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OTF: Bellemare out two weeks

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

Official News of your Philadelphia Flyers
OTF ARCHIVE: 2014-2015 SeasonSept. 2015


OCT 28
12:45 p.m.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced following practice that forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare will be out for at least two weeks with a lower-body injury, and forward Sean Couturier is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Bellemare left last night’s game vs. Sabres at the 5:52 mark of the first period and did not return.

He has appeared in all eight games so far this season, recording one goal, and in his NHL career, has appeared in 89 out of a possible 90 games, including 67 consecutive games including this season.

With Bellemare out of the lineup, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol announced that forward Vincent Lecavalier will enter the line-up for the first time this season. He skated on a line with Chris VandeVelde and Ryan White at practice today.

More on this story to follow later...

OCT. 27
8:03 p.m.

Following the first period, Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare suffered a lower-body injury and would not return to the Flyers-Sabres game at the Wells Fargo Center.

Bellemare suffered the injury and left the ice early in the opening period after appearing in just three minutes of ice time and five shifts.

Bellemare has appeared in all eight games for the Flyers this season. Prior to tonight, he  recorded one goal and an average time-on-ice of 13:04 per-game. He leads all Flyers forwards and ranks fourth overall on the team in shorthanded time-on-ice with 2:54 per-game.

This marks the third straight game that a Flyer has left due to injury. Michael Raffl left the Flyers-Rangers game on Saturday, while both Sean Couturier and goaltender Michal Neuvirth left during the Flyers-Bruins game at Boston on Oct. 21.

OCT. 25
11:18 a.m.

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announced that the club placed goaltender Michal Neuvirth on injured reserve on Saturday. He will be first eligible to play on Thursday vs. Devils at the Wells Fargo Center.

Neuvirth is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury, but did skate in the team’s optional practice on Sunday.

“I felt good… Today was a really good skate for me,” said Neuvirth following practice on Sunday, but also added that the decision wasn’t his on being in the line-up on Thursday.

He suffered the injury during the first period of the Flyers-Bruins game at Boston, but did not return from the dressing room for the start of the second with Steve Mason appearing the final 42 minutes through overtime.

As a result, the team recalled goaltender Jason LaBarbera from their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, who served as Mason’s backup in the 3-2 shootout win over the Rangers last night.

Neuvirth, who helped the Flyers earn their first two wins of the season, goes on IR with a 2-0-0 record, and a 1.55 goals-against-average and .947 save percentage.

OCT. 24
9:07 p.m.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall gave the following injury update regarding forward Michael Raffl at the end of the second period of tonight’s Flyers-Rangers game.

Raffl has an upper-body injury and will not return to the game at the Wells Fargo Center. He left at the 17:02 mark of the second period after appearing in 6:40 of ice-time and 10 shifts.

After battling an injury in preseason, he has appeared in all seven games for the Flyers to begin the season including tonight’s game. Prior to tonight, he has one assist in his previous six outings.

OCT. 21
10:18 p.m.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced midway through the third period of the Flyers-Bruins game that both forward Sean Couturier and goaltender Michal Neuvirth have upper-body injuries and will not return.

Steve Mason took over for Neuvirth to begin the second period.

Prior to allowing the first Bruins goal, Neuvirth had a shut out streak of 145:33 dating back to the Flyers-Panthers game in Florida on Oct. 10. He has a 2-0-0 record with a 1.04 GAA and .964 save percentage heading into tonight.

Couturier played in 7:13 of the first period, the second most of any Flyers forward in the period, but did not come out at the start of the second period.

Prior to tonight’s game, Couturier recorded a goal and two assists in five games and averaged 18:07 of time-on-ice per-game, third-most among Flyers forwards.

5:56 p.m.
Prior to the start of the Flyers-Bruins game at Boston, Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that forward Brayden Schenn will not be in the line-up tonight vs. Bruins due to an upper-body injury.

Sam Gagner replaces Schenn in the line-up.

For Schenn it ends his “iron-man” streak of 213 consecutive games played with his last missed game coming on Jan. 24, 2013 due to a one-game suspension by the NHL.

He is currently tied for the team lead in scoring with two goals and an assist for three points in five games.

1:15 p.m.

Following an optional morning skate at the TD Garden, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol announced a few changes to the line-up for tonight’s Flyers-Bruins game (8pm - NBCSN, 97.5 The Fanatic).

R.J. Umberger will get back into the line-up in favor of Sam Gagner. Umberger began the season with a pair of assists at Tampa, but suffered an upper-body injury in Florida that caused him to miss two of the last three games.

“Getting RJ in, he’s been a good player for us,” said Hakstol. “Coming off an injury, he was good to go last night but thought one extra day was good for him and we wanted to make sure we got him back in tonight so that’s the bulk of that decision.”

On the blueline, Luke Schenn will be re-inserted into the line-up after missing the last three games. He went scoreless in two games and averaged 18:07 of ice time, which included 2:23 of shorthanded TOI.

With Schenn going in, Brandon Manning will come out. Manning has appeared in all five games for the Flyers this season, going scoreless while averaging just under 18 minutes per-game (17:59).

“There’s always more to it,” said Hakstol of making the changes. “It’s not always as simple as it looks - taking one or two guys out and [putting] one or two guys in so it’s part of an evaluation of the game that we want to play tonight, part of overall performance from a previous night.”

This is the second 8 p.m. puck drop for the Flyers this season. With the extra time, around 15 players took part in the optional skate, which Hakstol explained was more for the comfort level of the players to prepare for the game.

“I’m not trying to keep guys off balance. I want them comfortable knowing what’s coming, and knowing what they have to do to prepare and trust our players,” said Hakstol of the optional skate. “We have certain things that are absolutely structured and the morning skate today is to do what you need to do individually to be ready to play tonight at eight o’clock”

OCT. 20
12:30 p.m.

Steve Mason will be back between the pipes tonight for the Flyers, who return from a five-day break between games to take on the Dallas Stars.


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Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol made the announcement following the morning skate, saying that the staff put thought into it and added that Michal Neuvirth has done a great job in net the past two games.

“I think we’re making a good, sound decision,” said Hakstol. “Mase will go in and do a great job tonight. Coming back on a short turnaround tomorrow, if we see it to be the right decision, we know Michal will be ready to go tomorrow.”

Mason owns a lifetime record of 5-5-1 with a 2.69 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 13 appearances against the Stars.

“[It will] be nice to feel the puck early and start feeling good about yourself,” said Mason after the morning skate. “Always tough games when you're just standing there and minutes go by without shots. Those are the tough mental games, whereas when you're getting all the shots you're constantly in it. I'm excited to see how the game shapes out.”

The Flyers play the first of 14 sets of back-to-back games this season against the Stars at home tonight and will travel to Boston after the game to take on the Bruins on Wednesday Night Rivalry night in the NHL on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET.

OCT. 15
11:24 a.m.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced today that the club has loaned goaltender Jason LaBarbera to their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

LaBarbera was recalled on Monday and participated in morning skates and practices while also serving as backup for Michal Neuvirth vs. Panthers on Monday and Blackhawks on Wednesday, but did not see action.

After their 3-0 win over Chicago, and with a five-day break in game action ahead, the Flyers had a day off from practice on Thursday and resume skating on Friday at 10:30 a.m.

The Phantoms are due to play their second game of the regular season on Friday, Oct. 16 when the team travels to Springfield to take on the Falcons and finish up a back-to-back game on Saturday against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

OCT. 12
3:55 p.m.

With goaltender Steve Mason out of tonight’s Flyers-Panthers game at the Wells Fargo Center, the club has recalled Jason LaBarbera from their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

LaBarbera appeared in one game for the Phantoms this season, stopping 22 of 26 shots in the Phantoms opening game, a 4-3 loss to the Syracuse Crunch.

He appeared in two preseason games for the Flyers where he played a total of 50 minutes combined and stopped 26 of 28 shots. He finished with a 2.40 goals-against average and .929 save percentage.

The 35-year-old native of Burnaby, British Columbia has appeared in 187 regular season games, going 62-73-20 with a 2.85 GAA and .907 save percentage over parts of 13 NHL seasons.

12:52 p.m.
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announced the following statement to the media at the morning skate:

“Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason is out of tonight’s line-up due to a personal family matter. No other details are available.”

Hextall spoke to the media this morning and re-iterated that the media respect the privacy of Mason and no there would be no further comment.

This will be the first time Mason has missed a start against the Panthers since being acquired by the Flyers in April of 2013. He made seven straight starts as a Flyer, going 3-3-1 with a .933 save pct and 2.25 GAA as a Flyer against Florida.

As a result, Michal Neuvirth gets the call in net, making his first ever start since being acquired by the Flyers. He won’t be coming in cold however. The free agent acquisition on July 1 saw action last game, stopping 19 of 22 shots in 53 minutes coming in relief of Mason.

From a team standpoint, the change in goal doesn’t change the approach the Flyers will take against the Panthers.

“We have all the confidence in Neuvy in the world,” said head coach Dave Hakstol. “He had a lot of work in the preseason so I think he was ready regardless whether he was in the other night or not.”

Another note that came out of the morning skate are a few changes to the line-up among the skaters.

Forward Sam Gagner and defenseman Radko Gudas will make their Flyer debuts tonight as they will be inserted for R.J. Umberger and Luke Schenn respectively.

Umberger is out of tonight’s game due to an upper-body injury that Hextall stated occurred  in the game at Florida on Saturday. He is day-to-day.

Gagner was one of only two Flyers to appear in all six possible preseason games, recording four points (1g-3a) while firing 11 shots on goal.

“Sam will go in and do a good job. I think he brings good offensive ability,” said Hakstol. “He’ll have a role for us on the power play and everybody is confident that he can step in a help us.”

After being acquired last season at the trade deadline, but missing the remainder of the season due to a knee injury, Gudas will debut for the Flyers and will most likely be paired with Evgeny Medvedev, who he saw action with during the preseason.

“He’s done a good job. He’s made a lot of progress coming off the injury during training camp and that’s all in the past right now,” added Hakstol. “His last couple exhibition games that he played  well [and] he’s practiced well. He brings an element to our line-up and I’m sure he’ll do that tonight.”

Gudas appeared in four of six possible preseason games for the Flyers, recording one assist and registering 17 hits.

OCT. 6

12:02 p.m.

Andrew MacDonald has cleared waivers and has been loaned to the club’s AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms today, according to GM Ron Hextall.

After appearing in three preseason games for the Flyers, MacDonald was placed on waivers on Monday and did not practice with the team.

The Phantoms concluded their preseason on Monday night with a 4-3 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The team will open their second season in Lehigh Valley on Saturday, Oct. 10 when they take on the Syracuse Crunch at the PPL Center in Allentown.

OCT. 5

10:35 a.m.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that the club intends to place defenseman Andrew MacDonald on waivers at noon today.

“It’s just more we’re caught in a tough place here,” said Hextall following the announcement. “We had to make a tough decision putting our best team on the ice, creating a roster spot and some cap space. It was a tough decision. Obviously we know Mac [Andrew MacDonald] is a good NHL player. Is it what we wanted to do? No, if we could have avoided it we would have.”

Hextall also added that should he clear waivers by noon on Tuesday, the club will loan MacDonald to their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, which would provide $950,000 of cap relief.

The 29-year-old defenseman is in his third season with the Flyers and recorded one assist in three preseason games. He posted 12 points (2g-10a) in 58 games for the Flyers in 2014-15.

MacDonald signed a multi-year contract extension with the Flyers on Apr. 15, 2014. He was originally acquired by the Flyers from the New York Islanders on March 4. 2014 in exchange for forward Matt Mangene, a third-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, and a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Watch Flyers GM Ron Hextall talk about the decision:

OCT. 3
10:31 a.m.


The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have loaned goaltender Jason LaBarbera and forward Colin McDonald to their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms today, according to GM Ron Hextall.

LaBarbera was recalled to the Flyers on Monday (Sept. 28) to back up goaltender Steve Mason in the Flyers-Rangers game at Madison Square Garden, but did not see action. He came in relief of Michal Neuvirth in the third period the very next game, stopping all eight shots he faced through the end of regulation.

During the preseason LaBarbera appeared in two games, stopping 26 of 28 shots through 50 minutes of play. He had a 2.40 goals-against average and .929 save percentage.

McDonald appeared in two preseason games for the Flyers, going scoreless, and registering three shots on goal.

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