Flyers Notes: Coburn shuts down Nash in Game 4

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Flyers Notes: Coburn shuts down Nash in Game 4

Braydon Coburn was one of the unsung heroes of Game 4 Friday night for the Flyers in their 2-1 win over the Rangers (see game story).

He played 25:27 grueling minutes against Rangers superstar Rick Nash and shut him down -- a small reason why the Flyers tied the series, 2-2, with Game 5 Sunday in New York.

Nash played 17:11 with five shots and was a minus-1.

“I think we’re doing it mostly by committee,” Coburn said. “They roll four lines pretty well, so we’re trying to roll three sets of D.

“Obviously, [Nash] is a big, strong player. You want to keep him to the outside as much as you can.”

Wasn’t he a focus?

“I don’t know,” Coburn said. “Just because ... they had some points and stuff, but honestly they’ve got four even lines that they use and you always are aware when there are great players like Nash and his linemates [Martin] St. Louis and [Derek] Stepan.

“But you know it’s playoffs and it’s four lines coming at you all the time. These guys are good players and you’ve just got to make sure you’re ready every shift against them.”

Flyers head coach Craig Berube lauded Coburn’s play.

“Great job, I thought he had a great game,” Berube said. “He skated, really skated and was strong on the puck and strong on his breakout plays.

“He did a great job down low against Nash. That is not an easy guy to check. That whole line is not easy to check with St. Louis and Stepan, a good line. Our D as a whole did a good job.”

The Flyers’ defense went more than half the game with five defenders after Nicklas Grossmann left in the second period with a lower-body injury.

“It was a heavy game,” Nash said. “It was a physical battle and it was a playoff-type game.”

And Coburn was all over Nash all game.

“I thought he’d been playing like that all series,” Nash said. “All their D-men have been finishing their checks, playing physical. We’ve got to hold onto pucks and bump off them.”

Shots
The Flyers won despite being outshot, 38-25. The losing team has outshot the winning team by at least eight shots in Games 2, 3 and 4.

Blocks
Andrew MacDonald recorded five blocked shots in Game 4. He led the NHL with 242 blocked shots in the regular season.

Game 4
The Flyers are now 34-35 all time in Game 4 of a seven-game playoff series. They’re strong in Game 5’s, winning 34, losing 25. When winning Game 4, the Flyers are 24-9 all time. When tied 2-2, the Flyers are 14-7 all time and 12-9 all time in Game 5 when tied 2-2.

Banked shot
The Flyers’ first goal of the game saw Jason Akeson rip a deliberate shot off the backboards with the carom coming out to Matt Read at the right post.

It was a set play, both players admitted after the game, though Akeson said he was first tempted to shoot the puck on net.

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist got a small piece of Read’s one-timer, but not enough to stop it from going into the net. Read’s goal made it a 1-1 game.

“I didn’t expect it to come out that fast and on his stick he came faster, so it was hard for me to get across,” Lundqvist said.

“Your reaction is to kind of turn to your right first and then you realize it’s coming out of your left side. It was close that I got it, but it was not enough.”

Flyers clash with Penguins in cheapest outdoor game this season

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Flyers clash with Penguins in cheapest outdoor game this season

Editor's note: The following is sponsored content written by TicketIQ.

Attending this year’s Stadium Series game won’t come at much of a cost for fans at Heinz Field.

With the Penguins set to host the Flyers in the 68,000-plus seat stadium on Saturday, tickets are the cheapest of all three outdoor games this season. On TicketIQ, CSN Philly’s official ticketing partner, Penguins vs. Flyers Stadium Series tickets now average $202.

Saturday’s game is considerably cheaper than the Centennial Classic and Winter Classic, which were held in Toronto and St. Louis last month, respectively. The Winter Classic between the Blues and Blackhawks averaged a $632 ticket while the Maple Leafs and Red Wings’ Centennial Classic posted a $299 average.

As it stands now, this weekend’s game owns the third lowest average for a Stadium Series game in the last four years, trumped only by a 2016 game between the Wild and Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, which owned an overall average of $160. It is the cheapest two-day-out average that any game has posted, however, inching past a 2015 game between the Sharks and Kings ($203) for that title.

Only a 2014 Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium between the Rangers and Islanders owned a lower get-in price ($45) two days out than Saturday’s game at Heinz Field. Penguins vs. Flyers tickets currently start from $67 each in the 500 sections.

The Flyers will play in their first Stadium Series game since the format was created in 2014. It will be their third overall outdoor game after 2010’s Winter Classic at Fenway Park and 2012’s Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park.

The game comes at a crucial time for the Flyers, who remain on the cusp of a playoff spot in a crowded Eastern Conference. As of Thursday afternoon, they sit just three points removed from the second wild-card spot. Some pushing and shoving will occur over the next two months, however, as several other teams fight for that last playoff berth.

The Penguins play host to their second outdoor game at Heinz Field following 2011’s Winter Classic against the Capitals. It will be the reigning Stanley Cup champions’ fourth outdoor game since 2008. They enter Saturday owners of the second seed in the Metropolitan division behind the league-best Capitals with 82 points in tow.

 

Flyers focused on actual game instead of Stadium Series event

Flyers focused on actual game instead of Stadium Series event

VOORHEES, N.J. -- The toughest challenge for the Flyers this weekend might be themselves.

They’re playing the Pittsburgh Penguins outdoors on Saturday as part of the NHL’s Stadium Series event. That should be a big deal.

Yet, given their circumstances right now, how can they possibly enjoy the moment?

Maybe had this game been played in early January, before the team hit a crisis point in the standings, and was winning, it would be easier to relax.

The fact is, the Flyers have lost seven of their last 10 games, are drifting as the 11th team in the Eastern Conference, and the second wild card they held for so long seems far from their reach.

Tough to have fun and soak up the atmosphere when there’s so much pressure to start making up ground in the playoff hunt.

“Yeah, we’re there to have two points,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said Thursday. “If this was earlier in the season, we could take it in a bit more, but it’s all business for us right now. It’s just playing.”

That attitude extends right up to coach Dave Hakstol, who didn’t break a smile when talking about what’s really important here.

His team is desperate for points. There are 22 games left in the regular season and 19 are against Eastern Conference opponents.

The Flyers need to win a bunch of games and get hot like they did last season in March if they are going to recapture a wild-card berth.

“Honestly, it’s business first,” Hakstol said. “There is something to the event and certainly something important with family and the type of event it is. But, let’s be honest. Right now, it’s business first. That’s what our focus will be.

“Points. Simple as that. It’s two points. We need the two points and it’s a road game and it happens to be in an event-type situation.

“So we’ve got to make sure we handle all of that in terms of our preparation. But the bottom line is it comes down to the two points that are at stake on Saturday night.”

Michal Neuvirth will make his sixth consecutive start in goal for the Flyers. He was a backup to Semyon Varlamov at Heinz Field during the 2011 Winter Classic as a member of the Washington Capitals against Pittsburgh.

“We’ve got to focus on the game,” Neuvirth said. “There is going to be a lot of distractions. Lot of families and friends in town. But we’re gonna go there and it’s all about business and trying to get the two points.”

Hakstol is only slightly concerned about the hype taking away from the players’ focus. If the Flyers were coming into this game on a win streak, he and his players wouldn’t be quite as uptight as they are right now.

You can cut the tension in the Flyers' dressing room these days with a skate blade.

“You need a little mental attention to detail there,” Hakstol said. “That’s what it is. We’re in that mold. I don’t think that’s a big hump to overcome. I think we’ll be OK.”

Heinz Field holds 68,000 people. The NHL expects 60,000 in attendance. Regardless, it will be the largest crowd ever to witness a Flyers game.

“It’s more exciting and a must-win for us,” said Michael Raffl, who played outdoors once in Europe. “A huge game no matter where we would have played it. We could play it at Skate Zone and we’d be excited.”

Giroux said it will be “weird” being on the ice because his past experiences in outdoor games saw him drown out the fans as much as possible. Yet he admitted the sheer number of fans this time might make that difficult to do.

“It’s pretty exciting to play in the Steelers' stadium,” he said. “Playing against Pittsburgh, it should be a great game.”