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More than ever, the time is now for sliding Flyers originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
A show-me stretch begins Sunday for Alain Vigneault's club.
The skidding Flyers (8-9-4) play five games in the next seven days, starting with a home matchup against the two-time defending champion Lightning (14-5-4).
Let's get into the essentials for the game:
When: 6 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 5:30 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• The Flyers need to stop the bleeding before things become unrecoverable.
After three days between games and a few home dates ahead, the time sure feels like now for the Flyers to mercifully stem the tide of their season. They've dropped seven straight (0-5-2), the longest losing streak of Vigneault's tenure in Philadelphia.
"We were talking about it, me and [Kevin Hayes] last night, it's one of those things where you lose a couple of games in a row, whatever it is, it's all about getting on a run and winning some games, going on a little bit of a hot streak," Keith Yandle said Friday. "For us, it's finding a way to get that first win and then trying to build off it, get points and ultimately snowball it into some wins in a row."
When these slides prolong, they are dangerous because of what they can do to a team's psyche.
The Flyers were clearly pressing in their 4-1 loss Wednesday to the Rangers. They're hoping the last three days, which included a pair of practices, was a chance to reset.
"Every year you get that tough stretch," Justin Braun said Saturday. "You kind of get to six, seven, eight, you've got to maybe put that out of your mind and reset. Just take it like it's your first game of the year. You can't overthink it that you're not playing well. You've just got to go out there with confidence because this is a tough league, everyone's good every night. So you can't go out there thinking about past games, you've got to go out there and do your job that night."
• The Flyers will try to spark their offense without 21-year-old winger Joel Farabee, who is considered week to week with a shoulder injury.
Since Oct. 30, the Flyers have scored only 1.67 goals per game, the second fewest in the NHL over that span. They've gone 4-8-3 in that stretch.
Fourth-liner Patrick Brown is set to return to the lineup a little earlier than expected. He had been battling a thumb injury since mid-November. The 29-year-old was activated off of injured reserve this afternoon and Max Willman was sent to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.
• The Flyers' woeful power play has been arguably the biggest culprit for the team's current state.
The man advantage entered Sunday 31st in the NHL at 12.5 percent and is 5 for its last 57.
"At the end of the day, our power play needs to step up," Claude Giroux said Friday. "We've lost multiple games this year because the power play couldn't step up for us. It starts with me, I'm the one that has the puck most of the time on the power play so I've got to make better plays, have a mindset of getting the puck to the net a little bit more. I think last game we had good opportunities, but at the end of the day, it's about putting the puck in the net."
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Cam Atkinson
Morgan Frost-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Scott Laughton-Zack MacEwen
Oskar Lindblom-Connor Bunnaman-Patrick Brown
Ivan Provorov-Rasmus Ristolainen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Keith Yandle-Nick Seeler
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