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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.08.2013 / 5:44 PM

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

Berube looking forward to Flyers coaching debut

PHILADELPHIA -- As a player, Craig Berube made his NHL debut as a member of the Flyers in Philadelphia. Tuesday night, a day after being named the Flyers new bench boss, his NHL coaching debut will also take place in the City of Brotherly Love.

But the 47-year-old recently-named Flyers coach is a long way removed from March 22, 1987, when he had no points and 16 penalty minutes against the Pittsburgh Penguins as a 21-year-old rookie with the Flyers.

"As a player I was young, I was probably a lot more nervous than I am now," said Berube, who was promoted from his assistant position Monday to replace the fired Peter Laviolette. "I'm an old man now."

Berube said that being an assistant coach at the NHL level for six seasons, as well as a head coach for parts of two seasons in the American Hockey League, has him feeling prepared for his NHL head coaching debut Tuesday against the Florida Panthers.

"I've been behind the bench for a long time," he said. "I think my team is ready to compete and work hard."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.08.2013 / 11:17 AM

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

Panthers make few changes after blowout loss

One game after their 7-0 loss at the St. Louis Blues, it appears the Florida Panthers will face the Philadelphia Flyers with almost the same lineup.

According to the Miami Herald, the only change based on the team's morning skate at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia appears to be Drew Shore replacing Krys Barch at right wing on Scott Gomez’s line.

It appears Tim Thomas will make the start in net, one game after allowing five goals on 28 shots in two periods. In eight career regular season games in Philadelphia, Thomas is 8-0 with a 1.86 goals-against average and .947 save percentage. He's allowed 15 goals in those eight games. 

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.08.2013 / 10:54 AM

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

Berube juggles lines at Flyers' morning skate

VOORHEES, N.J. -- New Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube began to put his imprint on the team at the morning skate Tuesday, juggling his top three lines.

Wayne Simmonds was moved to right wing on the top line, joining center Claude Giroux and left wing Scott Hartnell. Simmonds had spent the first three games on Vincent Lecavalier’s line, but Lecavalier will have Brayden Schenn at left wing and Jakub Voracek on the right.

The third line features Sean Couturier centering left Maxime Talbot and right wing Matt Read.


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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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I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game