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Esche to Start Saturday Against Penguins

Friday, 01.20.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Esche to Start Saturday Against Penguins


Voorhees, NJ – Flyers goaltender Robert Esche will return to the lineup on Saturday and will start in net against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"They asked me today if I wanted to play tomorrow and I said of course. It was that simple," said Esche.

"I'm pretty excited about it, but I don't want to get too excited. I don't want to get too pumped up. When you get too pumped up because you haven't played in a while, you'll end up diving at a puck while someone holds onto it and puts it into and empty net. I want to make sure I'm patient, calm, relaxed and play well."

Esche, who turns 28 on Sunday, has missed much of this season with a groin injury and has watched as goaltender Antero Niittymaki has established himself as a solid NHL goaltender. Niittymaki has started the last 17 straight games for the Flyers.


"Antero is definitely entitled to play a lot of games from here on out. He's basically bailed me and the team out during my injury," said Esche.

Niittymaki welcomed the return of his partner.

"It's good to have him back. It's good to have two good goalies who can both play. It's a little competition and I think it helps both of us," said Niittymaki.

The Finland native, who was recently named to the Olympic team, is also looking forward to a day off.

"A couple days off will give me a chance to think about what's going on, about what I've been doing right and wrong," said Niittymaki. "It gives you a chance to think clearly. I'll get a chance to see some tapes of how I've played, which will help a lot."

Jamie Storr was reassigned to the Phantoms to make room for Esche.

Johnsson Skips Flight to Pittsburgh; Forsberg Still Out

Defenseman Kim Johnsson did not make the flight to Pittsburgh as the Flyers prepare for their Saturday afternoon game against the Penguins at Mellon Arena (2:00 p.m., NBC).

Ken Hitchcock explained:

"He has a pretty bad headache, so we asked him to go to the doctors, and he went there, and the concussion tests were negative but he's getting a CAT scan right now just to make sure that there's no issues there. We're going to leave him at home to do those tests and if he tests clean then he'll join us in Pittsburgh later [Friday]."

Also, Peter Forsberg will miss his second consecutive game.

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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

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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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