Flyers need Schenn to boost offense

Brayden Schenn tries to get the puck past goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Brayden Schenn tries to get the puck past goalie Henrik Lundqvist. (   YONG KIM / Staff)
Posted: April 30, 2014

Flyers forward Brayden Schenn has struggled against the New York Rangers in their first-round playoff series, but that doesn't exactly leave him in select company.

Only the Detroit Red Wings have scored fewer goals than the 10 the Flyers have totaled in their five games with the New York Rangers.

The Flyers trail the series by three games to two. To even it up in Game 6, Schenn and the rest of the forwards will have to start producing.

The 22-year-old Schenn has no goals and two assists this series and is a minus-3. During the third period on Sunday, he replaced Scott Hartnell on the top line at left wing with center Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek.

"He is fast, he can obviously hit pretty good, and he is really smart with the puck and he can make plays," Giroux said Monday about Schenn.

Coach Craig Berube wouldn't say whether Schenn will stay with the top line.

Berube scoffed at the notion that Schenn may be pressing and then explained why Schenn and others are finding it difficult to score.

"It is tight out there," Berube said. "You have to play the right way and play hard and play fast, and good things will happen."

Schenn can only hope so.

When the Flyers last made the playoffs in 2011-2012, he appeared in all 11 games, totaling three goals and six assists.

Schenn wouldn't say whether he was frustrated in this series, but said the obvious - that any forward is looking to score.

"Everybody wants to make things happen; that is no secret," he said after taking part in Monday's optional practice at the Skate Zone. "Guys want to be out there to try to generate offense."

It hasn't been easy against an exemplary Rangers defense.

"You are playing against a team that clogs it up pretty good and you have to wait for your chances and our opportunities and when you do get them, you have to make sure you bury them," Schenn said.

Schenn's scoring woes wouldn't be examined so closely if more of his teammates were picking up the slack. Yet only one Flyer - Voracek with two - has more than one goal in this series.

The Flyers have only six even-strength goals in the series, and half of them are by defensemen, including one by Luke Schenn, Brayden's brother.

"He is working hard and not satisfied where he is at and he is looking to get better," Luke Schenn said about his brother.

Brayden Schenn, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings with Wayne Simmonds in the Mike Richards trade in June 2011, had 20 goals and 21 assists this season, both career highs, while appearing in all 82 games.

This season, Schenn has seen time at center and wing. He also didn't score a goal in his last four regular-season games, but says he can't panic.

"You have to be patient and can't start getting off your game and force plays and make plays that aren't there," he said. "You have to wait for your chance and your opportunities, and hopefully good things will come."


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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