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OTF: Vecchione skates; McDonald in & Neuvirth starts

News, Notes & Lineup information from the Flyers morning skate

by @NHLFlyers

Following a full team morning skate and based off of line rushes, Colin McDonald figures to be in the lineup tonight vs. the Devils playing alongside Chris VandeVelde and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

"He's a little bit of a different player than the other guys that are available," said Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol on the recall of McDonald for tonight's game. "He's just got that veteran presence and he'll carry that with him and he'll bring that into the lineup and into our locker room tonight."

The recall comes at a time when the Phantoms are also making a playoff push and McDonald admits that has been his focus the entire way, but is excited for the opportunity to join the Flyers.

"That really was my only focus, was the team down there, but with that said, as long as there's games left, you're always trying to get another chance to play in the NHL," said McDonald. "Maybe the timing of it might come off as surprising, but obviously I was very excited to get the call and play tonight."

As for what he brings to the table, those who have watched the Phantoms captain all season long will know exactly what to expect.

"I don't think he plays the game any different regardless of where he's at," added Hakstol. "He's obviously had a few more opportunities there maybe to score a little bit more. He does that when he has the opportunity, but I don't think he changes the base of his game whether he's in Lehigh Valley or he's here for us. I think he plays the game the same way."

Michal Neuvirth took to the ice first, was first off and Hakstol confirmed that he will get the call in net tonight against the Devils. He also revealed Steve Mason will go in net tomorrow at Madison Square Garden vs. Rangers.

"There's a lot of factors and obviously the biggest factor is the back-to-back," said Hakstol. "Neuvy's had a great week here in terms of practice and readiness, so we felt like this is the start that Neuvy will get and [Mason] will go tomorrow."

Neuvirth's last start came in a tight, 1-0 loss at Columbus to the Blue Jackets on Mar. 25 where he stopped 20 of 21 shots.

Mason has started 14 of the last 16 games dating back to Feb. 28 and has posted a 9-4-1 record to go along with a 2.17 GAA and .926 save percentage. He is also one win shy of 200 victories in his NHL career.

After arriving in the evening from Boston yesterday, recently signed college free agent Mike Vecchione finally got to meet his new teammates at the morning skate.

Vecchione, who's helmet had No. 74 on it, jumped in and out of drills and stayed out to the very end of the skate with tonight's scratches to get accustomed to being back on the ice after not skating for an entire week when Union dropped their first round game of the NCAA tournament to Penn State on March 25.

As for when we might see him make an NHL debut. Hakstol ruled out tonight and Sunday at MSG against the Rangers saying that practicing and getting accustomed to the organization is first priority.

"I'm excited to have him join us. Nice to get him out on the ice today and obviously, I'm sure it's been a whirlwind for him so he gets his feet wet a little bit this morning and skates. It'll take a couple days for him to get settled in," said Hakstol.

"He has to practice. He's got to get a little bit of time in and give us an opportunity to get to know him a little bit better and give him an opportunity to get settled in a little bit. Right now, the plan for me wouldn't be to be in the lineup tomorrow."

Watch highlights of Vecchione and his interview afterwards here…Video: Mike Vecchione practices and talks to the media

10:14 p.m.

The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have recalled forward, Colin McDonald, from their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, according to GM Ron Hextall.

This is McDonald's first recall to the Flyers this season. He will be available for tonight's Flyers-Devils game at the Wells Fargo Center and, should he be in the lineup, will wear #36.

McDonald has 41 points (23g-18a) in 67 games this season. His 26 goals rank second on the Phantoms and are the second-best in his AHL career and the most he has had in five AHL seasons.

McDonald serves as captain of the Phantoms, who own a 43-21-4-0 record and are second in the Atlantic Division and tied for third in the overall AHL standings.

The Flyers look for their fourth straight win tonight when they take on Metropolitan Division rivals, the New Jersey Devils. Puck drop is 7 p.m. (CSN & 97.5 The Fanatic).

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