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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.23.2013 / 7:01 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

PHILADELPHIA – The final numbers were nothing staggering.

There were 23 shifts, 14:54 of ice time, four penalty minutes, five shots, one hit and one takeaway.

But for Scott Hartnell it was a start. And it came far sooner than expected.

Hartnell returned to the Flyers lineup one month after suffering a fractured left foot and having surgery to repair it.

It was a surprise announcement by the Flyers, who had originally declared Hartnell out 4-8 weeks, trimmed it to 4-6 weeks, then narrowed it to five weeks with a declaration Wednesday that he was 7-10 days away.

That was trumped again by Thursday’s announcement that Hartnell was upgraded to 5-7 days away, which turned into today.

Below are some comments from Hartnell as well as his coach and teammates about his return to the ice:

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POSTED ON Friday, 02.22.2013 / 3:00 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

UPDATE: So much for the conditioning assignment for Tom Sestito.

Sestito suffered a lower body injury in the second period of the Phantoms game and did not return. He was having trouble walking after the game.

Flyers general manager said Sestito would be re-evaluated tomorrow.

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PHILADELPHIA – When the Adirondack Phantoms take to the Wells Fargo Center ice tonight for a game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, there’ll be a new face in the lineup.

The Flyers have sent Tom Sestito to the Phantoms for a conditioning assignment, which begins tonight.

The assignment may last just one game, as Sestito is expected to be available for the Flyers for tomorrow’s game against Winnipeg.

Sestito, 25, has two goals this season for the Flyers – both coming in a 2-1 win against Tampa Bay – and has played in seven games for the big club accruing 12 penalty minutes. He is also a plus-1.

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There’ll be a lot of familiar names in the lineup for the Phantoms tonight for the expected sold out Philadelphia crowd.

On defense will be three players with NHL experience with the Flyers – Danny Syvret, Brandon Manning and Andreas Lilja.

Up front, fans should recognize a bevy of forwards as well.

Aside from Sestito, Eric Wellwood, Jon Sim and David Laliberte have all played for the Flyers.

Backup goalie Scott Munroe dressed for the Flyers for several games, but never played for the team.

Cal Heeter will get the start in goal for Adirondack.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

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POSTED ON Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 6:30 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

PHILADELPHIA – The Flyers were hoping for the best. Instead, they got the worst.

Just when it seemed the team was getting healthy and close to being at full force, Matt Read took a crunching hit from Penguins forward Chris Kunitz in the first period of yesterday’s game.

The result of that injury? Read has torn rib cage muscles.

He will be out of the lineup for six weeks.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 2:39 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

For Scott Hartnell, watching hockey, rather than playing it for the first time in his life, brought on new levels of frustration.

Saddled with a fractured foot, Hartnell has spent more time this season on his couch watching the Flyers than playing for them – and it hasn’t always been a pleasurable experience.

“Since I’ve been here in Philadelphia I’ve hardly missed any games,” Hartnell said. “So, to sit and watch games on T.V. like a fan – I’ve definitely thrown the remote across the room a couple times – and then I’ve forgotten that I have to hobble up to get it.”

But now, he doesn’t have to worry about that any longer.

Hartnell was back at practice Thursday, skating with the Adirondack Phantoms, the Flyers AHL affiliate who is in town for a game at the Wells Fargo Center tomorrow, at Skate Zone in Voorhees and then skating with Flyers’ reserves and assistant coaches afterward.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 6:17 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

PITTSBURGH – Closer. Ever closer.

That’s the way to look at the impending returns of Scott Hartnell and Andrej Meszaros to the Flyers lineup.

General Manager Paul Holmgren announced that Hartnell was cleared to begin practicing with the team (which likely won’t happen, because of the compact schedule, until a morning skate Saturday – although it’s possible an optional skate could happen Friday) and could have a return to game action in a week-to-10 days.

That means Hartnell could return as soon as next Wednesday against Washington or by March 2 against Ottawa, which was the original target date for his return.

As for Meszaros, Holmgren added that he has continued to improve and that his return could be coming soon as well.

Meszaros will visit a doctor tomorrow and the Flyers will give an update afterward.

Hartnell has played just three games for the Flyers, fracturing the first metatarsal on his left foot on Jan. 22 when he was hit by two slap shots in the same spot – first by Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky in the second period and later by teammate Kimmo Timonen in the third period. He had surgery to repair the fracture later that week.

Meanwhile Meszaros has played in only four games, suffering a severe sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the very next game against the New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 3:18 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

PITTSBURGH – When the NHL schedule was released in early January, the common sentiment was that everyone would have to endure a condensed schedule of 48 games in 99 days.

Yet, no one had to endure the grueling start the Flyers did. Consider the following:

- After tomorrow night’s game at the Wells Fargo Center against Florida, the Flyers will have played 19 games in the season’s first 34 days, more than any other team in the NHL.

- Tonight is the Flyers’ 12th road game in their first 18 games – most in the NHL.

- Tomorrow completes the sixth set of back-to-back games the Flyers have played in the opening month. The six sets – you guessed it, most in the NHL. And, of those 12 back-to-back games nine were on the road.

The schedule-maker was not kind, to say the least.

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.18.2013 / 5:31 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – It’s hard to find a turning point in a 7-0 hockey game, but on this afternoon there was one.

Leading 1-0, the Flyers suddenly found themselves shorthanded two men for a full two minutes against a very good New York Islanders power play that was ranked second in the NHL.

Referee Dan O’Halloran made a questionable call on Kimmo Timonen for interference, which came immediately on the heels of a blatant trip of Danny Briere that wasn’t called.

Wayne Simmonds didn’t like the call, so he had a comment for O’Halloran. The referee must have been in a foul mood, because he immediately teed up Simmonds for unsportsmanlike conduct.

It was looking bleak at that point for the Flyers, but their penalty kill unit did a masterful job.

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POSTED ON Friday, 02.15.2013 / 7:56 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

NEWARK, N.J. – While the Flyers continued their season-long road trip here in the Swampland, a very important part of the team was back at home and put on a pair of skates for the first time in three weeks.

Scott Hartnell was cleared by doctors to resume skating, and he did this morning for the first time.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 02.12.2013 / 7:44 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Harry Zolnierczyk had a heck of a day Tuesday.

He woke up in his Saratoga, N.Y. home, made the 30-minute drive to Albany and caught a flight to Minneapolis. From there he switched planes and went a few hours north to meet the Flyers in Winnipeg.

He landed at 1 p.m. A few hours later, he was talking about being in the starting lineup for the Flyers against the Jets, his first action of the season.

“It’s a huge opportunity,” said Zolnierczyk, who would make the Proclaimers proud and trek 5,000 miles to get a chance to play again in the NHL. “You have to take advantage of those opportunities. I have one here now and, well, I plan to take advantage of it.”

Zolnierczyk, 25, played 37 games for the Flyers last season and had three goals and three assists.

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.11.2013 / 4:07 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

TORONTO – If media members were water bugs, the Air Canada Centre exterminator would have had a field day this morning.

They came out en masse, clogging the Flyers locker room like a ball of hair stuck in the shower drain.

With the spotlights atop the cameras blinding his eyes, Luke Schenn stood there for several minutes, dutifully answering every question.

It was his homecoming part one. Part two would be after the game.

This is what happens when a kid joins a team as a wide-eyed 18-year-old fresh out of junior hockey, bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders as the fifth overall pick in the draft and donned with the title as the next great defenseman in the NHL, playing in the most hockey-centric market in the world.

“There’s no market like Toronto,” he said.

And he’s right, for better or for worse.

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SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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