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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 7:34 PM

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

Flyers tinker with opening-night lineup

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers are set to begin their 2013-14 season against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night, and there appear to be some changes from what was seen during the preseason.

Among the changes based on pre-game warmups are a new-look top line that features Brayden Schenn replacing Jakub Voracek at right wing alongside center Claude Giroux and left wing Scott Hartnell.


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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 6:24 PM

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

Bernier expected to make first start for Maple Leafs

PHILADELPHIA -- Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle did not meet with reporters before Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center, but it's expected that the only significant lineup change for them will be in goal. Jonathan Bernier is expected to get the start after serving as the backup in Tuesday’s 4-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens.

"I think both those guys in the preseason played really strong," Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk said. "The one [preseason] game in Detroit we hung him out to dry a little bit. He's really solid. You notice it in practice, even trying to score on him then, he doesn't give you much to shoot at and he really competes in there."


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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 12:32 PM

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

Flyers' Meszaros thrilled to finally be healthy

PHILADELPHIA -- For the first time in a long time, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros is able to say he feels healthy.

Injures to his back and shoulder, as well as a torn Achilles tendon, has limited him 12 games since March 1, 2012. He played 11 games last season.

"I'm really excited," he told NHL.com after taking part in the team's optional skate Wednesday. "I can't wait to play again. It's been a while. Preseason is over, so now I'm ready to go and it should be fun."


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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 12:23 PM

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

Lecavalier excited for first game with Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- After a full training camp and a few preseason games, Vincent Lecavalier has grown familiar with his new orange jersey.

However, he said it will be a different feeling when he skates onto the ice here at Wells Fargo Center for his first regular season game as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.

"I'm definitely really excited," Lecavalier said. "Any opening night, especially when it's your first game with a new team, it's definitely extra special. I've never been through it. I've had a lot of great years in Tampa but I'm happy to be here. I think we have a great hockey team and I'm just excited to start."

Lecavalier, who will start centering the second line between Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, said he hasn't needed to change much of his game to adjust to new teammates and a new style of play.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 12:16 PM

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

Flyers hold optional skate; projected lineup for opener

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers held an optional skate Wednesday morning, with only nine players taking the ice ahead of their game Wednesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. But that was OK with coach Peter Laviolette.

"It was their choice," he said. "We've been practicing hard here, going at it pretty hard here. Whatever they wanted to do to get ready to play."

It's been a long time since the Flyers played a meaningful game, and a few players said they felt a little extra jump in their step when they got to the arena Wednesday.

"It's been a while waiting here," captain Claude Giroux said. "A long summer. You think about it a lot in the summer. Last year, not being happy with the results, every day thinking about it, and today's the day. I think everybody is pretty excited."


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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 11:58 AM

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

Flyers to start Mason in opener against Maple Leafs

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said he was happy with the play of goalies Steve Mason and Ray Emery during training camp, but opted for Mason to start the season opener Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs in part based on how Mason performed with the Flyers last season.

The 25-year-old, who joined the team in April after a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, went 4-2-0 with a 1.90 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in seven games.

"Both goaltenders played well," Laviolette said. "We have to have a starting point here. Steve came here at the end of last year and really played terrific for us. Either one of them could have started, but we had to choose. Based on what Steve did at the end of last year, and the way Steve came into camp in shape, and the way he played through camp … both goaltenders, you could make a case for either one. We had to start somewhere and we decided to go with Steve. He had a great camp and he's ready to go."

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Posted On Tuesday, 09.17.2013 / 9:54 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Capitals' Rechlicz on shootout winner: 'Just got lucky'

Preseason games give coaches the opportunities to experiment, try things they wouldn't normally do during the season.

Like, for instance, using a player with zero goals and 105 penalty minutes in 26 NHL games in the fourth round of a shootout.

That's just what Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates did Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers, using Joel Rechlicz in the post-overtime tiebreaker. It worked as Rechlicz beat Ray Emery with a backhander for the game-deciding goal.

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Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 9:44 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Tandem role nothing new for Flyers' Mason, Emery

PHILADELPHIA -- Steve Mason and Ray Emery are new teammates, but they're in a very familiar situation.

The two parts of the Philadelphia Flyers' goaltending tandem started training camp on equal footing in the quest for playing time, and it's a situation both should be used to.

Last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Mason started the season battling Sergei Bobrovsky for playing time. It was a battle Bobrovsky eventually won, which led to Mason's arrival in Philadelphia at the trade deadline.

At the same time Mason was competing with Bobrovsky, Emery was doing the same with Chicago Blackhawks teammate Corey Crawford for time in net. That situation was a bit different as Emery pushed Crawford all season, and Crawford only emerged as the No. 1 option when Emery was sidelined late in the regular season and at the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a lower-body injury.


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Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 3:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Flyers' Mason embraces undead with unique mask

PHILADELPHIA -- Christmas came early for Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason.

Mason received his new mask Thursday, a zombie-themed creation that features a number of Revolutionary War-era historical figures.

"I feel like a kid on Christmas morning," the goaltender said.

"I'm very impressed," Mason told NHL.com. "He [artist Franny Drummond] had sent me photos throughout the week so I knew what to expect, but when you see something in person for the first time, knowing the amount of hours Franny had put into the helmet, it's pretty impressive to see it in person."


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Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 2:14 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Flyers' Giroux reports progress in recovery

PHILADELPHIA -- Claude Giroux wasn't a full participant in the first-day, on-ice activities at Philadelphia Flyers training camp, but he continued to make progress in his recovery from surgery to repair two torn tendons in his right index finger.

Giroux sustained the injury during a golf outing Aug. 15 and had surgery that day to repair the damage. The Flyers announced he would need five to six weeks of time to recover, but Thursday he was able to move the puck around more than he thought he would.

"It felt better than I thought," he said. "I wasn't too sure what I would be able to do. I was handling the puck and it was feeling good. I started passing it and it felt pretty good, and it still feels good."


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— 29-year-old Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare after scoring his first NHL goal
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