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LECAVALIER OUT; EMERY GETS THE NOD

Vinny suffered back spasms in third period against Nashville
Monday, 12.02.2013 / 4:32 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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Flyers Inside Out
LECAVALIER OUT; EMERY GETS THE NOD

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 - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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