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Flyers' Del Zotto expected to miss 'weeks'

Defenseman injured in overtime loss to Devils

by Pat Pickens / NHL.com Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto is expected to miss weeks with an upper-body injury, general manager Ron Hextall said after the Flyers lost 2-1 in overtime to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday at Wells Fargo Center. 

Del Zotto was injured in the third period when he was sent into the net while defending a power move by Devils forward Kyle Palmieri. Hextall said the injury was an ongoing thing and CSN in Philadelphia reported Del Zotto aggravated a lingering wrist injury.

"At this point, it looks like he's going to be out long term," Hextall said. "Probably weeks, for sure." 

Since coming to the Flyers in the summer of 2014, Del Zotto has been one of their mainstays on defense. He leads the Flyers in average ice time (23:28), and his 13 points this season trail only rookie Shayne Gostisbehere among Flyers defensemen. 

"He's taken on a real two-way role for us," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "He's been a good penalty killer. He gets a good chunk of every PK for us." 

The Flyers, who face the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN), recalled defenseman Andrew MacDonald from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League. MacDonald has 36 points in 43 games with Lehigh Valley this season and had 12 points in 58 games with the Flyers last season. He has played in one game with the Flyers this season.

"If he's coming, and if he's in, he's a good veteran player," Hakstol said of MacDonald, before the move was made.

Del Zotto logs major minutes in all situations and has helped Gostisbehere's progression. The rookie defenseman has 10 goals and 30 points in 36 games this season. 

"Those two have developed some good chemistry," Hakstol said. "They haven't been together all that long, but since they have been, they've done a pretty good job together. For a young guy having a good veteran partner, it helps your game."

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