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Flyers Play Head Games With Niemi

The Philadelphia Flyers, desperate for any winning edge against the mighty Blackhawks, resorted Tuesday to mind games -- especially concerning Hawks goalie Antti Niemi -- when Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said:

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"We’ve got to put more pressure on their goaltender. He’s a rookie goaltender playing in the Stanley Cup Finals," said Laviolette, who coached Carolina to the Cup four years ago. "We have to get on the board here tomorrow night and put a little bit of doubt there. Our team is capable of scoring a lot of goals, put a lot of pressure on him.

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"It’s a tough position, goaltending. He’s representing a city that hasn’t won a Cup in 50 years. We have to give him a crack of doubt. We can do that tomorrow night."

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He also had joined Chris Pronger in snatching pucks from Hawks players after the first two games in Chicago, a most childish action.

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However, today Laviolette is singing a different tune, dropping the head games and trying to get his team to focus on the game and winning. Perhaps without trying the Hawks have gotten into the Flyers heads.

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The Hawks can set a new record tonight by winning their eighth consecutive game on the road in a playoff series. They are 7-1 on the road. The Flyers are 7-1 at home.