Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Hockey

Flyers shift to Boston confident goals will come

Boucher_Marchand_325x183

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Despite sitting in an 0-2 series hole and facing two games in Boston, the Philadelphia Flyers appear to be a confident group.

 

Part of that comes from knowing how much success they've had away from home.

 

The Flyers set a franchise record with 25 road wins this season, and they've won twice in three road games during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a crucial overtime win in Game 6 in the first round in Buffalo.

 

And of course, there were the two road wins they had in Boston in last year's epic conference semifinal comeback, capped by their memorable 4-3 win at TD Garden in Game 7.

 

"This team always finds a way to get the job done," said Claude Giroux, who leads all playoff scorers with 11 assists and 12 points.

 

Despite playing just three road games, the Flyers scored nine goals, and outscored Buffalo 9-7 in three games at HSBC Arena in the first round.

 

And in the Flyers' ever-revolving goalie carousel, they only changed netminders once in three road games.

 

That stands in stark contrast to their six home games, where the Flyers are just 2-4, and while their 18 home goals are the most among playoff teams, they've allowed a League-worst 21 goals. And in those six home games, they've pulled goalies three times (not counting the injury issue goalie Brian Boucher suffered in Game 2 against the Bruins).

 

So going on the road appears to be about the best thing possible for this team.

 

"I think we've just had guys who have stepped up and raised their game when their backs have been against the wall," said James van Riemsdyk, who scored twice in Game 2 and now has goals in five straight games. "Usually on the road it's more of a hostile environment and you need to step up a little bit more, and we've been able to do that."

 

While it might appear the Flyers have to be doing something different at home, team captain Mike Richards said the team tries to play the same way regardless of the venue.

 

"We try to stay the same and do all the things we try to do," he said. "We have success on the road because we're not much into the matchup game. We try to roll four lines and depth is something that we've had success with all year, and that is a big part of it."

 

Another reason for their confidence is the 27 postseason goals they've scored, second only to the Tampa Bay Lightning -- that and the 54 shots they threw on the Boston net in Game 2.

 

"Offensively we did a pretty good job," Giroux said. "We were pretty aggressive. If we want to give ourselves a chance to win next game, we have to play same way."

 

While some players said it was frustrating getting that many shots and only cashing in twice in Game 2, there's a confidence that eventually they'll be able to score.

"We played (Buffalo's) Ryan Miller in the first round and he's one of the best goalies," Giroux said. "Thomas competes hard and he'll do anything to stop the puck. I think we're doing a pretty good job of shooting the puck and going to the net. We've just got to wait for our chances."

 

Coach Peter Laviolette said he's seen enough good things from his team to know those will come and his players will take advantage of them.

 

"Our team has scored goals the entire year," he said. "It really wasn't a concern for me because I'm more a believer in what we do here than somebody else. I know we've scored goals the entire season. I'm confident we'll go to Boston and score goals."

 

Laviolette also said he senses no frustration in any of his players.

 

"I think there's a 100-percent belief in here that we can go into Boston and win the next game," he said. "There's no question. … There's a lot of guys that have battled through different situations and been able to win big games. I have no reason to doubt (Wednesday) that would be any different."

 

Boucher feeling fine -- Goaltender Brian Boucher wasn't showing off his left hand -- he kept it in the front pocket of his hooded sweatshirt -- but said Tuesday he felt OK and hoped to be in net for Game 3 of this Eastern Conference Semifinal series Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC).

 

"I feel OK," he told reporters. "The fact that the adrenaline was going (during Game 2) helped. The day after situations like that, you're a little sore, but I should be good (for Game 3).

 

Boucher was injured with 9:22 left in the second period when a rocket from Johnny Boychuk hit him in the hand. He left the game at the next stoppage of play, and rookie Sergei Bobrovsky came on for the final 8:59 of the second period.

 

When the third started, Boucher was back in net, but he said Tuesday he wasn't sure if he'd be able to return. He finished the night making 32 saves on 35 shots.

 

"Turned out the X-rays were negative," he said. The docs helped me out and I was good to go."

 

Richards staying positive -- Richards had a game-high 10 shots on net in Game 2, one game after he had a game-high eight shots.

 

He had his first playoff goal in Game 1, and was sure that was just the cork popping out of the champagne bottle for him.

 

"I felt like if I had another eight shots like I had in Game 1 I would score," Richards said. "(In Game 2) I had 10 and I didn't. It's frustrating."

 

Richards said he can't remember ever having that many shots on goal in a game and not scoring at least one. But rather than dwell on his missed chances, he said he's staying confident that it won't happen again.

 

"If I keep throwing pucks toward the net, if I get another 10 shots (in Game 3), I have a good feeling one of them is going to go in," he said.

 

Injury update -- Flyers center Jeff Carter, who hasn't played since Game 4 of the first round against Buffalo, skated on his own Tuesday morning for about 10 minutes.

 

Carter originally suffered his injury April 20 in Buffalo, when he collided with Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers. The Flyers have listed Carter as day-to-day with a lower-body injury, but CSNPhilly.com has reported the injury as a sprained ligament in his right knee.

 

He declined a chance to speak with the media following the workout.

 

Chris Pronger, who missed Game 2 with an undisclosed injury, also refused to speak with reporters Tuesday. He also is listed as day-to-day. CSNPhilly.com, however, reported that Pronger, who did not play the final five minutes of Game 1, was suffering from back and hamstring issues, and also had a head cold.

 

After practicing with the team Sunday, Pronger did not take part in Monday's morning skate, and he wasn't officially ruled out of the lineup until about two hours before the game started.

 

Forward Andreas Nodl (upper body) and goaltender Michael Leighton (lower body) also are listed by the team as day-to-day.

 

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK