The Flyers’ power play, which entered the night 0 for its last 14 and had fallen to 30th in the 31-team NHL, had a new look Monday against the Minnesota Wild.
“We’ve had a really good power play for so long, and this year it [stinks],” center Sean Couturier said before the game. “It hasn’t been going well, so it’s time to try something new and find a way to produce.”
The Flyers went with five forwards on their first power-play unit Monday’s 7-4 win: Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk, Wayne Simmonds, Couturier, and Jake Voracek.
On the Flyers' first power play of the night, the group ended the scoring drought as van Riemsdyk scored on a first-period deflection.
Voracek was at the point, and van Riemsdyk and Simmonds provided a net-front presence, while Couturier started at the left sidewall and Giroux was at the right sidewall.
Shayne Gostisbehere was demoted to the second unit, which had Travis Sanheim at the point. The rest of the unit was composed of Nolan Patrick, Travis Konecny, and Oskar Lindblom. Gostisbehere was stationed at the sidewall, with Konecny at the other side wall and Patrick and Lindblom in front.
“Obviously we have to get something going here. We need some wins,” Gostisbehere said after the morning skate.
Moving to the second unit “is hard, but sometimes it’s a little more simple when you have a lot of young guys and they’re looking at you” to take control, Gostisbehere said. “It’s definitely a different role for me. I’m playing a side I haven’t played before, and I have guys I haven’t played the peeper [power play] with before. I think it’s awesome -- their willingness to ask me questions and ask what’s going on. I just give them confidence to do their thing out there.”
The power play entered the night clicking at just 12.8 percent. If the Flyers finish that low, it would be their worst power-play percentage since their franchise’s first season, when they clicked at 12.3 percent in 1967-68.
Interim coach Scott Gordon said the lofty goal was to get one power-play goal a game. The Flyers entered the night with just 17 power-play goals in 45 games.
The Flyers are seventh in the NHL in power-play shots per game, but they haven’t been able to finish their chances.