Three things to look for in Flyers' Game 3

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Will Peter Laviolette put Mike Richards and Claude Giroux together in Game 3 against the Bruins? (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Big media mob at the Flyers' morning skate before Game 3 -- kind of eye-opening, really. And while the issues remain the same, the spin and the subtleties changes with each game being played.

1) The Flyers' lines. With the home-ice advantage and the ability to make the last change, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has a decision to make. In Game 1, he put Mike Richards and  Claude Giroux together -- and they saw a ridiculous amount of Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara as a result. In Game 2, Laviolette split up Richards and Giroux and also intermittently game them a taste in other situations where they could avoid Chara, and it was somewhat effect -- it led to Richards' first-period goal, for example. Now, Game 3, with more of a chance to avoid Chara, you wonder if Laviolette will put them together again and hope to recapture what was his original vision as the series opened.

2) 5-on-5. Other than the first period of Game 1, the games have been very even 5-on-5. (Rough definition of very even: after that first period, the teams have 44 shots apiece at even strength.) As defenseman Chris Pronger said at the Game 3 skate, "We need to continue to do the things we've done through the course of the first couple of games, and even the series against New Jersey. We need to skate, get pucks in deep, create turnovers and get into our two-man forecheck. When we do that, we're very effective. They haven't gotten a whole lot on their power plays but they've gained a lot of momentum from it."

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3) Traffic cops. This really should have been first on the list. More than anything, the difference in this series has been the traffic in front of Flyers goaltender Brian Boucher -- he likely didn't see the first goal of Game 2 and only got a very late look at the game-winner. Much of that traffic is about being able to set up because of puck possession by the Bruins in their end. Simply, that needs to be minimized -- and it might help if the Flyers got off to a good start. As Dan Carcillo said this morning, "We've been behind the whole series, in both games clawing back to try and tie games. We've got to jump on them early in the first 10 minutes here, get some hits, get the fans into it, hopefully get the first goal and then roll from there."

Simple, isn't it?

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