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Flyers tinker with struggling power play

by Adam Kimelman

VOORHEES, N.J. -- After having 28 shots blocked in Game 3 of an Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers, including nine during five power plays, the Philadelphia Flyers spent a large portion of practice Thursday working on puck movement in 5-on-4 situations.

The hope is that the extra work pays off in Game 4 on Friday at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH). The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Coach Craig Berube opted not to change any of his personnel or base set-ups, but one noticeable strategic alteration on the top unit was forward Jakub Voracek having more pucks worked through him in his rover spot along the right side, rather than have everything flow through captain Claude Giroux along the half boards on the left side.

"It's more about puck movement and opening things up, doing things quicker," Berube said. "It's about execution. We had a lot of zone time on the power play but not enough executing pucks through to the net."

Voracek said he thought the power play in Game 3 got "a little static. We were standing still with the puck too much."

"Be faster and move quicker," Voracek said when asked what the power play needed to do in Game 4. "If you make them move the lanes and seams, shot lanes open up. That's what we were missing a little bit."

Getting pucks through the Rangers shot-blockers and on net would allow the Flyers to play to what they believe is their strength, the net-front presence provided by power forwards Wayne Simmonds and Scott Hartnell on the top unit. Simmonds was third in the League during the regular season with 15 power-play goals, and Hartnell was second on the Flyers with nine.

"The pucks aren't getting to the net so they can't get the rebounds or tips on the pucks," Berube said. "Until that happens they'll be just standing there. All year long their goals were scored around the net. That's what they do. They're good at it. They're good at tipping pucks, finding rebounds. It's the other three guys' responsibility to get them pucks there."


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