Flyers need to give Giroux more help

Posted: April 26, 2014

Observations heading into Game 4 at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, with the New York Rangers holding a two-games-to-one series lead over the Flyers.

Much has been made about Claude Giroux's struggles in the first three games of the playoffs, but the fact is, the intense center has been one of the Flyers' best players.

To be fair, Giroux - whom the Rangers are double-teaming and hitting at every opportunity _ has been one of the Flyers' best players. He has drawn penalties, won a series-high 61.1 percent of his face-offs, collected a pair of assists, and posted a team-best plus-3 rating.

But he needs help.

The Flyers were third in the NHL by averaging 3.16 goals in their last 62 regular-season games.

That type of attack has been missing in this series. The Rangers' defense has been superb, keeping the Flyers to the outside, clogging passing lanes, blocking shots. They have held the Flyers to an average of 1.67 goals (excluding an empty-netter) in the first three games.

This is all you need to know about the state of the Flyers' offense: In the first three games of the series, the Rangers' Dan Carcillo has more goals (one) than Giroux, Vinny Lecavalier, Scott Hartnell, Matt Read, and Brayden Schenn combined.

And Carcillo, an ex-Flyer known for his feistiness, was a healthy scratch for two games.

Numbers

How important is Game 4 from the Flyers' perspective?

When it's tied at two games each, the Flyers have a 14-7 record in series.

When facing a 3-1 series deficit, the Flyers are 1-15 in series.

The start

The Rangers quieted an amped crowd by taking a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes, 24 seconds of Game 3. It marked the second straight game the Flyers had fallen into an early 2-0 hole.

The Flyers are putting extra emphasis on getting off to a quick start Friday, getting their fans involved, and creating a true home-ice advantage.

Did you know that . . . ?

The Flyers have led for just 32:07 of the series' 180 minutes.

Goalie Steve Mason scored 2-1 and 4-2 regular-season home wins against the Rangers, stopping 63 of 66 shots for a staggering .955 save percentage.

The Flyers' power play is just 1 for 13 in three home game games (one in the playoffs) against the Rangers this season.

Excluding an empty-net goal, Rangers forwards have outscored Flyers forwards in the series, 9-2. Flyers defensemen have outscored their counterparts, 3-1.

Fan unfriendly

Carcillo taunted Flyers fans after scoring an insurance goal in Tuesday's win by going up to the glass and raising his arms, Rocky-like, and staring them down.

After the game, the former Flyer talked about the Wells Fargo Center fans jeering him while he was flat on the ice, courtesy of Read's hit.

"Nothing surprises me about this city and the way people act," Carcillo told the New York Daily News.

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