Friday, February 5, 2016

Inside the Flyers-Rangers series

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Gallery: Rangers 4, Flyers 2

Searching for a spark on offense

Coach Craig Berube needs to do some tinkering to get the Flyers' attack going in Game 6.

Berube made some changes in the third period Sunday, moving Brayden Schenn to the top line and dropping Scott Hartnell to the second unit, searching for a spark. Schenn and Hartnell have no goals in the series, so maybe it's time for Michael Raffl to see more action.

In the series, the Flyers have just six even-strength goals - and only three are by forwards. The Flyers are not getting enough traffic in front of goalie Henrik Lundqvist, and they have not been crisp with their passing, especially in the offensive end.

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  • Do the Flyers still have a chance in this series?
    Yes. They can win Game 6 and anything can happen in Game 7.
    No. The Rangers have been sharper.
    One wonders if Berube might add rookie Scott Laughton to the lineup Tuesday to give the team some much-needed energy.

    The defensive difference

    The Rangers' defense has been much better than the Flyers' and is the main reason New York has a three-games-to-two series edge.

    The Rangers have kept the Flyers to the outside and kept their shots to a minimum. New York has allowed just 24.6 shots per game, the lowest of any of this year's playoff teams. The Rangers' defensemen have also kept the porch clear in front of Lundqvist.

    Giroux comes alive

    After two lackluster periods, center Claude Giroux was dominating in the third period Sunday, and the Flyers hope he carries that into Game 6.

    Giroux had three of his six shots in the third period, scored his first goal of the series, and won eight of 11 faceoffs (72.7 percent).

    Killer performance

    The Flyers' penalty kill has been the best part of their game.

    They killed three more Ranger power plays Sunday and have been successful on 15 straight. - Sam Carchidi

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