Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has his work cut out against the Bruins' power- play unit. While Boston welcomes back Marc Savard, Philadelphia won't have Simon Gagne and Ian Laperriere to open the Eastern Conference semifinals series.
Gagne (toe) and Laperrierre (concussion) were injured in the Flyers' first-round series against the Devils. Without them, the B's will challenge Philly's penalty killers, but according to NHL.com, right wing Andreas Nodl could be the key to stopping a potentially explosive Boston power-play unit.
"I think Nodl gives us the best option if we need penalty-killers off the bench because he's killed penalties in the past and has done a good job at it," Laviolette told NHL.com. "It could still change from game to game."
Nodl, Darroll Powe and Claude Giroux are expected to see plenty of ice against the B's when the series kicks off on Saturday at the TD Garden, and they will try to maintain Philadelphia's postseason success on the penalty kill. The Flyers shut down a Devils power-play unit featuring perennial 40-goal scorer Ilya Kovalchuk in the team's first-round matchup, allowing New Jersey to convert just 8-of-29 attempts.
Flyers defenseman Bryan Coburn understands key players have suffered significant injuries, but he believes his team can thrive under pressure.
"Lappy is a good player and one of the best at what he does in that role," Coburn said of Laperriere, who is out indefinitely. "But we have guys who obviously have stepped up and played when he wasn't out there."
The Bruins' power-play unit of David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi converted 6-of-22 chances in the team's first-round series against the Sabres, and the addition of Savard could provide a significant spark to the team's offense.
Powe understands Philadelphia has stepped up its penalty killing in the playoffs.
"I think we all need to step it up now," Powe said. "For us to be as successful, as we have been, we're going to need to get in the way of shots."
That will be easier said than done with the B's new-and-improved power-play unit.