Flyers look to bring aggressiveness to Game 6

Posted: April 30, 2014

Be in attack mode. Set the tone early. Shoot more often.

That, veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen said, should be the plan as the Flyers face a win-or-stay-home Game 6 against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Timonen, whose team faces a three-games-to-two deficit in the Metropolitan Division semifinals, said the Flyers have been too passive.

"We have to be more aggressive. We have to get more shots, and when we are more aggressive, I think we create more turnovers, we score more, we get more shots on the net," Timonen, 39, who hasn't decided if he will retire after the playoffs, said after taking part in the team's optional skate Monday in Voorhees. ". . . Sometimes you sit back a little too much and you give too much room to the other team. That's not really our game. Our game is skating and forechecking hard."

Coach Craig Berube agreed.

"I think in general we need five guys on the ice with more of a killer instinct right now," he said.

The Rangers have clogged lanes, not allowed many rebounds, and have surrendered just 24.6 shots per game, the lowest total of any playoff team.

"We're going to be home and we have to play our game," Timonen said. "It doesn't matter what they do. Sometimes, you worry way too much about what they do and how many shots they block. Who cares? Just go out and do your job and we're going to be fine."

When trailing by 3-2, the Flyers are 7-10 in Game 6's. They won their last Game 6 in that situation, a 5-4 overtime triumph in Buffalo, in 2011, and then won Game 7 at home.

Overall, they are 3-14 in series in which they are facing a 3-2 series deficit.

The Rangers have allowed just three even-strength goals to Flyers forwards in the series.

"We have to give them credit; they play a hard game, and they play defense hard," Timonen said. "And they have five guys on you all the time. They're a fast team. But still, the whole year, we didn't care who we played against, and it shouldn't change in the playoffs. You have to worry about your game and what you can do better. I know we can play better. That's why I'm really confident about [Tuesday] because we've all got more" to give.

The Flyers are trying to rebound from Sunday's 4-2 loss in New York.

"We're aware we can play a lot better," center Claude Giroux said. "The positive thing is we've got a game [Tuesday] to prove it."

"Obviously guys are excited to get this one going on," forward Brayden Schenn said. "There's a bad feeling in your stomach after losing Game 5, but we've got the crowd behind us."

The Flyers will have the crowd Tuesday, the Rangers will have the speed. Their quickness has enabled them to be the better transition team.

"They're a fast team. They take time and space away from you quickly," Berube said. "We need to play a quicker game out there, a more aggressive game."

Timonen, one of 14 players who took part in the optional skate, said "the guys were kind of loose today, and that's a good sign. If you're too intense at this time of the year, it's not going to work."

If the Flyers were to force Game 7, it would be played on Wednesday in New York. That would give the teams three games in four nights.

"We've come back all year long," said winger Wayne Simmonds, mindful the Flyers overcame a franchise-worst 1-7 start. "We don't see why this would be any other situation. We look beside each other and have full faith in everyone in this dressing room."


scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull

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