With the Wells Fargo Center not allowed to have fans in the building because of the pandemic -- that could change soon -- maybe the usually pass-happy Flyers miss their spectators pleading with them to shoot the puck!

OK, we’re pretty sure they don’t miss those pleas, but they have not made opposing goalies work too hard.

For most of the season, the Flyers have been reluctant shooters. And when they have fired away, they have a high shooting percentage, but they have missed the net too much and have had too many shots blocked.

Wednesday was different.

In a much-needed 4-3 win over the New York Rangers, the Flyers -- who entered the night averaging a league-low 23.3 shots per game -- had a shooter’s mentality for one of the few times this season.

It was by design.

» READ MORE: Three reasons why the Flyers beat the Rangers, 4-3

“We talked about it. We need to shoot more pucks on net,” defenseman Erik Gustafsson said after the Flyers fired a season-high 39 shots, eight more than their previous high. “ ... The last game we played against them, they blocked a lot of shots. We talked a lot about doing one- timers and having the puck go quick to the net. That’s what we tried to do.”

In the Flyers’ previous game against the Rangers, a 3-2 overtime loss, they had more shots blocked (27) than on net (22).

This time, they had 39 shots on goal and 18 others blocked. The latter number is still too high, but it is acceptable if the Flyers can force a goalie to face nearly 40 shots.

“I think a big part of us getting more shots on net starts with our back end,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “When our back end finds a way to get pucks through, obviously it creates more scrambles and it creates more looks. For us, we were talking about getting more pucks to the net. We have some (defensive) guys there who in my estimation should be able to get pucks through.”

The Flyers’ defensemen combined for 12 shots on goal, including six by Shayne Gostisbehere, and 28 shot attempts. Even when the shots didn’t go on net, they helped. Witness Gustafsson’s drive that caromed off the end wall to a hustling Gostisbehere, who scored from the right circle.

“We’ve been harping on getting shots through, even if they hit the back of the boards and they bounce back out and we’re going down right into it,” Gostisbehere said. “... We’re just trying to get shots through, (get) open shots, and wreak some havoc in front of the net.”

» READ MORE: Nolan Patrick contributes at right wing, but may be moved back to center

More shots, of course, means a team is spending more time in the offensive end. That hasn’t happened too often this season for the Flyers, but it was the formula they used Wednesday, when they outshot an opponent for just the third time in 16 games this season.

On Wednesday, the Flyers had 72 shot attempts -- 22 more than the Rangers. Claude Giroux led the way with 12 shot attempts, including eight on net.

The Flyers (9-4-3) will try to continue the winning formula when they start a five-game road trip Saturday in Buffalo. They will play two games in Buffalo and three in Pittsburgh.

Right winger Jake Voracek and defenseman Justin Braun could return to the lineup Saturday after undergoing long COVID-19 quarantines.