Coburn struggles in Game 5 defeat

Flyers Hall Gill and Braydon Coburn (center) try to chase down the Rangers' Dominic Moore, who scored New York's third goal unassisted in the second period.
Flyers Hall Gill and Braydon Coburn (center) try to chase down the Rangers' Dominic Moore, who scored New York's third goal unassisted in the second period. (SETH WENIG / Assosciated Press)
Posted: April 29, 2014

NEW YORK - Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn is the type of player who draws little notice with his consistent play that is fundamental but not flashy.

In Sunday's 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, Coburn was in the spotlight and would have preferred much less attention.

Coming off his best playoff game in Friday's 2-1 win, Coburn took a step backward in the defeat, which left the Flyers trailing in the series, three games to two.

Coburn was minus-2 for the game. He was on the ice for the first and third Rangers goals and played a role in both.

On the first, Rangers defenseman Marc Staal scored on a shot from on top of the left circle that initially appeared to tip off Coburn's stick. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Flyers defenseman said he didn't deflect it. He also didn't block it.

"No, it didn't," Coburn said when asked if the puck touched his stick. "I think [Staal] made a nice shot; the guy is driving the net and that kind of messed up [goalie Steve Mason] a little bit."

The Rangers took a 3-0 lead when defenseman Hal Gill could not handle a less-than-crisp pass from Coburn toward his skate. Dominic Moore of the Rangers picked up the loose puck and scored his second goal of the series.

Gill said afterward that he should have made the play, but the pass, on choppy ice, was not easy to handle.

"It was probably a bad bounce," Coburn said.

On Friday, Coburn saw the most ice time he has this series, playing 25 minutes, 27 seconds. He was a plus-1 with an assist on Matt Read's goal.

In this game, Coburn and his team never seemed to get on track until it was too late.

All series long, Coburn and the Flyers defense have found it difficult to keep up with the swift Rangers.

Coburn is a team-worst minus-5 in the series. In the five games, he has averaged the second-highest ice time for the Flyers at 21:31 per game. Only fellow defenseman Andrew MacDonald (22:17) has averaged more time.

Coburn has been a consistent player for the Flyers since his acquisition from Atlanta in February 2007. He played all 82 games this season and has appeared in 80 or more games in five of his seven full campaigns.

With the Rangers' advantage in speed, the ideal way to play is to force the skaters outside, which the Flyers have been attempting to do. They have not always done it.

"We have to try to keep guys outside, play physical and not give them a lot of room," Coburn said.

Despite the difficult outing, Coburn is convinced that the Flyers will return to Madison Square Garden for Game 7 on Wednesday.

"We've got to play our best hockey next game," he said. "We have to come out and make sure we give our best effort of the series."


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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