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Flyers confident defense will generate offense

Philadelphia won't change approach despite lack of scoring

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

VOORHEES, N.J. -- The Philadelphia Flyers are confident their commitment to defense will result in offense.

The Flyers have allowed 25 goals in their past 11 games, but because they've scored 15 goals during that same span, they're 5-5-1 and began the week outside of a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They have 61 points, tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference, but Toronto has two games in hand.

As they prepare for a three-game road trip through Western Canada that starts at the Calgary Flames on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; SN360, SNW, TCN-PH, NHL.TV), and continues at the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday and at the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, they remain confident that the way they're playing will pay off.

"From good defense you get offense," forward Wayne Simmonds said. "Just up to us to put them in the back of the net."

The Flyers believe that will happen if they stick with the game plan. It's something coach Dave Hakstol said had to be reinforced after a stretch that saw them allow four or more goals eight times in 12 games between Dec. 22 and Jan. 21.

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"That's part of the foundation that has to be there," Hakstol said. "Both sides of the game have to be there. In general you have to be a good, sound defensive team to start with. That quite honestly is where a lot of your offense is generated from. I think we've done that. We've worked hard at it. We got away from it for a stretch but we've worked real hard at regaining that stability over the last few weeks and I think we've done a pretty good job of that. Certainly doesn't mean everything is perfect but the commitment is there."

They understand the commitment will be even more pressing with their upcoming schedule. The Flames, Oilers and Canucks either are in playoff position or close enough that they will be as desperate as the Flyers to accumulate points.

"They're tough teams to play against," forward Jakub Voracek said. "Edmonton is very skilled. Especially at home they're playing good hockey. Calgary, you never know what to expect from them, lot of talented players, always a tough building to play in. Vancouver, same thing, not easy to go out there and get points there. If you're going to play a tight-checking game we have a chance to bring four, five points out of it." 

The players think they can have a successful road trip and if they keep doing the right things defensively, the scoring will come.

"Just offensively keep doing the same things and I think we'll get the bounces sooner than later," defenseman Mark Streit said.

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