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Posted On Friday, 11.27.2015 / 2:11 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Predators at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers will have three lineup changes against the Nashville Predators on Friday at Wells Fargo Center (3:30 p.m. ET; SN, FS-TN, CSN-PH).

Nick Cousins, recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Friday, will replace Taylor Leier. He'll center a line with Scott Laughton moving from center to left wing. Colin McDonald will play right wing.

Cousins, 22, had six shots on goal in 11 games with the Flyers (7-10-5) last season. He leads Lehigh Valley with 13 assists and 18 points in 15 AHL games this season.

Posted On Thursday, 11.19.2015 / 1:57 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sharks at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau will attempt to become the 83rd player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points when the Sharks (10-8-0) play the Philadelphia Flyers (6-8-4) on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, CSN-PH).

Marleau said the thought of reaching the 1,000-point milestone hasn't completely sunk in yet.

"I think it's easier to keep the focus on playing the game and playing hard, and those things usually happen," he said. "Or you get those points when you're playing hard and playing within a certain structure."

What makes Marleau's chance at history that much sweeter is he'll have done it all with one team. Selected by the Sharks with the second pick of the 1997 NHL Draft, he's the franchise's leader in games played (1,347), goals (462) and points (999), among other categories.

"That's pretty rare, to be able to have done that," he said. "It's definitely special to be all with one team."

Posted On Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 1:53 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Kings at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere will play his fourth NHL game Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings (7 p.m. ET; FS-W, CSN-PH), but he's already smart enough to realize when his team's captain says something, he'd better listen.

Gostisbehere will play the point on the Flyers' top power-play unit for the second straight game Tuesday, and he said after the morning skate he received pointed instructions from captain Claude Giroux on when to shoot the puck.

"They tell me to shoot I'm going to do whatever they say," Gostisbehere said. "Last game he said I want 10 shots from that place so I'm going to shoot the puck every chance I get because I don't want to get yelled at by [Giroux]."

The Flyers (6-8-3) had one power play Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes and got two shots, one by Gostisbehere. But it was his play at the point at even strength that changed the course of that game. Late in the third period he got the puck at the right point, dragged it around the Hurricanes' Chris Terry and got a shot on goal that was deflected into the net by the Flyers' Wayne Simmonds to tie the game. The Flyers went on to win 3-2 in overtime.

Posted On Tuesday, 10.27.2015 / 1:42 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sabres at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Forward Michael Raffl will be in the Philadelphia Flyers lineup Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, MSG-B, BELL TV, CSN-PH) after collapsing on the bench during a game Saturday.

"Just a shot on my chin and a knockout point, I guess,' Raffl told USA Today of the injury sustained in the second period against the New York Rangers. "Nothing too serious. I was fine 10 minutes after and I feel fine [Monday] and [Sunday] was perfect."

Posted On Saturday, 10.24.2015 / 5:25 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Rangers at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers will shift Sam Gagner to center Saturday against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET; MSG, CSN-PH).

Gagner has played mostly left wing since joining the Flyers this season. But with Sean Couturier out because of an upper-body injury, Gagner will start between Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds.

It's the same place Gagner played the final two periods Wednesday against the Boston Bruins after Couturier was hurt.

Gagner is a natural center and played there at times during the preseason. He said Saturday he won't need much time to adjust to being a center in the Flyers' system.

"Not much different from other teams in terms of responsibilities at center," Gagner said. "I think everyone shoulders the load defensively. Just down low in your own end there's some things you need to be aware of. Just have to win your battles, get it up to the wingers and go from there. Obviously there's differences between center and wing. But I'm ready for it."

Posted On Tuesday, 10.20.2015 / 1:46 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Stars at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason will make his first start since Oct. 10 when the Flyers host the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CSN-PH).

Mason missed two games last week because of a personal family issue. In his place Michal Neuvirth had consecutive shutouts against the Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks.

"I'm definitely a little anxious," Mason said. "Got the butterflies, but I think that's a good thing. Ready to get that first shot out of the way and move forward."

Posted On Wednesday, 10.14.2015 / 2:06 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- It will be Ryan Garbutt's turn at left wing on the top line of the Chicago Blackhawks against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw started with center Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa in the first three games but coach Joel Quenneville hasn't liked the chemistry.

Now it's a chance for Garbutt, who was acquired from the Dallas Stars on July 12 as part of the Patrick Sharp trade.

"He's got speed, he's got some experience," Quenneville said. "And he's direct, pretty straight up and down his wing. The other guys are pretty handy with the puck as far as play recognition as well. Maybe he can generate something with his quickness going to the net or his speed off the rush."

Garbutt has nine shots on goal and a minus-1 rating in three games, and said nothing will change in how he approaches the game.

Posted On Monday, 10.12.2015 / 1:48 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Panthers at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason will not be in the lineup Monday against the Florida Panthers because of a personal situation.

"We just ask that you respect his privacy," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. "It's a sensitive issue. I think it's a fair request."

When asked if Mason's absence would be long-term, Hextall said, "I don't believe so." Hextall said he wasn't sure if Mason would be available for the game Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

In Mason's absence Michal Neuvirth will make his first start with the Flyers. He played the final 53 minutes of the Flyers' 7-1 loss Saturday to the Panthers, allowing three goals on 22 shots.

Posted On Tuesday, 09.15.2015 / 4:32 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Flyers' Mason develops rapport with new goalie coach

PINE HILL, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason credits former Flyers goaltending coach Jeff Reese for helping him regain the confidence in his game.

Now Mason will have a new coach, Kim Dillabaugh, to help him try to take his play even further.

Dillabaugh was hired July 3 to replace Reese, who had a mutual parting with the Flyers on March 6. Dillabaugh had been the goaltender development coach for the Los Angeles Kings, where he worked with Flyers general manager Ron Hextall.

Hextall said he set up a meeting between Mason and Dillabaugh prior to hiring Dillabaugh, and based on that, he believes the relationship will be a positive one. Mason said he came to Philadelphia earlier than usual this summer to continue getting to know Dillabaugh.

"I was able to come in a little bit early and get a body of work and go out early on the ice with Kim, which has been great," Mason said Tuesday prior to taking part in the Flyers Celebrity Golf Invitational at Trump National Golf Club.

Posted On Saturday, 06.27.2015 / 2:31 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Blues goalie pick Opilka thrilled to meet Brodeur

SUNRISE, Fla. -- For goaltender Luke Opilka from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, being drafted by his favorite team, the St. Louis Blues, was a wonderful moment.

But it got even better when the fifth-round pick (No. 146), a St. Louis native, reached the Blues' draft table on the floor of BB&T Center. One of the first team officials he met was assistant general manager Martin Brodeur.

This is the first draft as an executive for Brodeur, the winningest goaltender in NHL history, who ended his 22-season career in January.

"I definitely had chills seeing him," Opilka said. "I was already shocked just being drafted to the home team and then I saw him. I was speechless almost. Couldn't get anything out."

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We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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