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At the Rink: Flyers at Sharks

by Eric Gilmore

SAN JOSE -- In a continuing effort to jump-start the Philadelphia Flyers, coach Craig Berube will shuffle his lineup again Tuesday when they face the San Jose Sharks (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

The Flyers have lost four straight games and are 1-7-1 in their past eight games.

Forward Vincent Lecavalier will be a healthy scratch for what he said will be first time in his career, which spans 1,122 games and 16 seasons. Berube said he gave Lecavalier the news Monday.

"Vinny's game has obviously dropped off," Berube said. "He's a respected hockey player that's been around a long time, has done a lot. It's not easy for him. It's not an easy conversation, but that's part of being a coach."

Lecavalier has gone 12 straight games without a goal and has two goals and four assists in 16 games.

He has 405 goals and 917 points in his career, which included 14 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I'm not going to start arguing. It's his decision," Lecavalier said after Philadelphia's morning skate. "There's nothing I can do about it, so I'm going to work hard in practice, and when I get back I'm going to do my best to help the team."

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto also will be a healthy scratch. He has two goals, eight points and a minus-5 rating in 22 games.

"He's played some really good hockey for us, but the last little while I find that he wasn't moving the puck," Berube said. "He was trying to do too much himself. To me, his defensive play has dropped off a little. I talked to him today about getting back on track, moving the puck, joining the rush not leading the rush and playing better defense."

Defenseman Andrew MacDonald and forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare will return to the lineup after being healthy scratches for the first time this season Saturday in the Flyers' lost 5-2 to the New York Rangers.

"The team's struggling as a whole," MacDonald said. "I know personally my game isn't near where I want it to be. It's obviously very frustrating and upsetting to be out of the lineup like that. I think you have to realize there's expectations on everyone and you have to live up to them. You're going to be held accountable if not. So I have a lot to prove."

The Sharks will have Tye McGinn on the top line Tuesday.

The Flyers traded McGinn to the Sharks in July in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

McGinn joined center Joe Thornton and left wing Joe Pavelski on the first line Saturday when the Sharks defeated the Anaheim Ducks 6-4.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said the 6-foot-2, 205-pound McGinn adds some size and energy to the first line.

"He moves his big body around, and we felt that [Thornton and Pavelski] needed that a little bit," McLellan said after the Sharks' morning skate. "Gets in on the forecheck the other night, and we're going to keep it the same. With him playing against his old team, I think it's always exciting when you go up against the team you entered the League with. Hopefully he'll be prepared to play and impress."

The Flyers drafted McGinn in the fourth round (No. 119) of the 2010 NHL Draft. He had seven goals and three assists in 36 games in two seasons with Philadelphia.

"I'm really looking forward to it," McGinn said. "I was in their organization for four years. They're a great organization and I have a lot of friends over there. But coming up to the game, as soon as the puck drops, friends go away and we're trying to win the game."

McGinn downplayed the fact that he's skating on the top line in his first game against his former team.

"I'm just trying to stay low-key here and work hard," said McGinn, who has two assists and a minus-1 rating in 15 games for the Sharks. "I've been talking to both the Joes [about] what I need to do. They're great and they're giving me a lot of advice, and I've just got to stick with it.

"Just work hard, north/south hockey, get in on the forecheck, create the scrum and get the puck loose. They'll always be around the puck. That's what they're known for and they'll come up with it."

The Sharks are 3-5-2 in their past 10 games and will try to win back-to-back games for the third time this season.

Here are the projected lineups:


Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Brayden Schenn - Scott Laughton - Wayne Simmonds

Zac Rinaldo - Sean Couturier - Matt Read

R.J. Umberger - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Chris VandeVelde

Nicklas Grossman - Mark Streit

Braydon Coburn - Nick Schultz

Luke Schenn - Andrew McDonald

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

Scratched: Vincent Lecavalier, Michael Del Zotto, Carlo Colaiacovo

Injured: Kimmo Timonen (blood clots), Ryan White (upper body)


Joe Pavelski - Joe Thornton - Tye McGinn

Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels

Matt Nieto - James Sheppard - Tomas Hertl

Mike Brown - Andrew Desjardins - John Scott

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon - Brent Burns

Matt Irwin - Scott Hannan

Antti Niemi

Alex Stalock

Injured: Raffi Torres (right knee), Troy Grosenick (upper body), Tyler Kennedy (lower body)

Scratched: Mirco Mueller, Barclay Goodrow

Status report: Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson was assigned to Worcester of the American Hockey League. ... Kennedy likely will be activated for San Jose's game against the Boston Bruins on Thursday, when he's eligible to come off injured reserve. ... Raffl likely will move from the second line to the top line, swapping spots with Brayden Schenn.

Who's hot: Couture scored two goals Saturday against Anaheim and has three goals in his past four games. Couture is tied with Pavelski for the team lead in goals (10) and is tied with Thornton for the team lead in points (21). ... Wingels had a career-high four points (one goal, three assists) against Anaheim. ... Voracek ranks second in the NHL with 32 points, one behind the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby. Giroux is sixth in the NHL with 27 points.

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