Tall order for Flyers' PK units; call Bryz 'Pacino'

   Vancouver, a Stanley Cup finalist last season, will bring one of the league’s best power plays to the Wells Fargo Center during the Flyers’ home opener on Wednesday night.

    Sparked by the Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel, the Canucks led the NHL by clicking on 24.3 percent of their power plays last season.

Claude Giroux is one of the Flyers' best penalty killers. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

   “They do different things,” said Max Talbot, one of the Flyers’ top penalty killers. “They obviously move the puck a lot and control the puck, but they have some little plays close to the net….The two Sedins don’t have to look for each other; they know where they are, and that’s obviously tough to defend.”

   The Flyers’ PK has killed nine of 10 power plays in the first two games. They have also created a few shorthanded breakaways.

    Talbot said the Flyers will study video of the Canucks’ power play before the game.

    “But at the same time, we have our own system; it’s being aggressive and jumping pucks and putting pressure on those guys,” he said. “I’m sure we won’t change our system as a whole; we’ll just make a couple of adjustments.”

     In addition to Talbot, Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Andreas Nodl, Matt Read, Wayne Simmonds and Zac Rinaldo are the forwards who have spent time on the penalty kill. In the last game, Talbot (4:33), Couturier (4:05), Read (3:21) and Nodl (3:10) received a bulk of the PK time.

     Read, an impressive rookie, is looking forward to facing the Sedins.

     “It’s going to be pretty incredible to be playing against these guys; they’re on highlight reel after highlight reel,” Read said. “It’s going to be fun to play against, and I’d love to shut them down and not give them any opportunity to succeed.”

   Henrik Sedin has 12 assists in his last six games against the Flyers, while Daniel has two goals and seven assists in that span. Daniel led the NHL last season with 104 points _ 10 more than Henrik, who finished fourth in the league.

   Henrik Sedin missed practice Tuesday because of a bruised thigh, but he told Vancouver reporters he would play Wednesday.

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    Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was so uptight about the pending home opener that, after Tuesday’s practice in Voorhees, he was doing a great impersonation of Al Pacino’s role in "Scarface."

    Bryzgalov has a 0.50 GAA and .977 save percentage. He is coming off Saturday's 3-0 win in New Jersey, which ended the Flyers' 85-game shutout drought.

    * * *

    Breakaways. The Flyers are trying to start a season 3-0 for the 11th time in franchise history…..Giroux, who has two goals in the two games, on the home opener: “We get to show the new guys we have great fans here.”….Jaromir Jagr on Bryzgalov: “Oh, what a signing! He has nine years left, huh?”

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    Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.


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