View Count: 310 |  Publish Date: April 07, 2014
Flyers Notes: Berube inserts Raffl as center on second line
Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014, 3:01 AM
Coach Craig Berube apparently didnt like Vinny Lecavaliers performance on the second line Saturday in Boston, so he moved the veteran back to the fourth line.
But the bigger surprise was that Berube shifted rookie Michael Raffl to center the second unit against visiting Buffalo on Sunday night, alongside slumping Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.
Schenn, who began the night with one goal in his last 10 games, has been the primary center on that line.
More coverageVOTE: Can Mason lead Flyers deep into playoffs?Latest hockey videos Forum: Do the Flyers have a chance at the Stanley Cup? Can the Flyers make a long playoff run with Steve Mason in goal? Yes.No. View results "Well try to get it in deep and grind them out," Raffl said before the game. "That should be our mind-set."
Raffl has played most of the season at left wing but says he is getting more comfortable at center.
The 25-year-old Austrian has been on every line and said it "makes no difference" where he plays. "The mind-set is the same. You do whatever you have to do to help the team to win."
The Flyers took a four-game losing streak into Sundays game, including shootout defeats to NHL powers Boston and St. Louis.
It helps to have a short memory in this league, Raffl said.
"You lose a game. You win a game. You have to focus on the next game. It doesnt matter what happened in the past," he said.
Raffl went into the night with nine goals and 22 points in 64 games; he had not scored in his last eight games.
Lecavalier, who lost a key faceoff that led to the decisive goal by Boston on Saturday, centered Jay Rosehill and Adam Hall on the fourth line. He replaced Raffl on the second line in the third period.
New look
Flyers center Sean Couturier drastically trimmed his "mountain man" beard, saying it was "time to move on and try to start a new streak here."
Joked Couturier, 21: "I do feel younger."
Couturier entered Sunday with one goal in his last 23 games.
Matt Reads first-period goal was his second in the last 11 games. . . . Buffalos Ville Leino, a former Flyer, was without a goal in 55 games this season before Sunday. . . . Sunday completed the Flyers 13th set of back-to-back games this season. They are 6-7 in first games of those sets and 9-4 in second games. . . . The Flyers are an NHL-worst 27-50 in shootouts all-time, including a 3-7 mark this season.
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