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Posted On Thursday, 03.22.2012 / 12:50 PM

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

Semin to be game-time decision for Capitals

PHILADELPHIA -- Washington Capitals coach Dale Hunter said forward Alexander Semin will be a game-time decision for Thursday's game here against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Semin did not practice Wednesday and skipped this morning's skate, which was an optional practice. Team captain Alex Ovechkin and defenseman Dennis Wideman also opted to skip the practice.

"He's still on maintenance right now," Hunter said.

Hunter said Semin would skate in the pre-game warm-ups, after which he'll decide if the forward will play or not.

If Semin does play, it looks like Joel Ward will be a healthy scratch, although Hunter would not reveal what his lineup would look like.

Assuming Semin plays, here is what the Capitals likely will put on the ice tonight:

Alex Ovechkin - Brooks Laich - Troy Brouwer
Marcus Johansson - Keith Aucoin - Alexander Semin
Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault - Mike Knuble
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Jeff Halpern

Karl Alzner - Dennis Wideman
Jeff Schultz - John Carlson
Mike Green - Roman Hamrlik

Hunter wouldn't reveal who his starting goaltender would be, but it's likely Braden Holtby will receive his second straight start. He stopped 30 of 33 shots in Monday's 5-3 win in Detroit. Michael Neuvirth will be the backup.

Ward and defensemen John Erskine and Dmitry Orlov likely will be healthy scratches.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Sunday, 03.18.2012 / 12:06 PM

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

Letang in lineup for Penguins

PHILADELPHIA -- The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is reporting Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will play today against the Philadelphia Flyers (12:30 p.m., NBC).
Saturday was Letang's second game back after missing more than two weeks with a recurrence of concussion-like symptoms, and in the third period he took a hard hit from New Jersey's Eric Boulton. However, it appears he's healthy enough to be in the lineup today.
Also expected to play is forward Arron Asham, who sat out Saturday with what Dan Bylsma called an illness.
Bylsma also said Marc-Andre Fleury will start in net against the Flyers.
Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Posted On Sunday, 03.18.2012 / 11:43 AM

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

Talbot, Lilja out for Flyers against Penguins

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers will be shorthanded when they play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins today (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC).
Forward Maxime Talbot and defenseman Andreas Lilja both will be out of the lineup because of injuries sustained during a game Saturday against the Boston Bruins.
Talbot is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, believed to have occurred during his second-period fight with the Bruins' Johnny Boychuk. Jody Shelley, the only extra forward on the roster, will play for the first time in four games.
Lilja sustained a throat injury when he was hit in the neck by a puck during the first period.
To replace Lilja in the lineup, the Flyers recalled defenseman Brandon Manning from Adirondack of the American Hockey League. In three games earlier this month, the 21-year-old had no points, a plus-two rating and four shots on goal.
Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Thursday, 03.15.2012 / 6:54 PM

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

Projected lineups for Flyers and Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Everyone will be watching Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who will look to extend his shutout streak beyond the 196:13 he carries with him into Thursday's game here against the New York Islanders.

Bryzgalov is just 31:27 shy of John Vanbiesbrouck's Flyers record of 227:40, set in October 1999.

One player standing in his way will be Islanders forward P.A. Parenteau, who returns after missing Tuesday's game with an upper-body injury.

Here are the projected lineups both teams will use when the puck drops here at Nassau Coliseum:


Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr

Eric Wellwood - Danny Briere - Jakub Voracek

Matt Read - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds

Sean Couturier - Maxime Talbot - Zac Rinaldo

Braydon Coburn - Nicklas Grossmann

Matt Carle - Kimmo Timonen

Erik Gustafsson - Andreas Lilja

Ilya Bryzgalov will be in goal, with Sergei Bobrovsky the backup. Bryzgalov tied Vanbiesbrouck's club record with his third straight shutout in his last start, a 17-save, 3-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.


Matt Moulson - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo

Michael Grabner - Frans Nielsen - P.A. Parenteau

David Ullstrom - Josh Bailey - Nino Niederreiter

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Jay Pandolfo

Travis Hamonic - Andrew MacDonald

Mark Streit - Steve Staios

Mark Eaton - Milan Jurcina

Evgeni Nabokov will start in goal, with Al Montoya as the backup.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Tuesday, 03.13.2012 / 1:41 PM

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

Devils' lineup will be game-time decision

Devils coach Peter DeBoer told The (Bergen) Record he hadn't decided on his lineup for the game Tuesday, and that all 13 forwards would skate in the pre-game warm-ups.
That means Steve Bernier, a healthy scratch Sunday when the teams played at the Prudential Center, could get back in the lineup.
"We're dealing with some bumps and bruises and we'll see," DeBoer said following the team's morning skate at Wells Fargo Center.
However, DeBoer also could opt to keep Eric Boulton and Cam Janssen in the lineup to match the Flyers' physicality. He liked the way that part of the game went in a 4-1 win Sunday. He said he expects to see an equally as physical game Tuesday.
"They always do," DeBoer said of the Flyers playing physical. "They're at home and that's what they do. We expect that."
Here's the projected lineup the Devils for tonight:
Zach Parise - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus - Petr Sykora
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Eric Boulton - Ryan Carter - Steve Bernier/Cam Janssen
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Marek Zidlicky - Anton Volchenkov
Adam Larsson - Bryce Salvador
Martin Brodeur will be in goal, with Johan Hedberg the backup.

Defenseman Matt Taormina will be a healthy scratch.
Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Posted On Tuesday, 03.13.2012 / 1:25 PM

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

Brodeur ends streak of Hedberg starts in Philly

Martin Brodeur has made a career of beating the Flyers -- he has 45 wins in 82 regular-season starts against them, with nine shutouts. However, when he stars against them at Wells Fargo Center tonight, it will be his first regular-season start in Philadelphia in nearly two years -- March 28, 2010, when he suffered a 5-1 loss.

Backup Johan Hedberg started all six games against the Flyers last season, and then started the teams' first two games this season in Philadelphia.

Brodeur said following the team's morning skate at Wells Fargo Center that playing in Philadelphia wasn't all that much of a big deal to him.

"I've played my share of games here," he told The (Bergen) Record.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Brodeur is 16-16-2 with three ties in 37 regular-season starts at the building known as Wells Fargo Center, which opened in 1996, with a 2.68 goals-against average, .904 save percentage and four shutouts.

Coach Peter DeBoer said the arena his team is playing in has no bearing on who he chooses as his starter.

"We’ll take into account previous records against teams and things like that," he told The (Bergen) Record. "That all goes into the pot when you're making those calls, but the building usually doesn't come up."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Tuesday, 03.13.2012 / 12:35 PM

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

Wellwood's play warrants promotion to scoring line

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Flyers center Eric Wellwood had a great chance to help his team's chances Monday night when he had dinner with his best friend, Devils center Adam Henrique.

The two were teammates for four seasons with the Ontario Hockey League's Windsor Spitfires and won a pair of Memorial Cups together on a juggernaut team that included Oilers forward Taylor Hall, Canucks forward Zack Kassian and Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler, among others. So when they had a chance to catch up prior to the teams playing Tuesday, the pair had dinner at Wellwood's apartment.

"We got to hang out last night. He came over to my place," Wellwood said. When asked what he cooked, he said he didn't and then realized his missed opportunity -- "I should have poisoned him, actually."

Wellwood obviously was joking, and said he's not surprised his friend is among the front-runners for this year's Calder Trophy.

"He got a lot of points, but he never was Taylor Hall or Ryan Ellis in junior," Wellwood said. "Those guys are obviously good players in the NHL as well … but playing with him you knew he was good."

Wellwood also has shown his skills in his time with the Flyers. He has 2 goals in five games in his most recent promotion from AHL Adirondack, and he earned another promotion at Tuesday's morning skate -- from center on the fourth line to second-line left wing, playing with Danny Briere and Jakub Voracek.

Wellwood, regarded by some as the fastest skater on the team, said the shift to the wing will allow him to use his speed more.

"I think I can be more aggressive on the forecheck," he said. "When you're at center you sit back a little bit more, you just watch the play develop, because you don't want to get caught defensively, because that's your major responsibly -- especially if you're playing on the fourth line. I think my game will change a bit. I'll be a lot faster, and I'll be on the forecheck more. I'll try to get them the puck as best as I can.

"I think I'm going to be the one to create them space. I think if I get in on the forecheck and get the puck, and do a lot of the dirty work, that will help them out a lot. It seems like a good line. I think we've got a lot of good things going."

Coach Peter Laviolette wouldn't commit to that line sticking together for Tuesday's game, but said he's been very pleased with what he's seen from Wellwood so far.

"I've liked Wellwood's game, he's been terrific," Laviolette said. "He brings a lot of speed. You go back and you watch the game over and he's always around there doing something -- he's breaking up a forecheck or he's driving the net or he's killing a big penalty. His speed is a real asset. He's a real smart player. He's been real good.

"Every time he's put a uniform on up here, he's impressed people. Whether it's exhibition games or call-ups, whenever it might be, he's been an impressive player."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Tuesday, 03.13.2012 / 12:06 PM

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

Voracek also set to return to Flyers' lineup

VOORHEES, N.J. -- One week after absorbing a scary hit from Detroit's Niklas Kronwall, Flyers forward Jakub Voracek says he will be back in the Flyers' lineup when his team hosts the New Jersey Devils.

He missed three games with a concussion, and said he's happy to be back after so short an absence.

"It wasn't great to sit out three games, but there was nothing I could do about it," he said after the morning skate. "I think after the hit I'm pretty happy I'm back in a week. Hopefully we're going to get a win and get it rolling again."

He skated at right wing on a line centered by Danny Briere, with rookie Eric Wellwood at left wing.

Here's the rest of the Flyers' lineup, based on their morning skate:

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
Matt Read - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds
Eric Wellwood - Danny Briere - Jakub Voracek
Maxime Talbot - Sean Couturier - Zac Rinaldo

Kimmo Timonen - Matt Carle
Braydon Coburn - Nicklas Grossmann
Andreas Lilja - Erik Gustafsson

Ilya Bryzgalov will start in goal, with Sergei Bobrovsky the backup.

Pavel Kubina, who has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury, skated with the team at the morning skate, but will not play. Rookie defenseman Brandon Manning and veteran forward Jody Shelley will be healthy scratches.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Tuesday, 03.13.2012 / 11:55 AM

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

Flyers get Timonen back after five-game absence

VOORHEES, N.J. -- After a five-game absence, Philadelphia Flyers All-Star defenseman Kimmo Timonen will be back on the ice when his team hosts the New Jersey Devils.

Timonen has been out with a lower-body injury, but told reporters following the Flyers' morning skate that he was "95-percent sure" he was playing.

Timonen wouldn't specify the exact nature of his injury, but said he's hoping his time off will be enough to sustain him through the rest of the season and the playoffs.

"It's one of those things that I don't think it's going to go away, but hopefully this lasts," he said. "We'll see. … We go game-by-game and day-by-day and see how it feels."

Timonen, who had played in 248 consecutive regular-season games prior to sitting out, said he enjoyed the time off.

"Mentally it's been great," he said. "I've played a lot of hockey the last four years. The last 10 days I didn't do much. Mentally it's been really good, and hopefully it carries over to rest of the year and the playoffs."

Now, though, he knows rest time is over, and he's excited to get back into the lineup.

"It's a tough thing, you don't want to miss games," he said. "I played 3 1/2 years not missing any games, so it was tough. I knew it was going to happen (but) I'm excited to be back. Hopefully I can help the team."

The Flyers have been without Timonen, as well as fellow veterans Andrej Meszaros and Pavel Kubina. Rookies Erik Gustafsson and Brandon Manning have done solid jobs filling in, but with the return of one of their injured veteran blueliners -- Meszaros (lower body) and Kubina (upper body) remain out -- the Flyers should be a bit more composed in their back end.

"Kimmo is the same as Prongs (Chris Pronger)," Matt Carle, who was paired with Timonen at Tuesday's practice, told "They've been around so long, you just expect them to be in the right place and make the right plays because they've been doing it so long. No matter how much time they've missed, you expect them to be great. When he's out there he's so sound as a player that you're not going to notice too much of a difference with him whether it's bad or good. He's an even-keeled player like that."

Timonen has 36 points and is tied for third among NHL defensemen with 34 assists, but it's his role off the ice as much on it that the Flyers missed. 

"He's looked up to on our team by a lot of guys," Carle said. "He's somebody who's been in the League a long time and somebody who's a leader."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Thursday, 03.08.2012 / 6:39 PM

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

Kubina out, Manning in for Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- Defenseman Brandon Manning will become the sixth Flyers player to make his NHL debut this season when he plays Thursday against the Florida Panthers.

Manning replaces Pavel Kubina, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Kubina played 20:17 on Tuesday against Detroit, but in the game before that, Sunday against the Capitals, he missed time after being hit in the face by a puck.

The Flyers already are missing veteran defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Andrej Meszaros indefinitely due to lower-body injuries.

Kubina has two assists in seven games since the Flyers acquired him from the Tampa Bay Lightning last month.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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