Coach Peter Laviolette has driven that point home with his players, never more so than on Sunday, before facing Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin without injured defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Andrej Meszaros.
"We talked about it a lot before the game," Wayne Simmonds said. "They do a lot of their damage on the power play, with Oveckin and Semin, so we knew we needed to stay out of the box. I thought we did a pretty good job."
It was the second time this season alone the Flyers have gone unpenalized, the only season since 1997-98 that they've done it twice.
Avoiding the penalty kill was one way for Laviolette to spread his minutes evenly throughout his defensive pairs. Erik Gustafsson (15:24) and Andreas Lilja (15:02) were right near their season averages and the lack of penalty-killing time kept the ice times relatively low for horses Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle, Nicklas Grossman and Pavel Kubina.
On their one power-play chance, Laviolette got Brayden Schenn and Matt Read involved to give his blue-liners a breather.
"It doesn't happen a lot," Laviolette said. "It's a nice break to get for one night. We're going to have to get to that [eventually]. It's not something that we're banking on for the rest of the year. We are going to have to kill penalties and those guys are going to have to do it."
General manager Paul Holmgren said yesterday there was no change in the "out indefinitely" status of defensemen Andrej Meszaros and Kimmo Timonen. Meszaros, however, was spotted at the team's practice facility in Voorhees.
Claude Giroux missed practice yesterday with what Holmgren called a "maintenance day," though it should be noted that is supposedly the same reason Timonen and Meszaros missed practice on Saturday. Giroux was slashed on the wrist by Washington's Jason Chimera on Sunday.
James van Riemsdyk will undergo surgery today to repair a broken bone in his left foot, sustained in last Thursday's win over the Islanders. Dr. Steven Raikin will insert a plate in his foot to help healing and strengthen the area. Van Riemsdyk is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks, which could keep him out until the end of the regular season.
The Flyers are 3-0-1 all-time in games that follow a jersey retirement ceremony . . . Adam Burt, Derian Hatcher, Kerry Huffman, Lukas Krajicek, Frank Kucera, Vladimir Malakhov and Alexandre Picard have all worn Mark Howe's No. 2 since he left the Flyers to sign with Detroit on July 7, 1992 . . . Ilya Bryzgalov could start his ninth straight game tonight. In his career, Bryzgalov has started 10 consecutive games just seven times . . . The Flyers are an incredible 36-13-11 against the Red Wings in Philadelphia. They fell, 4-3, at Joe Louis Arena on Feb. 12 despite holding a 3-2 lead late in the second period.
Contact Frank Seravalli at email@example.com.