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OTF: Gagner to Phantoms; Streit activated

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

Official News of your Philadelphia Flyers
This year's On The Fly Entries: November 2015  |  October 2015  |  Training Camp & September 2015

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DEC. 30
9:01 p.m. PT

GAGNER TO PHANTOMS; STREIT ACTIVATED
Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that the club has loaned forward Sam Gagner to their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. They have also activated defenseman Mark Streit from injured reserve.

Gagner was placed on waivers on Tuesday and did not practice with the club in San Jose. He has missed the last 14 games, 11 of which due to an upper-body injury suffered on Nov. 23 vs. Carolina. He has five points (2g-3a) and a plus-1 rating in 18 games for the Flyers this season.

Streit gets activated after being on injured reserve since Nov. 14, when it was announced that he needed surgery to repair a pubic plate detachment that expected him to be out of action for six weeks. He has missed the last 19 games after posting three goals and nine points in 16 games.

“It [his injury] feels really good. It feels strong, my skating feels strong, I don’t have any restriction at all and I feel very comfortable,” said Streit after a long practice in San Jose on Monday. “It’s just a matter of getting timing back and things like that out there.”

Rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was recalled on Nov. 14 and since then has provided an offensive spark to the club. He has six goals and eight assists for 14 points, which is tied for fifth on the team, in just 19 games played. His six goals are fourth on the club, while his three game-winning goals lead the Flyers. He also leads the team with a plus-minus rating of plus-5.

League-wide, Gostisbehere has also made his mark. Since being recalled, his 14 points rank second among all NHL rookies.

He is one of five players in the NHL to be tied for the league lead with three overtime goals. His six goals are tied for the lead and 14 points is second among all rookie defenseman, one behind St. Louis’ Colton Parayko, having played nearly half the amount of games.

DEC. 27
2:30 p.m. PT

DEL ZOTTO OUT vs. DUCKS
Prior to the start of the Flyers-Ducks game in Anaheim, general manager Ron Hextall announced that defenseman Michael Del Zotto is out with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.

This is the first missed game of the season for Del Zotto, who is one of eight players and the only defenseman on the team to skate in all 34 games before tonight’s contest. He ranks third on the Flyers defense with eight points and second with seven assists.

Del Zotto has also led the team all season in time-on-ice, averaging nearly 24 minutes per game at 23:54, which is almost two full minutes above his average time from last season (21:55), his first with the Flyers. He is on pace this season to eclipse his career high average of 23:10 per-game set in 2012-13 with the New York Rangers.

Del Zotto also leads the Flyers with nearly 30 shifts per-game (29.7).

The Flyers inked Del Zotto to a multi-year contract extension on July 16 after he recorded 10 goals and 32 points in his first season with the club in 2014-15. He established new career-highs in game-winning-goals (4) and shots on net (119) last season.

DEC. 19
3:03 p.m.

LUKE SCHENN IN; PAIRED WITH GHOST
Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol announced that defenseman Luke Schenn is in the lineup tonight at Columbus. He returns after missing the previous five games with an upper-body injury suffered on Dec. 5 when the Blue Jackets visited the Wells Fargo Center.

“There’s hasn’t been a ton of contact for the past couple weeks. That’s something that it might take you a shift or two to figure out, but timing is probably a lot of it and obviously you have to figure it out pretty quick,” said Schenn. “I think I’ll be fine. I’ve done quite a bit of work with Gord Murphy, our D-coach here in the past week or so and I feel prepared.”

Schenn comes in for Brandon Manning, who has appeared in the last eight games and has, for the most part, been paired with rookie Shayne Gostisbehere.

“We’ve talked about our lineup decisions as of late. They’re not easy decisions. I think Brandon’s done a good job for us, but it’s time to get Luke back in,” said Hakstol. “I think it’s going to be a tough game against a big, strong team in terms of the way Columbus plays down low so it’s a good time for Luke to come back in for us.”

Schenn will be paired with Gostisbehere and resume his normal position on the right side, meaning Gostisbehere will play on the left. Although he had been on the right with Manning for several games, Hakstol doesn’t see an issue with the switch because the 22-year-old rookie has played left defense pretty much his entire career.

“It’s an adjustment. He hasn’t played a lot of left while he’s been here, but he’s been a left defenseman his entire life. He’s very comfortable there so he’ll make that switch," added Hakstol.

“I think Ghost is a pretty solid defensively. He probably doesn’t get enough credit for that,” added Schenn. “He’s got a good stick and he’s good off the rush. Obviously it’s new for us tonight, we’re going to have to do a lot of talking and communicating, but I’m really looking forward to it.”

Puck drop is 7 p.m. on CSN and live on the radio at 97.5 The Fanatic. Highlights & Analysis from the morning skate in Columbus below...


DEC. 12
12:00 p.m.

MacDONALD LOANED TO PHANTOMS
Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced today that defenseman Andrew MacDonald has been loaned to the club’s AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

MacDonald was recalled to the Flyers on Monday, Dec. 7. He appeared in one game for the club, going scoreless and logging 19:29 of ice time and blocking a team high three shots in the Flyers 4-3 shootout loss to the Islanders on Dec. 8.

The Phantoms are in action tonight, playing the second of a five-game homestand in Lehigh Valley, when they take on the Springfield Falcons.

Watch the Phantoms score three unanswered goals, including Nick Cousins overtime winner, as Lehigh Valley defeats the Hershey Bears on Dec. 9.




DEC. 10
1:36 p.m. CT

GUDAS RETURNS; NEUVIRTH STARTS

Two items of note to come out of the morning skate in St. Louis were that defenseman Radko Gudas will return to the lineup tonight after serving his three-game suspension by the NHL.

The recently recalled Andrew MacDonald will not be in the lineup vs. Blues.

“Gudas was playing well when he came out and he’s coming back in,” said Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol. “He’s an important guy on our D-corp and he’s brings an element like we all know. He’s worked hard over the last few days when he’s been unavailable and he’s ready to go tonight.”

Despite missing the three games, Gudas still ranks in the top 5 of the NHL in the hit department at 118 through 22 games. He does, however, lead all NHL players in average hits per-game at 5.4.

Hakstol also stated that Michal Neuvirth will get the call between the pipes tonight. Neuvirth will try and continue his effort from the previous night when he came in relief of Steve Mason in the second period of the Flyers-Islanders game on Tuesday when he stopped all 16 shots he faced through overtime.

“He came in and did his job. I guess that’s the bottom line. He was ready and prepared to go in and do his job in that situation,” added Hakstol. “In that situation you come in and  give up one more and its a pretty steep hill to climb. Neuvy came in and did a good job and that’s a good part of the decision to go tonight.”

Neuvirth is 6-3-2 with a 1.99 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in 13 appearances this season. He has only played two games against the Blues in his career, going 1-1-0 with a 4.00 GAA and .857 save percentage.

DEC. 7

10:10 a.m.

ANDREW MacDONALD RECALLED
Prior to the team’s practice on Monday morning, Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that the club has recalled defenseman Andrew MacDonald from their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

MacDonald was loaned to the Phantoms just prior to the 2015-16 season, on Oct. 6, and has appeared in 23 of the team’s 24 games where he has recorded 12 assists and 13 points to go along with a plus-4 rating and 18 penalty minutes. His 12 assists rank second on the Phantoms defense, while his 13 points are fifth on the overall team.

MacDonald also appeared in three preseason games for the Flyers, recording one assist, before being loaned to the Phantoms. He played 58 games for the Flyers last season, recording 12 points (2g-10a) and blocking a total of 86 shots.

DEC. 6
2:46 p.m.

LUKE SCHENN INJURY UPDATE
Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced to the media today that defenseman Luke Schenn will be out of action for two weeks with a lower-body injury.

Schenn appeared in 22 shifts for 15:20 of ice time in last night’s Flyers-Blue Jackets game before leaving the contest late in the third period. He tied for the team lead with three blocked shots in the 4-1 loss to Columbus.

So far this season, Schenn has five points (2g-3a) in 23 games for the Flyers, while averaging 17:49 of ice time, over two minutes of which have come while the Flyers have been shorthanded (2:06).

The Flyers resume their game schedule when they host the New York Islanders on Tuesday (7 p.m. on CSN & 97.5 The Fanatic).

DEC. 5
11:51 a.m.

PAIR LOANED TO LVP; ACTIVATED FROM IR
Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that the club has loaned forwards Nick Cousins and Colin McDonald to their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, and activated forwards RJ Umberger and Ryan White from injured reserve today.

The announcement comes following an optional morning skate at the team’s practice facility in Voorhees, NJ prior to their game against the Blue Jackets tonight at the Wells Fargo Center (7:30 p.m., CSN & 97.5 The Fanatic).

Both Umberger and White have been skating with the team for the last week and have traveled with the club to recent away games.

Umberger gets activated off IR after missing the last 12 games due to a lower-body injury with his last appearance coming in the Flyers’ 3-0 win at Winnipeg on Nov. 7. He has four assists in 11 games and is a plus-3 so far this season.

White has missed the last nine games with an upper-body injury suffered in the Flyers’ 3-2 overtime win at Carolina on Nov. 14. He has posted a goal and two assists for three points through 17 games this season

Cousins returns to the Phantoms after appearing in four games for the Flyers since his recall on Nov. 27. He went scoreless and logged an average of 7:51 of ice time while on recall.

McDonald has been with the Flyers since a Nov. 24 recall and appeared in five games, posting one goal on four shots, while recording an average of 8:08 of ice time.

The Phantoms are in action tonight when they travel to Hershey to take on the Bears. Lehigh Valley has won three of their last four games and own an 11-11-1-0 record in 23 games to rank fifth in the Atlantic Division.
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