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Posted On Sunday, 03.30.2014 / 12:10 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 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.

Posted On Friday, 03.28.2014 / 1:45 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 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."

Posted On Monday, 03.24.2014 / 1:53 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 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.

Posted On Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 12:08 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 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.

Posted On Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 2:06 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 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.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 2:11 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 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."

Posted On Saturday, 03.15.2014 / 1:26 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 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.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 5:41 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 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.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 5:40 PM

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

Rested Henrique attacking, scoring for Devils

PHILADELPHIA -- For New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer, no player needed the break during the 2014 Sochi Olympics more than center Adam Henrique.

Whatever Henrique did certainly is paying dividends now. He has at least a goal in all six games since play resumed, an NHL-best nine goals since the break ended, and his 11 points are tied with Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen for most in the League.

Henrique's six-game goal streak has tied a Devils record, and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he's the first Devils player since John MacLean in December 1988 to score at least nine goals in a six-game span.

"I think we probably overplayed some people, including him, the first half of the year, dealing with injuries and some things," DeBoer said. "I think he got a little bit fatigued. I think the break helped him as much or more than anybody recharge and come back with a little more jump, which has helped."

Posted On Wednesday, 03.05.2014 / 5:59 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014 Trade Deadline blog

Bruins trade for Meszaros, claim Potter off waivers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday traded defenseman Andrej Meszaros to the Boston Bruins for a conditional third-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

The pick would become a second-round selection if the Bruins reach the Eastern Conference Final and Meszaros plays two-thirds of their Stanley Cup Playoff games, or if he is re-signed before the draft. Meszaros can become an unrestricted free agent after the season. If the Bruins fail to reach the conference final and Meszaros signs after the draft, the Flyers will get the Bruins' fourth-round pick in 2015.

Meszaros, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season, became expendable when the Flyers acquired defenseman Andrew MacDonald from the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

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Jamie improves every game and every year. I've only been with him for two years, but as a player and as a person it seems like every week he's getting stronger and better, and becoming a better leader and better captain. He wants the team to be so successful that he's making himself better as a player.

— Stars forward Tyler Seguin on teammate Jamie Benn, the '14-15 Art Ross Trophy winner
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