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OTF: Raffl injured; lineup changes vs. Blackhawks

Flyers forward leaves game vs. Chicago

by @NHLFlyers /

OCT. 18

9:30 p.m. CT

Following the second period, Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced to the media that forward Michael Raffl has an upper body injury and would not return to the game against the Blackhawks in Chicago.

Raffl was playing on the top line with Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds, and logged 9:36 of ice time on 13 shifts through the first two periods recording one shot on goal and three hits.


Raffl posted one goal in the club's first two games of the season.

12:57 p.m. CT

Following the team's morning skate in Chicago a few changes to the lineup were revealed for tonight's game against the Blackhawks.

During the Flyers preseason, Lyubimov averaged 11:50 of ice time, which included 2:10 of shorthanded TOI.

"I'm really excited and I'm ready to play. It was difficult when you watch the game and can't help the team," said Lyubimov who also admitted that he learned a few things watching in the press box from above.

"He's a guy we said all along deserves an opportunity to go into the lineup and we wanted to make sure it was the right time for our team to go in," said Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol. "We feel like this is a good opportunity for him to go in and get an opportunity in game time also."

Hakstol also stated that Lyubimov earned his way into the lineup and the fact that he sat out two games and needed to be put in to stay fresh wasn't part of the decision.

With one player being added to the lineup, one must come out. Nick Cousins will be scratched tonight and Hakstol was quick to dismiss it was because of his play.

"Every decision like this is tough. There are some nights where you have one or two guys that haven't played well or for an extended period of time. That's not the case here. Cousins has been a good players for us, but Matt Read has played really well for us. He deserves an opportunity, and like I said, its a good time to get Lyubimov into his first game action."

The switch isn't one for one however, Matt Read gets the bump up to the line where Cousins had been playing alongside Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Dale Weise, who will be returning to Chicago for the first time since playing a 15-game stint at the end of last year.


Michal Neuvirth was the first goalie off the ice this morning and Hakstol confirmed that he will be between the pipes for tonight's game.

"I think it's more based off of what he's doing right now," said Hakstol. "It's really not based on any track record or history. He's played well, and he played well in LA and did a good job for our team."

Neuvirth has had a good track record against the Blackhawks, earning both of the Flyers wins last year by stopping 56 of 58 shots for a .964 save percentage, which also included a shutout nearly one year ago (3-0, Oct. 14, 2015).

Puck drop is 8:30 p.m. on the east coast with the game being broadcasted on CSN and 97.5 The Fanatic.

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