One day after an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Colorado, Flyers coach Dave Hakstol turned into a drill sergeant.

The rookie coach put his team through rigorous one-on-one and two-on-two battle drills at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. The one-on-ones started behind the net, while the two-on-twos began about 25 feet from the goalie.

There was lots of intensity, lots of contact, lots of players sprawled on the ice after hits.

"We weren't happy with our compete level [Tuesday] . . . so we came out and worked at it today in practice," Hakstol said. "It was a hard work day."

The drills were designed to remind the Flyers (5-7-3) what they were missing in the listless defeat to the Avalanche.

"It was a tough practice, but we deserved one," said right winger Jake Voracek, who is goalless in the first 15 games.

"We have to hold each other accountable," said goalie Steve Mason, who will make his first start in the last five games Thursday, facing visiting Washington (10-4). "Today was a perfect example of the compete level we have to have.

"If we can work that way in games, we can wear teams down," Mason added.

Winger Matt Read said the team did similar drills several years ago, back when Peter Laviolette was the coach.

"We lost a lot of one-on-one and two-on-two battles in the corners [Tuesday] and all over the ice," Read said. "You have to win those to win the games."

The Flyers, losers of seven of their last eight, are averaging 1.93 goals per game, next-to-last in the NHL.

"You're not going to come out of it unless you work hard," Wayne Simmonds said.

After practice, Voracek spent time with Liam Idzi, an 8-year-old cerebral palsy patient who is confined to a wheelchair. He pushed him around the ice and helped him score a goal.

"He has one more than I do," Voracek said. "Good for him."

The youngster's family had asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation to have Voracek push him around the ice.

Assisting Liam helped put things in perspective, Voracek said.

"Life isn't only about winning or losing," he said. "When you look at the ailments, it's obviously about battling for life. Obviously you want to win, you want to feel good, but when you can help kids like that, it's a good thing."

Breakaways. The Capitals' Alex Ovechkin needs one more goal to set the record for a Russian-born NHL player; he has 483. In Tuesday's 1-0 loss in Detroit, Ovechkin became the first player since 1967-68 to fire 15 shots on goal and not score. . . . The Flyers were mum on why goalie Michal Neuvirth, who played the entire game Tuesday, missed practice and visited a doctor Wednesday. He later said he felt fine and could play Thursdays if needed. . . . Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Mark Streit left practice early for unknown reasons, and R.J. Umberger missed his third straight practice for an undisclosed injury. . . . Defenseman Evgeny Medvedev, sidelined the last five games with an injury, practiced but was not with the regulars. . . . The Flyers sent defenseman Davis Drewiske back to the Phantoms.