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Carchidi: Flyers need to show urgency as tough stretch begins

The Flyers need to start showing some urgency, need to build off their impressive 5-3 win Sunday over Calgary.

When they host Boston on Tuesday, they will begin a tough stretch in which they play eight games in 13 nights. Despite their mediocrity - they are 10-10-3 and have won two straight just once all season - they are just two points behind New Jersey for the final wild-card spot.

The Devils, however, have two games in hand.

Yes, it's early. The season has 59 games remaining, plenty of time to display some consistency.

Dave Hakstol wants it to start. Immediately.

"We've got to scratch and claw every night right now," the second-year coach said after Monday's optional practice in Voorhees. "We're a .500 hockey team and it seems like we've talked about that quite a lot.  We can keep talking about it, or we can worry about doing something about it.

"So, yeah, this is a critical stretch between now and the Christmas break. That's about as 'big picture' as I want to get, and we absolutely have to narrow it down a lot further than that - right down to the points that are available tomorrow night" against Boston.

It would help if they weren't falling behind and chasing the game so much. The Flyers have scored first in just eight of their 23 games.  They are 5-1-2 when scoring first, 5-9-1 when they don't.

The Flyers have 13 games (seven at home) in a 24-day stretch before their Christmas break. It's imperative they make up ground in that span because after the holidays, things will get much more difficult: 10 of their first 15 games are on the road.

And the road has not been kind to this team, which is 4-5-1 away from the Wells Fargo Center this season.