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Flyers fail to capitalize on 'huge' opportunity
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SUNRISE, Fla. -- They got a gift: A delay of game penalty. It was the break the Flyers were looking for because it gave them a fat, one-minute, 23-second, two-man power-play advantage in a scoreless game against the Panthers.

Instead of grabbing it by the throat and making something happen, the power play expired with the Flyers generating three long shots on their five-on-three.

Florida used the momentum of its penalty kill to score twice before the second period was over. It was all the goals the Panthers needed in a 3-1 win (see story).

“That had a lot of merit in the game,” Wayne Simmonds said. “We had that five-on-three for a minute [something] and that was a key. We got shots through. We got nothing out of it.”

Simmonds would later score on the power play in the third period, marking the seventh game in succession the Flyers notched a power-play goal, but not getting another on the five-on-three was crucial in the loss.

Especially since Florida came right off it for a goal by Sean Bergenheim.

“Any time you get a five-on-three for more than a minute, you got to get shots but you also have to get the puck in the back of the net,” Scott Hartnell said. “We had some good shots but couldn’t find the back of the net.”

Flyers captain Claude Giroux called the missed opportunity “huge.”

“We had our chances,” he said. “We did the plays we wanted to make. [Goalie] Tim Thomas came up pretty far there. It’s going to go in sometimes … but five-on-three, it’s got to be automatic [scoring].”

Flyers coach Craig Berube wasn’t as upset about the missed chance as much as how poorly his team played for two periods at even strength. To him, that was a bigger factor in having the Flyers’ points streak end at seven games (see Instant Replay).

“It was as big as any other one,” Berube said. “We had a couple good looks. I didn’t mind the five-on-three. I thought we shot the puck. I thought they tried to do the right thing.

“We had missed opportunities in the first period. Simmer had one backdoor and missed the net. Hartsy had an opportunity in the second period, wide open net, couldn’t get his stick on the puck.

“For me, it’s more about being prepared to battle in the game. The third period, we came out and had a good third.”