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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 7:15 PM

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

Flyers' van Riemsdyk, Devils' Andy Greene to sit

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers will be without forward James van Riemsdyk tonight. He was a late scratch after taking warmups.

Van Riemsdyk appeared to injure his knee Wednesday night on a hit into the boards by Sabres defenseman Robyn Regehr. Van Riemsdyk told reporters in Buffalo that he felt fine, but apparently things changed since then.

Van Riemsdyk's absence means Jody Shelley will play.

Devils defenseman Andy Greene also will sit out tonight. According to Tom Gulitti of The (Bergen) Record, Greene doesn't have any serious injury, just some bumps and bruises that could use a night off on the back end of back-to-back games. Mark Fraser will play in his absence.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 5:38 PM

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

Voracek feeling fine after head-butt incident

PHILADELPHIA -- A night after being head butted by Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta, Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek said he felt fine, and didn't even know exactly what happened until he saw the replay this morning.

Today it was announced Kaleta was suspended four games for the incident.

"I didn't even know he hit me with his head," Voracek said. "I felt something hit and when I saw it on the replay this morning, I found out he head butted me."
 
At 4:58 of the first period, with a group of players battling along the boards -- among them Voracek and Kaleta -- the Sabres forward drove his head into Voracek's face.

"I was battling for the puck and I felt something hit me," Voracek said. "He made a few steps back and hit me with his head. The way the League looks at those things right now, it was possible he gets suspended."

Voracek refused to say if he thought it was intentional or not.

"It's hard to say," Voracek said. "He's got to know if he did it on purpose or not. I can't go into his head."

Voracek also was asked about Saturday's visit by the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team that traded him to Philadelphia in June.

"It's going to be very exciting," he said. "But we have a big game tonight and I have to re-focus on tonight. Tomorrow we'll worry about Saturday."

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

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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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Quote of the Day

You know what? We've played in some pretty special buildings along this playoff run so far. You start in Detroit, you go to Montreal, you come here … I think it's the first team to beat three Original Six teams to get to the Final if I'm not mistaken. That says how tough the road has been. Those are tough places to win.

— Lightning forward Steven Stamkos after Game 7 win vs. Rangers on Friday in New York