The Flyers went 0 for 3 on the power play in their 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, stretching their run of futility to 2 for 41.
But the nature of the game left coach Peter Laviolette convinced that it's just a matter of time before it gets going. The Flyers scored four five-on-five goals in breaking their three-game winless streak, more than their three previous games combined. Laviolette said one pattern often follows another.
"Like anything in sports you go through a stretch where you're not getting the results you want, but you have to remain positive and confident that those players will score on the power play," he said. "I think a lot of times they go hand in hand. When your team struggles five-on-five a lot of times you'll see them struggling on the power play. Not always, but you start to come around five-on-five, you feel confident about that, and then the next thing you know the power play does the same. I remain 100 percent confident in both teams."
Laviolette flip-flopped Danny Briere and Jeff Carter on the power-play units. Briere said that when a switch is made, it often doesn't click immediately.
"It seems like every time we spend a lot of time working on it, it usually doesn't happen right away," Briere said. "I remember last year we spent a whole day watching video [on the power play] and practicing, and it took a little time to turn it around."
The Devils scored two power-play goals after going 1 for 41 on the road.
In a ceremony before the game, the Flyers honored Collin Thomas, a Navy Seal chief petty officer who was recently killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
Flyers captain Mike Richards presented Thomas' parents, Clay and Jean Thomas, with a framed Flyers jersey. Thomas had trained in Philadelphia in the spring, and he and several other Navy Seals had become friendly with Flyers trainer Jim McCrossin, who took them into the locker room a few times to meet players.
After Richards presented Thomas' parents with the jersey, the Flyers skated over to offer their condolences.
"The ceremony was beautiful," Clay Thomas said. "We could not have asked for any higher honor than what happened today with the ovation the fans gave us and those players coming over and shaking our hands. I'm speechless."
Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made an outstanding save on Ilya Kovalchuk on a breakaway in the second period. The save prevented the Devils from taking a 3-2 lead. Kovalchuk gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal. It was his first goal in nine games and second in the last 17. . . . The Flyers will play a second game in two days for the sixth time this season when they face the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Sunday. They are 2-1-2 in the second games of back-to-backs. - Ray Parrillo