PHILADELPHIA -- Zac Rinaldo tried to provide the Philadelphia Flyers with a spark Saturday and coach Craig Berube hopes that energy carries over to their game Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).
Berube said Rinaldo would be back on a line with Sean Couturier and Matt Read to start the game Sunday. Rinaldo started Saturday on that line and opened the game with an open-ice hit on Boston Bruins power forward Milan Lucic. He then kept his composure when Lucic tried to goad him into a fight, with Lucic being sent off for roughing. The Bruins won the game, 5-2.
Rinaldo is eighth in the League with 137 penalty minutes, but in the past 10 games he's taken four minor penalties while still playing a physical style. That maturation process is something Berube has harped on with Rinaldo all season, and now he's seeing the fruits of that labor.
"You can't continually take penalties because you put the team in tough spots and he's smarter about it now," Berube said. "Smarter about his hitting, picking his spots, picking his spots for big hits. He's playing more with the puck. He's becoming a more complete player."