COMMISSIONER RULING & VORACEK REACTION
* Commissioner Gary Bettman today upheld the ruling from the Department of Player Safety for the two-game suspension for Jake Voracek. Voracek was at an in-person hearing with Bettman, other officials from the NHL, NHLPA, as well as Flyers EVP & GM Chuck Fletcher and his agent, Petr Svoboda.
According to the statement from the Commissioner, Voracek conceded that a one-game suspension would have been accepted without appeal, but requested that the Commissioner reduce the suspension from two games to one.
"At the hearing, Mr. Voracek conceded that his conduct constituted interference. HE said that he believed that Mr. Boychuk intended to hit him as opposed to making a play on the puck. As a result, in order to protect himself from injury, Mr. Voracek said that he braced himself for the hit, and said that he did not lunge towards or into Mr. Boychuk.
"While I accept Mr. Voracek's explanation that he thought Mr. Boychuk was going to initiate a check, the video makes it clear that it was Mr. Voracek who initiated the contact."
Voracek's reaction after practice is below:
* For that game vs. Washington, Carter Hart gets the call in net and is more than excited to not only get back after a three-week absence with an ankle injury that caused him to miss eight games, but it's a chance to go against a goaltender he knows very well in Braden Holtby.
HART: "Obviously when we play, me and him usually chat so it'll be cool to face off against him... He's a very good skater, he's very positional and he's very calm in the net so I really respect his game and he's somebody that I really watched growing up."
* With Voracek not being available for Thursday's game, Oskar Lindblom was put up on the first power-play unit by Scott Gordon. Lindblom has points in three of his last four games and has been one of the NHL's top rookie scorers over the last two months.
GORDON: "It's more about with [Couturier and Giroux] being on the flanks, Oskar's a guy that does a really good job in that position. We had [Patrick] practicing at one point on the half wall with [Giroux] on the other wall, so we're just trying to find the right fit for what each guy brings."
* And finally, it was the annual Team Photo Day, and this year's photo included many new faces, as well as a few vets with captain Claude Giroux participating in his 11th team photo, most of any player on the team.