Sunday, December 21, 2014

Flyers aim to get PP untracked

OTTAWA _ The Flyers, closing in on the Atlantic Division title, will try to get their sad-sack power play untracked when they visit the lowly Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

Flyers aim to get PP untracked

    OTTAWA  _ The Flyers, closing in on the Atlantic Division title, will try to get their sad-sack power play untracked when they visit the lowly Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

    In their last 11 games, the Flyers are 2 for 29 (6.9 percent) on the power play.

     Too much passing and not enough shooting, defenseman Kimmo Timonen said.

     “It all starts from the top,” said Timonen, mindful the Flyers miss injured defenseman Chris Pronger,  the power-play’s quarterback. “You have to shoot the puck first, and then good things happen."

     But the Flyers have had a penchant for getting too cute with their passing.

      The power play is "going to be a big part of our team in the playoffs, so hopefully we can get it going," Timonen said.

      Coach Peter Laviolette tinkered with the power-play units during Monday’s practice in Voorhees. During one drill, Claude Giroux replaced Kris Versteeg at the point.

     Though Ottawa is one of the NHL’s worst teams, it has excelled on the penalty kill. It is seventh in the league with an 84 percent success rate.

* * *

   Ottawa will be without key defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Erik Karlsson, and captain Daniel Alfredsson. All are injured.

   The Senators are expected to recall three players from the minors for the game.

* * *

     Speaking of call-ups, the Flyers recalled Ben Holmstrom from the Phantoms.The Flyers will play Tuesday without injured centers Danny Briere and Blair Betts, each of whom may be ready Friday in Buffalo.

   In his NHL debut on March 3, Holmstrom had a game-high five hits against Toronto. Laviolette called him “a hard-working role player who had a good year down there and is used in all situations.”

   At Monday’s practice, Holmstrom centered Versteeg and Scott Hartnell; Giroux centered Jeff Carter and Nik Zherdev; Mike Richards centered James van Riemsdyk and Ville Leino; and Darroll Powe centered Dan Carcillo and Andreas Nodl.

    * * *

   The Flyers can clinch their first Atlantic Division title since 2004 Tuesday with a win and a Penguins loss to New Jersey. If the Penguins lose in regulation, the Flyers could win the crown with a loss in overtime or a shootout.

     * * *

  The Flyers had 5-1 and 6-2 wins against Ottawa at the Wells Fargo Center this season. Their power play was a combined 3 for 9 in those games.

    In their last game against Ottawa, the visiting Flyers were 0 for 4 on the PP as they dropped a 4-1 decision on Feb. 26.

     * * *

    Winger Jody Shelley, the Flyers’ enforcer and one of their lockerroom leaders, has made a quick recovery from orbital-bone surgery. He hopes to be cleared to play Friday in Buffalo.

     Shelley will wear a visor for the rest of the season, but does not plan to use it next year.

* * *

   Andrej Meszaros entered Monday tied for fifth in the NHL with a plus-30 rating….. Laviolette on shootouts: “It misrepresents the game.”…..Van Riemsdyk has five goals in his last six games.

* * *

  For constant Flyers updates, follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BroadStBull

 



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Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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