The Philadelphia Flyers had a golden opportunity on Tuesday night to take control of their series. They returned home having beaten the Rangers in New York for the first time in over three years to tie the series 1-1 and gave themselves home-ice advantage.
The Flyers came out and laid an egg getting out-executed by the Rangers in the 4-1 loss that handed the momentum and home-ice advantage back to the Rangers.
It goes without saying Game 4 on Friday at the Wells Fargo Center is as close to a “must-win” game for the Flyers as they come without it being an actual win or go home game. “Obviously everyone realizes it's going the series will be either 2-2, or 3-1,” Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen said when asked if Friday was “an absolute must win” game. “We want to win that game and move on. We're disappointed but that's playoff hockey.
“You lose a game, you have to watch the tape, look at the things we did well and also the bad things; so we can try to correct them and move on.”
Moving on is exactly what the Flyers are going to need to do. The place to start is on the power play as the Flyers have struggled on the man-advantage and getting shots through seems to be at the core of the issue.
“Quicker puck movement and a little more deception,” explained Flyers head coach Craig Berube about how the team can improve their power play. “You can’t just one-time it all the time. I think you have to fake it, get it moving a little bit and get them through.”
Flyers captain Claude Giroux was more direct with his expectations for Friday night.
“We’ll be ready for game four,” Giroux said. “We’re going to tie up this series and go back to New York. We just have to stay confident. That’s why it’s playoffs. It’s exciting.
“We’re going to come off even better in game four.”