FLYERS (4-4-2) at PANTHERS (3-2-3)
TV: TCN-PH, FS-F
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Florida Panthers prospects Rocco Grimaldi and Vincent Trocheck go way back, so perhaps it was fitting they were called up from the American Hockey League at the same time.
Grimaldi and Trocheck were recalled from the San Antonio Rampage on Friday after the Panthers lost forwards Aleksander Barkov, Sean Bergenheim and Brandon Pirri to injury during their 2-1 victory against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. Trocheck and Grimaldi will be in the lineup Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Trocheck will make his season debut after playing 20 games for the Panthers last season; it will be Grimaldi's NHL???debut.
"I???guess we're the McDonald’s package,"???Grimaldi said. "We go everywhere together. Went to school and now we're playing together, so that's pretty sweet."
Trocheck and Grimaldi were teammates in 2008-09 with the Little Caesars program in Detroit and later played together on the United States team that won the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
They were picked by the Panthers in the second (Grimaldi, No. 33) and third rounds (Trocheck, No. 64) by the Panthers at the 2011 NHL Draft.
"They're guys that were close to making the hockey team and they're getting a chance to come up and play,"???Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "We were really impressed with those guys at training camp. When you can only keep 23, they were the odd-men out. But we know they're good hockey players. It's not like we're bringing up guys we're not sure [about]. They're good hockey players. They can play in the League and we expect the team to not miss a beat hopefully."
Grimaldi and Trocheck will look to help the Panthers extend their streak of five games (3-0-2) of getting at least one point. The Panthers are 3-2-3 despite averaging 1.5 goals per game, 29th in the League entering play Saturday.
The Flyers will be looking to split their two-game Florida swing after losing 4-3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
The Flyers, who did not hold a morning skate Saturday, will have center Vincent Lecavalier back in the lineup after he missed the past seven games because of a lower-body injury.
Here are the projected lineups:
Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek
Brayden Schenn - Vincent Lecavalier - Wayne Simmonds
R.J. Umberger - Sean Couturier - Matt Read
Zac Rinaldo - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Chris VandeVelde
Nicklas Grossmann - Mark Streit
Michael Del Zotto - Nick Schultz
Brandon Manning - Luke Schenn
Scratched: Blair Jones, Jason Akeson, Carlo Colaiacovo, Shayne Gostisbehere
Injured: Andrew MacDonald (lower body), Braydon Coburn (lower body), Kimmo Timonen (blood clots), Ryan White (chest)
Jonathan Huberdeau - Nick Bjugstad - Scottie Upshall
Tomas Fleischmann - Vincent Trocheck - Brad Boyes
Jussi Jokinen - Rocco Grimaldi - Jimmy Hayes
Tomas Kopecky - Derek MacKenzie - Shawn Thornton
Willie Mitchell - Dmitry Kulikov
Brian Campbell - Aaron Ekblad
Dylan Olsen - Erik Gudbranson
Scratched: Colby Robak
Injured: Dave Bolland (lower body), Brandon Pirri (upper body), Sean Bergenheim (lower body), Aleksander Barkov (lower body)
Status report: Gallant said after the morning skate that Barkov, Bergenheim and Bolland all are day-to-day. Pirri was placed on injured reserve Friday, which means he will miss a game Tuesday against the Boston Bruins but could return for the rematch against the Flyers next Thursday. ... Colaiacovo, signed by the Flyers on Friday, was one of five Philadelphia players who skated at BB&T?????????Center on Saturday morning. ... Also skating was Gostisbehere, who is expected to be reassigned to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL. Gostisbehere became the first player born and raised in South Florida to appear in an NHL?????????game last Saturday when he played against the Detroit Red Wings. ... Coburn and MacDonald, sidelined with lower-body injuries, are expected to be out until late November.
Who's hot:?????????Voracek has four consecutive two-point games and entered play Saturday tied for the NHL?????????scoring lead with Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins with 15 points. Voracek's 15 points represents the best 10-game start for a Flyers player since 2005-06, when Peter Forsberg had 19 points. ... Giroux has a four-game point streak. ... Jokinen has four assists in Florida’s past three games. ... Luongo stopped 71 of 74 shots (.959 save percentage) in his past two starts, both against the Coyotes.