Timonen on Flyers’ season: ‘We need wins’

Timonen on Flyers’ season: ‘We need wins’
March 17, 2013, 4:00 pm
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VOORHEES, N.J. – The Flyers have yet to win three games in a row. In fact, they’ve only won back-to-back games four times this season.

That’s not a recipe to make the playoffs.

“We’ve got to start winning games,” Kimmo Timonen said. “If you look at the standings, the way we’ve been going, we win one game and maybe lose one or two after that. That’s not going to work out. We’ve got to start putting some wins together, and that means three or four games together and go from there. But the bottom line is, we need wins.”

The Flyers did eke out a win Friday night against the New Jersey Devils, a 2-1 shootout victory that marked their first win over the Devils in four tries this season. But as they have shown through all of 2013, winning one game doesn’t mean they’ve gotten in a rhythm.

They’re hoping that the win over the Devils can represent a change in that trend.

It starts with Monday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“It’s good to win a game,” Braydon Coburn said. “If you look at our schedule all year, one game in the past doesn’t mean anything. We’ve got to move forward and it’s a new game for us. We’ve got to make sure that being a quality opponent in Tampa Bay and the offensive guys, we have to be ready for that.”

The Flyers have faced the Lightning twice this season, losing in Tampa on Jan. 27, 5-1, and winning in front of the home crowd on Feb. 5, 2-1. They’re actually facing them for the third and final meeting this season at a good time: The Lightning are 3-7 through their last 10 games and seem to be sinking fast.

They’re now two points behind the Flyers in 12th place in the Eastern conference, and will be without center Vinny Lecavalier, who scored a goal in that aforementioned Flyers' loss in February.

“This is huge,” Scott Hartnell said. “It’s points we can’t blow away. We can’t say, ‘oh well, we’ll get it next game’ or whatever. We need every point in every possible game. I think we did a great job against the Devils, not getting out of our comfort zone.

“I thought we played a pretty solid game, and we were fine with the 1-0 lead, 1-1 going into the last 10 minutes. I thought we were pretty comfortable with that, so we’ve got to keep playing that style.”

After Monday, the Flyers – who had a very compact first-half schedule – don’t play again until March 24 in Pittsburgh. They have just one game in eight days.

Over the past few seasons, the Flyers typically haven’t fared very well in regular-season games before sizable breaks. But this year, with the odd 48-game schedule and need for rest, they’re hoping things will go their way.

“I think any time you’ve got a break coming up, you always want to end on a win,” Hartnell said. “It makes practices a lot easier. Makes the media a lot easier, to answer questions about what we could have done better, you’re leaving on a high. We’ll welcome the rest when it comes, but we’ve got one good day of work ahead of us.”

On Sunday, the Flyers’ led a rather chippy and high-energy practice, focusing primarily on one-on-one and two-on-two battles – areas of the game responsible in great part for their win over New Jersey, and areas of the game in which they’ll need to excel to win Monday’s game in Tampa.

And they do need to win in Tampa. Only 19 games remain in the season, and every opportunity for two points that the Flyers aren’t able to cash in on makes their chances at a postseason appearance slimmer and slimmer. They risk falling farther in the standings during these upcoming days off, especially if they fall apart again against the Lightning.

“There’s an awful lot of reasons why we have to win, other than feeling good about it,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “We have to continue to work and climb and get points. I think everybody realizes that.”

Loose pucks
Flyers prospect Ben Holmstrom signed a one-year extension with the organization. … Max Talbot was given the day off of practice for “personal reasons,” according to GM Paul Holmgren. … Despite a rumor on Twitter and accompanying online petition, the Flyers are not considering getting rid of their Ice Girls, according to a team representative.

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