WASHINGTON — Everything changes in the playoffs, so maybe it’s not so much a surprise that after the last few weeks of the regular season that had the Flyers on edge now they’re relaxed as could be at the most important time of the year.

Before Game 1, head coach Dave Hakstol even smiled. He cracked a joke. Even after the Flyers dropped the first game of the series, it didn’t feel like the end of the world.

Clearly this isn’t the regular season anymore and maybe that’s the point. Just getting to the postseason has given the Flyers a new life.

“It’s like getting a second wind,” defenseman Mark Streit said. “All of a sudden the bumps and bruises don’t hurt as much. Only getting a couple days off helps the body and the mind. The joy and the happiness just overshadows everything. We had a really rough schedule the last two weeks, even the last six weeks, but we battled through it. We looked at it and said it was going to be tough and it was tough, but now we’re here. Once you’re in the playoffs, I think the legs are pretty light and your head is cleared up.”

And if that wasn’t enough, the Flyers got another bit of motivation. On the back of their warmup shirts is a quote:

“It’s all laid out. No excuses, no nothing. If you’re going to die, die with your boots on.”

The message was sent through a text to the team before the playoffs began. It came from a U.S. Navy SEAL Master Chief Neil Hermansen, a buddy of assistant coach Ian Laperriere, who came to talk to the team at some point in the season.

“Hell of a quote, huh?” one player said. “’Die with your boots on?’ That gets me going.”

Heading into the first game of a best-of-seven series against the Washington Capitals, the Flyers felt re-energized. To get back into the series in Game 2, they feel like they’re not far off what they need to do.