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LECAVALIER OUT; EMERY GETS THE NOD

Vinny suffered back spasms in third period against Nashville
Monday, 12.2.2013 / 4:32 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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ST. PAUL, Minn. – When Vinny Lecavalier scored the lone goal in the Flyers shootout victory in Nashville the other night, he skated into the zone methodically, almost too slowly, before roofing a shot over Marek Marazec’s glove and into the net.

The assumption was that it was a savvy, veteran move by a savvy, veteran player against a rookie goalie – lulling him to sleep before snapping off a quick wrister.

It was a good story at the time, but now we need to let the facts get in the way of it.

The reason Vinny was skating so slowly had nothing to do with deking the goalie, but rather far more to do with the back spasms he started suffering in the third period.

Since then, he’s rested, but they haven’t gotten any better, and now, as a result, he will miss tonight’s game against Minnesota.

General manager Paul Holmgren said Lecavalier is day-to-day and hopes that he will be able to play Wednesday in Detroit.

For his part, Lecavalier agreed. However, he was still moving about the Flyers locker room a bit gingerly, making the hope that he can play 48 hours hence optimistic.

Losing Vinny has caused coach Craig Berube to shuffle his lines slightly. Brayden Schenn moves back to center and Michael Raffl moves up from the fourth line to play left wing with Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.

Jay Rosehill, who was a healthy scratch in Nashville, will be re-inserted into the lineup on the fourth line with Zac Rinaldo and Adam Hall.

Also, the second power play unit will now feature Sean Couturier’s line (Matt Read, Steve Downie) along with Brayden Schenn and Mark Streit.

Andrej Meszaros could also see some time at the point in place of Read depending on the situation, Berube said.

“We lose a very good centerman, but Brayden Schenn… it’s a good opportunity for him to slide in there,” Berube said. He’s played center pretty much his whole life. But there are some dynamics that could change on the power play and stuff like that.”

As for Meszaros, the Flyers will look to use him a bit more after a good game in Nashville. There has been an organizational belief that Meszaros can – and should – be a better player than he’s been, as evidenced by the fact that he won the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the team’s top defenseman two seasons ago.

Since then he has, admittedly, been riddled with injuries, but now that he’s healthy, he should be playing at that 2011 level again.

Maybe the game against Nashville could be a catalyst for him.

There are no other changes from the Nashville game with the exception of Ray Emery getting the start in goal in place of Steve Mason.

Emery has a history of being staunch between the pipes against the Wild with a 4-0-1 record against them and a 2.32 goals against average in five starts.

Meanwhile, Mason is 4-6-1 career vs. Minnesota with a 2.79 GAA.

“That plays into it often,” Berube said. “But we have a plan in place [for the goalies] and we try to follow it as best we can. At times, it’ll change here and there, but for the most part we try to follow that plan.”

And the plan is, of course, to win, as the Flyers will try to make it three consecutive victories for just the third time this season.

And if they do win, and the New York Rangers lose in regulation and the New Jersey Devils also lose (regulation, overtime or shootout), then the Flyers would officially move into a playoff position for the first time this season.

Something tells me that here, in the first game in December, this is going to be a note that is pointed out with regularity for the next few months.

But then again, that’s why we follow it all season, right?

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

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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