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Injuries, a new line and Allentown exhibition

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

Friday’s practice session at the Skatezone saw a full group (minus five players assigned to the Phantoms earlier in the morning) take the ice except for a few injured players, who turned out to be forward Sean Couturier, goaltender Ray Emery and forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announced that both Emery and Bellemare are battling lower-body injuries and are considered day-to-day.


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Emery appeared in one preseason outing so far, stopping 9-of-11 shots through the first 30 minutes of play in the Flyers’ 5-4 win over Washington on Sept. 22.

Bellemare also played one game, his first professional game in North America, as the Flyers took a 3-2 shootout loss in London, Ont. to the Maple Leafs. He hasn’t joined the team for a full practice in several days and head coach Craig Berube said that he would not be in the line-up for Sunday’s game in Newark against the Devils.

As far as Couturier, Hextall said he is suffering an upper-body injury — he too, is considered day-to-day.

Couturier appeared in two preseason games, both away from the Wells Fargo Center and most recently in a 4-0 loss at Toronto on Sept. 23. He registered two shots on goal and nearly 19 minutes of ice time (18:52) which was the most of any Flyer forward in the contest.

Despite the number of players missing from practice due to injuries, Flyers head coach Craig Berube wasn’t concerned with their status.

On a more positive note, Flyers captain Claude Giroux skated with the team for a second straight day, and was a little more active in the drills.

“It’s good to be back with the whole team and to do drills,” said Giroux.

Flyers fans in attendance finally got to see what could be the makings of the Flyers top line with Jakub Voracek and Brayden Schenn on his wings come Oct. 8 in Boston.

“It was good. Ten days in [to training camp] to get in a first real practice,” joked Voracek, who didn’t have a chance to take drills with Giroux on Day 1. “It was good to see him out there and work on some chemistry, and it’s only going to get better.”

Giroux suffered a lower-body injury in the first 10 minutes of Day 1 at Training Camp on Sept. 19 and it was announced he would miss two weeks of action.

It is unknown if he will get to play in one of the four remaining preseason games, which wrap up on Oct. 2 at Washington.

More so than Voracek, Giroux will have to get used to having a new linemate having played with Scott Hartnell for the last few years, but he is looking forward to playing with Schenn.

“Schenner can take the body also,” added Giroux. “He can create room for his linemates and he’s got a good shot.”

Schenn is coming off a career-year after scoring 20 goals and adding 21 assists for 41 points and playing in all 82 games.

“For me I’m just trying to find chemistry as quick as possible with those two guys and get the puck in their hands,” said Schenn. “G and Jake, those guys are able to make plays and both have good speed, so the more I get to the net, the more I work with them, the better off we’ll be.”

Members of the Flyers will suit up against their American Hockey League affiliate in an exhibition game at the newly opened PPL Center. Dubbed the “Battle on Hamilton” the Lehigh Valley Phantoms will take on the Flyers at 5 p.m. on Saturday evening.

Some members of the team traveling for the game are below, seven of which have experience playing in a Phantoms sweater…

10 - Brayden Schenn
12 - Michael Raffl
36 - Zac Rinaldo
37 - Jay Rosehill
41 - Blair Jones
42 - Jason Akeson
45 - Zack Stortini
49 - Scott Laughton
76 - Chris VandeVelde

15 - Michael Del Zotto
22 - Luke Schenn
50 - Sam Morin
53 - Shayne Gostisbehere
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