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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Sunday, 04.06.2014 / 2:18 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Struggling Flyers refuse to look past Sabres

PHILADELPHIA -- With one win in their past seven games and teams racing up behind them in the Stanley Cup Playoff chase, the Philadelphia Flyers have their focus squarely set on their opponent Sunday, the Buffalo Sabres (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

"I'd say it's a must-win for us," Flyers forward Scott Hartnell said. "We have to treat this as the last game of the year to get in the playoffs. We need two points. It's getting little too close for comfort right now with the way we've played the last few games."

The Flyers are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday and are 1-4-2 in their past seven. They're third in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets and three ahead of the New Jersey Devils.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.03.2014 / 1:29 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers' Timonen returns, ready for 'playoff mode'

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers will have one of their most important players back in the lineup when defenseman Kimmo Timonen returns Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Timonen sat out Philadelphia's 1-0 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday with an upper-body injury after being hit in the chin by a puck in their shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

"It's always good to have him," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "He's a great player, a very good player for us. Power play, penalty kill, 5-on-5. He's a very good player, so when he's out of the lineup we miss him."

Timonen, 39, is second among Philadelphia defensemen with 32 points in 71 games; in 14 games since the break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics he has three goals and 10 assists.

"I like this time of year," Timonen said. "The sun is up. We get right into playoff mode, every game matters. It's easier coming to the rink when you know you have to play your best. Especially after the Olympics. I knew there were tough games coming up and it was a tough schedule. Anytime it gets under 20 games it's really easy to play."

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Posted On Sunday, 03.30.2014 / 12:10 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers' Downie won't play against Bruins

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers forward Steve Downie will miss his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury Sunday against the Boston Bruins (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC), but could be close to returning to the lineup.

Downie, who was hurt on the opening shift of the Flyers' game March 22 against the St. Louis Blues when he collided with St. Louis' Patrik Berglund, was a full participant at practice Saturday.

"I feel pretty good, actually," Downie said. "I'm almost ready. Nothing's really bothering me. There's just a couple more steps I need to take.

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Posted On Friday, 03.28.2014 / 1:45 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers shift struggling Lecavalier to fourth line

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier had been hoping to be shifted back to his natural center position. He'll get his wish Friday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but not quite the way he wanted.

Lecavalier will center the Flyers' fourth line, flanked by left wing Zac Rinaldo and right wing Adam Hall.

Two days after a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers, their second straight, the Flyers switched three of their four forward lines.

Lecavalier had been playing left wing on the second line, centered by Brayden Schenn. Coach Craig Berube easily could have flipped Lecavalier and Schenn but opted to move Lecavalier completely.

"I didn't want to move [Schenn] out of that position right now," Berube said. "It wasn't working where it was, so I put him in the middle there. That's where we're going to start right now."

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Posted On Monday, 03.24.2014 / 1:53 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers focus on ending homestand with win

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers will end one of their more impressive recent homestands Monday against the Los Angeles Kings.

They won their first three games, beating the Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues; when you add in their sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins the previous weekend, that's five straight wins against top-level opposition.

The focus Monday is to finish this stretch as strongly as possible.

"It's really big," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "We've been playing good teams and L.A. is up there [in the standings]. The way they play, they play a physical game defensively. I think if we're not responsible defensively they're going to score a lot of goals on us. We have to make sure we're responsible like we've been the last few games.

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Posted On Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 12:08 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues look to clinch playoff spot in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- The St. Louis Blues will have their second chance to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they play the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

The Blues can get in by picking up at least one point against the Flyers. They also can get in if the Ottawa Senators beat the Dallas Stars in any fashion or the Boston Bruins beat the Phoenix Coyotes in any fashion later Saturday.

Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, a healthy scratch the past five games, will return to the lineup Saturday for St. Louis. Colaiacovo's last played March 9, when he had a goal in 12:21 of ice time against the Minnesota Wild.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 2:06 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

In search of offense, Stars move Chiasson to top line

PHILADELPHIA -- Looking for a way to enliven his team's offense, Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff will use rookie right wing Alex Chiasson on the top line alongside center Tyler Seguin and left wing Jamie Benn on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Chiasson has 12 goals and 29 points in 65 games, but two of those goals have come in the past four games.

"He competes, he drives to the net hard, he's standing in front," Seguin said of Chiasson. "Playing against teams like Philly, you need to be competing, you need to be battling, you need to be getting into the dirty areas, and Chiasson does that."

It won't be the first time Ruff has put Chiasson with Seguin and Benn.

"We've tried a couple times throughout the year," Chiasson said, "and to be honest it hasn't worked really well. Let's hope that [Thursday] maybe something changes.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 2:11 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blackhawks' Smith getting chance to center Kane

PHILADELPHIA -- It's been nearly four years since his Stanley Cup-winning goal here at Wells Fargo Center, but for Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane there's still something magical about coming to Philadelphia.

"Kind of cool to be back and remember what happened," Kane said after the Blackhawks' morning skate, which featured a toned-down re-creation of his goal celebration after he scored in overtime of Game 6 of the 2010 Cup Final. "It was a long time ago, but feels like it was just yesterday."

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Posted On Saturday, 03.15.2014 / 1:26 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Penguins forward Kunitz out against Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without forward Chris Kunitz when they open a home-and-home weekend set against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday at Wells Fargo Center.

Kunitz sat out practice after sustaining a lower-body injury in the third period of the Penguins' 2-0 win Tuesday against the Washington Capitals. He skated Friday but was ruled unavailable Saturday.

Replacing Kunitz will be Taylor Pyatt, who will skate alongside center Sidney Crosby and right wing Lee Stempniak.

The Penguins also are without forward James Neal, who this week was ruled out indefinitely because of a concussion.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 5:41 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers call-up VandeVelde to play against Devils

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers have recalled forward Chris VandeVelde from Adirondack of the American Hockey League, and he'll play Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils.

VandeVelde will replace Zac Rinaldo on the fourth line, where he'll play left wing alongside center Michael Raffl and right wing Adam Hall. He is also likely to see time on the penalty kill. The Flyers announced Rinaldo is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

In 17 NHL games this season, VandeVelde has one assist, a minus-3 rating and eight shots on goal. In 39 AHL games, he has nine goals and 14 assists.

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Quote of the Day

I was going nuts and I saw [Subban], he was going crazy, and the ref had no idea where to go. [Subban] was skating to me, and I was skating to him and the ref was right in between us and I don't know, I kind of hit him pretty hard, I thought, but those were some emotions and I'm pretty sure he understands that.

— Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk on the celebration following his OT goal against Ottawa in Game 2