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Flyers Notes: Game 4 strategy: Hit, check and focus

MONTREAL - The Flyers were outhustled, outshot and outplayed in their 5-1 spanking by the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3. Turns out their minds weren't focused, either, coach Peter Laviolette said in a roundabout way.

MONTREAL - The Flyers were outhustled, outshot and outplayed in their 5-1 spanking by the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3. Turns out their minds weren't focused, either, coach Peter Laviolette said in a roundabout way.

At practice Friday, there was an attitude adjustment, said Laviolette, whose team leads the Eastern Conference finals, two games to one, heading into Saturday afternoon's contest at the raucous Bell Centre.

"Our attitude was a little more crisp today," he said. "They seemed to catch our attention last night."

"Today's practice was much more upbeat, and our execution was good," captain Mike Richards said.

Danny Briere, who leads NHL players with four game-winning goals in the playoffs, said the Flyers have regrouped from Thursday's loss.

"We had a good meeting this morning.  Watched a lot of clips of a lot of bad things we did that we weren't doing in the previous two series," Briere said. "But the little things that have crept into our game - bad habits that we need to shake off."

Briere said the Flyers need to play with more physicality and "get back on track" with basics, including crisper passing, stronger forechecks, and better coverage in the defensive end.

Left winger Simon Gagne said the Flyers were on their heels Thursday and need to be more aggressive.

"I don't know if we were looking to see what they're going to do, how it's going to be with the crowd and stuff like that, but we just we didn't play our game and they took it to us," Gagne said. "It's over.  It's one game.  We didn't expect to beat Montreal four-nothing."

Habs' goal

The Canadiens are trying to take resiliency to new heights: They are attempting to become the first team in NHL history to win a third-round series after winning the previous two series in seven games.

"Well, we've had enough practice," said Montreal coach Jacques Martin, laughing, in reference to the team's comebacks.

The Canadiens overcame a 3-1 series deficit against Washington and a 3-2 series deficit against Pittsburgh.

"Basically since the Olympic break, we've been playing desperate hockey, and it's a similar situation for the Flyers," Martin said. "When you look at it, both teams made the playoffs on their last game of the regular season.  Both teams have faced elimination in their previous playoff rounds; both teams have shown a lot of resiliency."

Thursday's lopsided defeat wasn't totally unexpected. The Flyers had won six straight and were due for a letdown.

"Sometimes you lose a game by a goal, two or three guys might not be going on your team, and it costs you the game," Briere said. "But I felt (Thursday) night we probably had 15 or 16 guys not going."

Police seek help

Detective Anthony Vega said Philadelphia police will interview Dan Flannery Saturday in an attempt to find out who was responsible for about $1,000 in damage on a car belonging to Pat Hickey, a writer with the Montreal Gazette. The vandalism - which included the theft of the vehicle's Quebec license plate - occurred while Hickey was covering Game 1 at the Wachovia Center.

Flannery said he did not vandalize the car, but admitted to posting a photo of the stolen license plate on his Facebook page before taking it down. Police are asking if anyone has downloaded that page to notify them at

Looking to rebound

After joining Hall-of-Famer Bernie Parent as the second goalie in team history to register consecutive playoff shutouts, Michael Leighton - who got little defensive support - absorbed Thursday's 5-1 loss.

"Obviously, I wasn't going to shut them out the whole series," Leighton said in a matter-of-fact tone. "I knew they were going to score eventually, so obviously giving up five goals I'm not really proud of that."

Added Leighton: "I'm not going to try to change too much. I just want to keep doing what I've been doing.  Defensively, we know we could have played a lot better, and I could have done a few things differently. I think collectively we're just trying to all work as a team in our zone and do a better job, and I'll do a better job.

Flyers Notes:


Montreal sharing a similar vibe with Flyers. E3.

Laviolette sees an attitude adjustment. E3.