The Flyers need their top line to get untracked if they are going to win their second-round series against the dangerous New Jersey Devils.
On Tuesday, as the Devils tied the series at one win apiece with a 4-1 victory, the unit of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr was stifled by a line centered by New Jersey rookie Adam Henrique.
“I don’t think it was as much as what they did as what we DIDN'T do,” Hartnell said after Wednesday's practice in Voorhees.
Hartnell, who appears to be playing injured, took the blame.
"I wasn't forechecking. I wasn’t hitting. It seemed like my legs weren’t moving, and when you don’t have a guy on your line going, it’s tough to get the other guys going as well," he said. "I have to be better. I have to get emotionally into the game. It felt like it was just too easy for them. It’s part of my mold _ to make it hard for them.”
The Giroux line had no goals and just four shots.
Hartnell said he was “fine,” but he has appeared hindered after blocking a first-period shot with his left foot in Game 1.
“Our line has to pick it up,” said Hartnell, who had 37 regular-season goals and two in eight playoff games. “We have to lead the way for everyone else to follow suit, and it definitely wasn’t up to par.”
It should be noted that Jagr and Giroux were also non-factors Tuesday. Jagr had a solid series against the Penguins, but has struggled mightily in the two games against the Devils.
Bryz loose. For the last several months, goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has gone from outgoing and engaging to quiet and dull. After Wednesday’s practice, he was upbeat and funny in an off-the-cuff session with reporters in which he said he would be an astronaut (cosmonaut) if he wasn’t a goalie, and talked about monkeys in space and the Roman Empire, among other topics.
Old Bryz had returned.
The goalie was outstanding in the first two periods Tuesday and was the reason the badly outplayed Flyers somehow had a 1-0 lead after two periods.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.