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OTF: Del Zotto returns; More lineup changes

Flyers defenseman returns from injury for his 2016-17 season debut

by @NHLFlyers

MORNING SKATE: Flyers @ Canadiens

PHI-MTL: Highlights & Analysis game preview

PHI-MTL: Highlights & Analysis game preview

  • 03:55 •

NOV. 5
2:15 p.m.

Following the morning skate in Montreal, a few lineup changes came to light as the Flyers prepare to take on the Canadiens (7 p.m., TCN & 93.3 WMMR).

Most notably was the return of defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who missed the first 12 games after suffering a lower-body injury in the preseason. Del Zotto is inserted into a unit that is the highest scoring defense in the NHL thus far.

"As a defenseman, it's just the defensive reads - being in the right position. Conditioning wise I'm not worried about, that's never been something that's been an issue for me," said Del Zotto on the challenges of the first game returning from an injury.

"The biggest thing in talking to the coaches is knowing myself. I think from experience in coming back from injury is keeping the game simple to start. It'll be a little bit to get to where I was last year, but I'm not worried about that. I'm just going to keep it simple, get comfortable, get some confidence and then keep moving forward from there."

Dale Weise returned to Montreal a few weeks ago, but was not in the lineup due to his three-game suspension handed down by the NHL.

This time around, the former Montreal Canadien is in and is looking forward to returning to the Bell Centre ice.

"It's special for me. This is a very special building," said Weise. "I had a lot of great times here and have a lot of great friends so I'm excited. This is exactly what I need for me personally to get a little spark tonight and play these guys. This is a pretty big game for us so I'm pumped up."

Michal Neuvirth will get his fourth straight start tonight coming off back-to-backs against Detroit and the Islanders.

"He's played pretty well and done a good job in previous starts that he's had and continues to earn those starts," said Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol. "I think guys have good confidence in him, and like I said, the biggest thing is that he's played well over the last stretch here."

It will also be the fifth game in-a-row he will see action after playing parts of the Penguins game on Oct. 29. Since that game, Neuvirth has posted a 3-1-0 record with a 2.68 GAA and .895 save percentage.

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