburgh. "It [stinks] to see that. ... We're playing to make the playoffs for him."

Flyers anthemist Lauren Hart had Snider on FaceTime while she sang "God Bless America" before the game Saturday.

Philadelphia will play the No. 1 seed Washington Capitals in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round.

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