Flyers eager to shed "comeback kids" label

Associated Press Modified: April 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm •  Published: April 12, 2012
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Briere appeared to enter the zone before receiving the pass but the whistle never blew. The Penguins refused to point fingers at linesman Tony Sericolo, who was trailing the play and not in the best position to make a call.

"That was just one play," Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "There were a ton of others out there that we could have made."

Only the Penguins didn't, managing just five shots in the third period and none in the brief overtime that ended when Jakub Voracek stuffed a rebound past Fleury to send the sellout crowd at Consol Energy Center trudging to the exits in silence.

Quite a turnaround from the opening 20 minutes, when the Flyers — some of whom were making their playoff debut — looked overcome by the moment.

"Obviously, they came out just guns-ablazing, they were skating all over us, we were on our heels," Hartnell said.

That's been the case much of the second half of the season for Philadelphia, which has only scored the first goal eight times in its last 33 games. Yet the Flyers are 18-8-5 over that span.

Laviolette has taken to using his lone timeout early in games to settle his team down. He did it on April 1 after the Penguins scored twice in the first five minutes and watched the Flyers storm back to a 6-4 win.

He did it again on Wednesday and though Pittsburgh pushed the lead to 3-0 late in the first period on a somewhat fluky goal by Pascal Dupuis, Philadelphia had already started to assert itself.

"We did it before, I would say probably seven, eight, nine times this season," said Philadelphia forward Jaromir Jagr.

Particularly against the Penguins, who insist the Flyers aren't in their heads.

"We've just got to stay aggressive," forward Jordan Staal said. "We can't sit back and get comfortable."

Apparently not.

The Penguins point out the winner of Game 1 in their last four playoff series has gone on to lose the series. They should know, they easily won the opener of their quarterfinal series against Tampa Bay only to fall in seven games.

"It's just one game," Fleury said. "It's a long series but we know how important it is to get going."

So do the Flyers, who would prefer to keep Laviolette from having to make a speech to get their attention. Hartnell just smiles when asked if he could elaborate what exactly comes out of his coach's mouth when things look dire.

"I don't want to say that on-air," Hartnell said. "It's something that we talk about in our group, and he... I don't know. Whatever he says works."

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