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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 5:15 PM

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

Battle of the backups in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- The New Jersey Devils confirmed Johan Hedberg would start in net, and Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette confirmed a few minutes ago that Sergei Bobrovsky would start in goal for the Flyers.

With both teams having played their No. 1 goalies last night, there's no real surprise with these decisions.

In 20 (19 starts) against the Flyers, Hedberg has a career record of 7-10-1 with a 3.03 goals-against average and .899 save percentage. Last season, he went 3-3-0 against Philadelphia, including a 26-save effort in a 3-1 Devils win Jan. 11, his last start in Philadelphia.

Bobrovsky started just once against the Devils, stopping 23 of 26 shots Dec. 4, 2010, in a 5-3 victory in Philadelphia.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK









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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 3:50 PM

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

Briere could draw back in for Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers center Danny Briere has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury, and as of this morning, his status for tonight's game against the New Jersey Devils remained in doubt.

Well, the doubt might have just left town, along with center Ben Holmstrom.

The Flyers announced Holmstrom, a center called up from AHL Adirondack to play last night in Buffalo due to injuries to Briere and fellow center Matt Read, has been returned to the AHL. With Read not scheduled to return from his upper-body injury until Saturday at the earliest, that opens a spot for Briere to return to the lineup.

Nothing is set until coach Peter Laviolette writes out his lineup -- and the Flyers are carrying an extra forward in Harry Zolnierczyk -- but the guess is it's Briere who goes back in. How the rest of the lineup looks outside the Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr - Scott Hartnell line, however is anyone's guess.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK






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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 11:55 AM

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

Injuries mean new look for Flyers

We had the Sabres lines a bit earlier, and here's a look at the lineup the Flyers could put on the ice tonight in Buffalo (7:30 p.m. ET, Versus, TSN2).

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
James van Riemsdyk - Sean Couturier - Jakub Voracek
Andreas Nodl - Maxime Talbot - Wayne Simmonds
Jody Shelley - Ben Holmstrom - Zac Rinaldo

Braydon Coburn - Kimmo Timonen
Matt Carle - Erik Gustafsson
Andrej Meszaros - Andreas Lilja

Ilya Bryzgalov will start in goal, with Sergei Bobrovsky backing him up.

It's almost a completely new look for the Flyers up front, as Danny Briere and Matt Read will be out with upper-body injuries.

The only line that remains the same is the top line, and why not? Jagr was Third Star of the Week with 5 goals in four games, and Giroux is tied for second in the League with 15 points.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 11:14 AM

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

Leino on top line part of potential Sabres lineup

Here is what the Buffalo Sabres' lineup could look like tonight when the host the Philadelphia Flyers (7:30 p.m., Versus, TSN2).

Thomas Vanek - Ville Leino - Jason Pominville
Luke Adam - Derek Roy - Drew Stafford
Nathan Gerbe - Paul Gaustad - Patrick Kaleta
Cody McCormick - Matt Ellis - Brad Boyes

Robyn Regehr - Mike Weber
Andrej Sekera - Tyler Myers
Jordan Leopold - Christian Ehrhoff

Ryan Miller will start in goal, with Jhonas Enroth backing him up.

The big change for the Sabres comes on the top two lines, where Leino gets the chance to play between Vanek and Pominville, while Adam switches to the second line. The rookies skated at left wing with Roy in the middle Tuesday, but they could flip-flop for the game.

On defense, Weber will make his season debut tonight, playing alongside Regeher. Weber's insertion into the lineup makes Marc-Andre Gragnani a healthy scratch.

With injuries sidelining Flyers forwards Danny Briere and Matt Read tonight, it'll be interesting to see how the Flyers' lines shape up when they skate later this morning.

For more information on the game, check out the preview here.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 1:36 PM

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

Nyquist to start on second line for Wings

The big news from Detroit's morning skate was rookie Gustav Nyquist skating on the second line in place of Jiri Hudler, who will be a healthy scratch tonight against the Wild. He's also likely to see time on the second power-play unit.

"When you're in a situation like we're in when you haven't scored much in four games (four goals) ... you can continue to go the way you're going or you can change things," coach told reporters after today's morning skate. "We moved our lines around a little bit. There's nothing wrong with our last two games, but we're not winning."

Also sitting out tonight will be forward Cory Emmerton and defenseman Mike Commodore.
 
Here's what tonight's lineup likely will look like:

Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Tomas Holmstrom
Gustav Nyquist - Johan Franzen - Todd Bertuzzi
Danny Cleary - Valtteri Filppula - Justin Abdelkader
Drew Miller - Darren Helm - Patrick Eaves

Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Niklas Kronwall - Jakub Kindl
Jonathan Ericsson - Brad Stuart

Jimmy Howard will start in goal, with Ty Conklin backing him up

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.
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Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 1:12 PM

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

Briere, Read out for Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers today called up forwards Ben Holmstrom and Harry Zolnierczyk from AHL Adirondack, and they'll play Wednesday in place of forwards Danny Briere and Matt Read, who are out with upper-body injuries.

Briere sat out Saturday's game against Carolina, and while he definitely won't play tomorrow against the Sabres, there's a chance he could play Thursday against the Devils. Read won't play again until Saturday's game against Columbus, at the earliest.

Holmstrom, a 24-year-old center, was scoreless in two games with the Flyers last season. He had 4 assists and a minus-3 rating in eight AHL games.

Zolnierczyk, a 24-year-old left wing, had a goal in his first NHL game, Oct. 18 against Ottawa. In 10 AHL games, he has 5 goals and 4 assists.

The Flyers also sent defenseman Matt Walker to the AHL. Walker had been waived Oct. 4 but after clearing waivers never was sent down. He was scoreless in three games, with a minus-2 rating and 16 penalty minutes.

Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren also said the plan for tomorrow was to have defenseman Chris Pronger skate by himself, the first time he'll be on the ice since suffering an injury to his right eye Oct. 24. Holmgren had said the night of the injury that the hope was Pronger could return to skating within 7-10 days and rejoin the team within 2-3 weeks.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Monday, 10.31.2011 / 3:47 PM

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

Flyers limiting Bryzgalov's media access

Few players are more entertaining for the media to cover than Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, but that fun is going to be curtailed a bit.

The Flyers today announced a new policy limiting the goaltender's media availability. As of now, Bryzgalov will speak on off-days, but not on days before a game or the day of a game. He will, however, talk after all games.

Flyers goalie coach Jeff Reese had told reporters Friday that he felt Bryzgalov's recent struggles -- prior to Saturday's win against the Hurricanes, he had lost four straight, allowing at least four goals in each game -- were due in part to distractions that included his daily interactions with the media.

The new policy went into effect today, so while Bryzgalov did not speak to reporters today -- the original version of the policy said Bryzgalov would talk only after games he played in and at no other time -- the next time Bryzgalov will meet with the media will be Wednesday night, if he plays in Buffalo.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 7:09 PM

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

Fehr skating again with teammates

PHILADELPHIA -- Eric Fehr skated for the third straight day with his Winnipeg teammates, but the big forward is far from ready to play this season. While he can skate and shoot, he's not quite ready to start taking contact yet.

While he'd like to be out there, Fehr said he just hopes to keep making progress.

"You have your good days and your bad days," he said. "As long as you have a couple good days in a row it's positive. I'm hoping just to continue with that. Not have any steps back."

On a team lacking for offense -- the Jets entered the game tied for 22nd in goals -- adding another scorer would be a good thing.

Fehr said his conditioning is in a good place, he just has to keep building up the strength in his shoulder.

"Conditioning-wise I feel great," said Fehr. "I've been working with the trainer for the last month and a bit. It feels strong, but the shoulder needs to come back around a little bit more before I get back into action.

"I'm shooting and everything but by the end of practice my shoulder gets fatigued, and that's something you can't have if you're in a game situation. I think the basics are there, you just have to build on it."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 6:55 PM

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

Bobrovsky in net for Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said because the team played last night in Montreal, he was planning all along to use Sergei Bobrovsky in net tonight, and that the decision had nothing to do with how Ilya Bryzgalov played.

"We looked at the schedule and this was an opportunity to get him some time," said Laviolette.

Bryzgalov has three straight poor starts, allowing four goals in each, including five last night against the Canadiens. However, Laviolette wasn't ready to pin the blame on his netminder.

"We've got to do a much better job of playing in front of him than we did the last three," said Laviolette. "Far too careless with the puck. We need to tighten it up."

When asked if he thought Bryzgalov looked "comfortable" with the defense in front of him -- a defense missing it's leader, Chris Pronger -- Laviolette said, "I think if we tighten things up in front of him I  think he'd have a little more comfort. We turned it over, there's too many odd-man rushes coming back the other way, too many times we're chasing things down."

Laviolette said because last night's game was so disappointing, he's actually happy to have another game tonight.

"It's a good thing," he said. "We can get right back at it and go play a game and try to fix some of the things we need to do better. That's a good thing."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 6:42 PM

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

Couturier staying with Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- No one told Sean Couturier not to come to the game tonight, so the rookie forward did the same thing he's done for the first nine games of his initial NHL season -- show up for work.

"I sort of figured it out," he said prior to the game. "I haven't talked to anyone. I'm doing what I have to do."

What he's done so far has been pretty impressive. The 18-year-old center has 2 goals and 2 assists in nine games, but also leads the team with a plus-4 rating, and his average of 4:06 per game shorthanded is third among all NHL forwards.

"He's been really good," said coach Peter Laviolette. "He's been solid. Defensively he's been responsible, offensively he's given us what we've asked for. I think we put him in a lot of situations where he's handled it and done a good job."

Couturier was unsure of what to expect when he arrived for training camp, but figured if he worked hard, he'd be able to find a spot.

"I've always taken price in taking care of little details," he said. "The coach has confidence in me and it's fun to see. I'm just doing whatever I can to help the team. … I've just been doing my little thing and trying to work hard and get better every day and do what I can to stay here."

Couturier said while he knew tonight was his 10th game, it's not something he spent time worrying about.

"I knew there was a 10-game rule," he said. "I never really thought too much about it. I tried to take it one game at a time, one day at a time and see where it brings me."

Where it's brought him is to the NHL on a full-time basis, and as a key contributor on a team with Stanley Cup hopes.

Danny Briere, who has invited Couturier to live with him and his three sons this season, said there's no chance he could have played in the NHL as an 18-year-old coming out of junior hockey.

"You don't see guys with his maturity at such an early age usually," Briere told NHL.com. "His defensive game, his positioning -- he's always in a good position, and it's impressive. When you're a coach, there's no worries to send him on the ice. You're safe when he's on the ice. He's definitely ahead of the curve in that department."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos after the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday