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Wednesday, December 31

2:19 p.m.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren gave the following injury updates for the club:

- Simon Gagne has a strained shoulder and is out 7-to-10 days.
- Arron Asham has a slight knee injury and is day-to-day.

The Flyers held a morning practice at GM Place in Vancouver at 11:00 a.m. (PST), and will board a charter flight to Los Angeles later today. Philadelphia plays the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night (10:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).


Tuesday. December 30

1:23 a.m.

Simon Gagne gave the following update on his condition following the Flyers' 3-2 win in Vancouver on Tuesday night. He was asked if he would be able to play in the team's next game, on Friday night in Anaheim.

"We will see," he said. "Hopefully tomorrow it will be a little bit better. Jimmy [McCrossin] and the doctor think that it may be somthing that gets better every day. Right now it is a little bit sore. I think tomorrow it should feel a little bit better.  We will see what is going to happen for the next couple of days."

10:19 p.m.
Flyers left wing Simon Gagne suffered an upper body injury seconds after the opening faceoff in Philadelphia's game at Vancouver. He was checked into the boards by Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, and will not return to the game.

In 35 games this season, Gagne has 18 goals and 22 assists for 40 points and 16 penalty minutes. He is second on the team in scoring, and tied for 10th in the league.


Monday, December 29

7:41 p.m.

For the first time since December 19, the Philadelphia Flyers were able to hold a full practice on a non-game day today in Vancouver at GM Place. The team will play the third game of its season-long six-game road trip on Tuesday night against the Canucks (10:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).

FlyersTV: Carter/Richards/Timonen/Carle/Briere | Stevens speaks | Saunders and Coates on off-day

"It feels good to get a good skate in," said Mike Richards after practice. "The energy was high out there. Traveling yesterday with the different time zone, it feels good to get a good sweat on. Hopefully we can bring it into tomorrow."

"Practice time has really been at a premium for us," said John Stevens, citing the team's brutal post-Christmas schedule and travel issues. "We were looking forward to getting on this trip and getting some practice time in. We just hoped we could find some energy, and I think the fact that we weren't able to skate really put us behind the 8-ball."
Matt Carle may be able to play in Tuesday's game at Vancouver. (Jack Cassidy/Flyers Photos)

Philadelphia could have a couple of pieces back on the blue line, as Kimmo Timonen and Matt Carle are both hopeful to play. Timonen, it was originally thought, would miss at least another week with an ankle injury suffered on Friday in Chicago.

"It's sore, but I will probably give it a shot tomorrow," said Timonen. "We'll see how it feels during the morning skate, but probably."

Carle, like Timonen, also was hurt blocking a shot against the Blackhawks. He has a bone bruise in his ankle, but updated his condition after practice.

"It's pretty sore still," he said. "Nothing's broken or anything, it's just a matter of getting the strength back in my foot."

"[Timonen] moved good and actually looked like he could play. Matt Carle we'll have to wait and see, [but] he looked like he moved pretty good today, too. I think the morning will let us know exactly where we're at," said Stevens.

On the flip side, Danny Briere is still unsure when he will be able to get back into the lineup with a groin strain. He did, however, skate with the team on Monday.

"It was good to be out there, but I know I'm not playing tomorrow night, that's for sure," he said. "I wish I would know and I'm always hoping maybe next game, but at this point I can't give you an answer."

Scottie Upshall skated for the first time since hurting his knee on December 21, and hopes to be back by this weekend.

Martin Biron will be in net on Tuesday.


Saturday, December 27

6:18 p.m.
Defenseman Matt Carle is the latest player to be added to the Flyers' injury list. Carle will miss tonight's game in Columbus with a left ankle bone bruise, according to general manager Paul Holmgren. He is listed as day-to-day.

Andrew Alberts and Lasse Kukkonen, both healthy scratches on Friday in Chicago, will be in the lineup tonight. Scott Hartnell, who suffered a broken toe on Friday, is a game-time decision. Should he be unable to go, Jonathon Kalinski will take his place in the lineup.

12:04 a.m.
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen and forward Scott Hartnell both suffered injuries in Friday night's 5-1 loss in Chicago, according to club general manager Paul Holmgren.

Timonen suffered a chip fracture in his ankle, said Holmgren, and will miss at least one week. Hartnell has a broken big toe, and is doubtful for Saturday night's game in Columbus (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).

Both players were hurt while blocking shots.


Monday, December 22

4:53 p.m.
Flyers winger Scottie Upshall suffered a sprained right knee during Sunday's 3-2 shootout loss in New Jersey. According to general manager Paul Holmgren, Upshall will at least 10-to-14 days.

In 33 games this season, Upshall has five goals and six assists for 11 points and 37 penalty minutes.
Jeff Carter was named as the NHL's second Star of the Week for the week ending on December 21. (Getty Images)

4:29 p.m.
Jeff Carter took part in a league conference call today. To hear the audio, click below.

 
Jeff Carter conference call

12:22 p.m.

Flyers center Jeff Carter was named as the NHL's second Star of the Week for the week ending December 21.

According to the release:
"Carter recorded seven points (four goals, three assists) in four games, taking the NHL goal-scoring lead and moving up to sixth in the League points race (25g, 14a - 39 points). Carter scored a shorthanded goal in a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Dec. 16, notched four points (two goals, two assists) and a career-high +5 rating in a 7-1 victory over the Washington Capitals Dec. 20 and tallied his NHL-best 25th goal of the season and an assist in a 3-2 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils Dec. 21. Carter also is tied for the NHL lead in shorthanded goals (four) and game-winning goals (five), and ranks third in shots (147). Playing in his fourth NHL season, the London, Ontario native turns 24 on New Year's Day."

To see recent Jeff Carter highlights, click here.

Loui Eriksson of the Dallas Stars was the first star, while New Jersey's Patrik Elias was the third star.


Saturday, December 20

1:02 p.m.
Flyers center Glen Metropolit was a late scratch for today's game with a lower body injury. Metropolit has a goal and eight assists for nine points and nine penalty minutes in 30 games this season.


Wednesday, December 17

4:51 p.m.

After winning their fifth straight game on Tuesday night over Colorado, 5-2, many of the Flyers players stayed off of the ice during an optional skate on Wednesday morning at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone.

FlyersTV: Briere on his rehab | Munroe on his being recalled | Stevens speaks

One Flyer who was still absent from the facility was goaltender Martin Biron, who came down with the flu on Tuesday morning and did not dress for the game. Biron will also miss Thursday's game in Montreal (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet), as he did not accompany the team on its afternoon charter. Antero Niittymaki will start in net for the second consecutive game.
Danny Briere is still targeting early January as his return date. (Getty Images)

One player who is back on the ice is Danny Briere. The still-injured Flyers center has started skating on his own, but only very lightly and said that he hopes to return to the club in early January from his groin problem.

"We're not talking about a comeback any time soon, but it's a step in the right direction," he said. "It felt pretty decent out there."

Briere spent about a half hour on the ice today, but did not do any stops and starts or quick changes of direction.

"One step at a time," he said.

Certainly, the team's 13-1-3 record in the last 17 games has made Briere's return a little less urgent. That doesn't mean it's easy for him to sit on the sidelines, however.

"It doesn't force you to say, 'I gotta rush back. I gotta get back as soon as possible.' At the same time, it's so exciting, you want to be a part of the team on a hot streak," said Briere. "That's the tough part. Any time you're injured, you feel like you're a little bit beside the ship. But, I'm happy they're winning. That makes it a lot easier on the rehab, there's no doubt about it."

Jones on rehab assignment - Flyers defenseman Randy Jones will see his first game action in seven months when he takes the ice for the Philadelphia Phantoms as the Binghamton Senators visit the Wachovia Spectrum tonight (7:00 p.m.).

Jones has not played since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 18, and has been out all season with an injured hip.

"I think it's great. He's getting closer to being ready," said coach John Stevens. "I think practice will only take you so far. Having spent so much time in the American League I know how good that league is, and I think it will be a great stepping stone to getting him back in our lineup."

As with Briere, the Flyers' recent run has given the team the option to ease one of its regulars back into the fray.

"I think our defensemen are playing are playing very well, and that would include Kukkonen, who's kind of the odd man out right now," said Stevens. "I think we have to give Jonesy the opportunity to get his game as ready as he can be before he gets back in and plays. The fact that we have six healthy guys playing well right now and we have the Phantoms that are right next door, it only makes sense to let him go through that progression before he returns to the lineup."

The Phantoms remain home this weekend against Lowell on Friday and Norfolk on Saturday. Both games are at 7:00 p.m. at the Spectrum.

On Munroe - Although Stevens fully expects Biron to be healthy by the time Saturday's home game with the Washington Capitals rolls around, the coach was asked about current backup Scott Munroe, who was recalled due to Biron's illness on Tuesday.

"I think Scottie Munroe has progressed to the point where if the schedule dictated that we needed him to play, I think we'd have the confidence that he could play," said Stevens. "He's worked extremely hard on his game, on his conditioning, and he's really elevated himself on the depth chart in the organization. That's the reason he's here."

"If I ever got the chance to play it would be a great opportunity," said Munroe, who is now in his third year with the club.

The 6'2'', 210-pound Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan native has a 13-5-0 record, 2.32 goals against average and .928 save percentage with the Phantoms this season. His 13 wins lead the AHL.

He originally signed with the club as a free agent on March 18, 2006.


Monday, December 15

2:39 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers were back to work at their practice facility on Monday at 9:45 a.m. The team was on the ice earlier than usual and later attended a team holiday skating party at the Wachovia Center with their families.

Randy Jones, who has yet to play this season with a hip injury, revealed after the skate that he has been medically cleared. Jones could return as early as Tuesday night when the Flyers host the Colorado Avalanche (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).

FlyersTV: Gagne/Jones | Stevens on Jones | Holmgren on Jones

John Stevens said that he was not sure who he would take out of the lineup should Jones be ready to play.

"We're very happy with our six [defensemen], and that's the difficult decision we're going to have to make," said the head coach. "We think the guys that have been playing have really stepped up in the absence with some injuries.
Randy Jones celebrates a Flyers goal during the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs. (Getty Images)

"We're going to have to take a good player out when [Jones is] ready, but I think having healthy guys is going to be a good situation for us."

Jones understands the situation, saying, "They have some tough decisions, and that's up to them. When I'll play my first game, I don't know yet. I'll wait and see."

With a stretch of five games over eight days beginning on Tuesday, Stevens said he may ease Jones back into the lineup. It has been almost seven months since Jones saw any game action.

"If we're healthy, we have the luxury of maybe sticking him in but not keeping him in all of them," said Stevens. "I think that would be a lot to ask, to play that many games in one week coming back."

Stevens added that he will not dress seven defensemen for a game, opting to stick with four complete lines.

Gagne on power play, Avalanche - With four power play goals in six opportunities on Saturday in the 6-3 win against the Penguins, the Flyers jumped into second place in the league in power play percentage at 26.4 percent. Only the Detroit Red Wings are better (29.2 percent).

Simon Gagne, who has three goals on the man advantage this season, knows that having an opportunistic power play can be a game-changer.

"Let's say we don't score on the first two power plays against Pittsburgh [Saturday], it might be a different game. Having those two goals early in the game on the power play gives us the momentum and the energy," he said. "[If you're] the other team, it's tough coming back from that."

Gagne was also asked about the Flyers' second matchup against Colorado tomorrow night. The previous game between the two clubs, on October 16 in Denver, resulted in a 5-2 loss for the visitors. It was a low point of the season of sorts, and was the fourth of six straight losses to start the season before the dramatic turnaround.

"I think we're playing out best hockey right now," said Gagne, whose team has won four in a row and is 12-3-1 in its last 16. "We're a different team than when we faced them at that time."


Saturday, December 13

4:40 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers honored Blackhawk Pilot Commander Dan Jollota of the United States Army as a “Flyers Community Teammate” during the second period of their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins today.

For over 33 years, Commander Jollota has been enlisted in the United States Army. In 1993, he was a pilot in one of the biggest battles for U.S. troops since the Vietnam War. He flew U.S. aircrafts into Somalia for search and rescue missions. The mission was adapted into the film Blackhawk Down and highlighted their courageous efforts to save the lives of U.S. soldiers and preserve their motto that no man gets left behind. Commander Jollota’s service has achieved him awards such as The Bronze Star Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. 

Jollotta met Flyers Head Coach John Stevens during the team's excursion to West Point in early October, and visited the locker room after the 6-3 win.

Fans joined Flyers Ambassador of Hockey Bob “The Hound” Kelly, who presented Commander Jollota with a personalized Flyers jersey in honor of his courage and dedication in defending our country.


Friday, December 12

2:09 p.m.
After last night's historic comeback, it was only natural that the Flyers were still thinking a little bit about what exactly happened in the 6-5 shootout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night at the Wachovia Center. The Flyers erased a 5-1 deficit after two periods to win their fourth game in the last five (4-0-1).

FlyersTV: Stevens - Dec. 12 | Lupul/Richards/Carle

"We went from just a morgue in there, to the atmosphere was unbelievable," said Joffrey Lupul, who helped to set up Scott Hartnell's third goal of the night. "After the game I was still buzzing a little bit and had a tough time sleeping.  As a player, it gives you so much more energy when the crowd is like that. It was a great character win for us and just a fun night for the fans and everyone."

"It was pretty cool last night, that's for sure," added Mike Richards, who had an assist and also scored one of the two goals in the shootout.

The team doesn't have much time to relish the win, though, with the Pittsburgh Penguins making their first of three visits to the Wachovia Center on Saturday afternoon (1:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet). The Flyers are 0-0-2 against the Penguins this season, with an overtime loss and shootout loss at Mellon Arena.

Pittsburgh is coming off of a notable win of its own, beating the New York Islanders 9-2 on Thursday night in which two of its players recorded hat tricks (Petr Sykora and Pascal Dupuis). The Penguins and Flyers each have 36 points in the standings, with Philadelphia holding the extra game in hand.
Matt Carle has missed the last five games with an upper body injury, but it likely to play Saturday against Pittsburgh. (Jack Cassidy/Flyers Photos)

Richards knows the Flyers will have to play a more complete game on Saturday than they did on Thursday in order to take over sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division.

"No doubt," said the captain. "Both times we played them it went to overtime and both have been pretty good games, so we expect nothing less tomorrow."

Flyers head coach John Stevens was certainly happy with the two points, but addressed the team today about what happened in the first 40 minutes of the game with Carolina.

"The first 40 minutes with the way we played...you don't get away with that very often," said Stevens. "On the flip side, it was certainly encouraging to see our guys stay with it and find a way to win the hockey game.

"You could just feel the energy out there today. Guys felt good about themselves, they felt good about coming back and winning that hockey game, and they are looking forward to the game tomorrow."

Carle ready? - Flyers defenseman Matt Carle took part in the team skate today, and declared himself "90 percent" sure he will lace up his skates for Saturday's game.

"Unless there's a huge setback between now and tomorrow morning, and I don't see anything like that happening," he said when asked about the game. "I'll be coming to the rink ready to play tomorrow."

"He felt good, and if all things stay the same, there's a good chance he could play tomorrow," said Stevens.

Carle, who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning on November 8, has a goal and two assists for three points in 12 games with the team since his arrival.

Factoid of the day - The only time the the Flyers' erased a four-goal deficit to win a game was in Detroit on February 23, 1988, when the club trailed 5-1 but won the game, 11-6. It was one of nine games in which head coach and then defensemen John Stevens played for the Flyers.


Wednesday, December 10


12:54 p.m.

The Flyers held an optional practice on Wednesday, in which a dozen players went on the ice while the rest opted for a bike ride and/or off-ice conditioning. The team will host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night at the Wachovia Center (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).

FlyersTV: Stevens - Dec. 10 | Gagne/Carle speak - Dec. 10

Simon Gagne also was among the players who spoke with the attending media today at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone. He was asked about a team meeting that was held at the hotel in Colorado on October 16 following what was probably the Flyers' worst effort of the season; a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Avalanche.

It was their fourth of six losses to start the season, but since then, Philadelphia is an impressive 14-4-3 including a 10-1-3 run in its last 14 games overall.

"We had a [meeting] with all the guys together, and a couple things came out," said Gagne. "From there, we started to play a lot better and it showed in our game.

"Kimmo [Timonen] was pretty vocal, and [Mike Richards] kind of closed the meeting at the end. A couple guys spoke up, and the guys that had to speak up, did it."

After trailing the New York Rangers by as many as 12 points in the standings, the Flyers are now just four points behind the Atlantic Division leaders with three games in hand.

"Sometimes you just focus on the process, and the results will take care of themselves. Now, we've put ourselves back in the hunt," said Stevens.

Gagne also added that he is back to 100 percent after leaving last Thursday's game against New Jersey, a 3-2 overtime loss.

"When I woke up yesterday I felt a difference right away at the morning skate. I'm back to normal," said the team's leading scorer.

Carle still hurting
- Defenseman Matt Carle skated with his teammates after having missed the last four games, and is still struggling from the effects of his upper body injury. Carle was visibly frustrated after leaving the ice, and spoke with the media.

"I can't seem to get over it," he said. "We were just kind of taking it slow and doing things that don't bother me, today I figured I'd give it a good go today and it's still pretty sore.

"That was the first time I really kind of did any drills or anything. It seemed that when I tried to skate with the puck, or even defending two-on-one, anytime I extended myself I would feel a little pull in there."

Carle was set to see another doctor later today, he said. He had an MRI earlier in the week, which came up negative.

Richards makes highlight reel
- Two of Flyers captain Mike Richards' goals were named in the NHL's Top 10 goals of the week for the week ending on Sunday, December 7.

To view the complete Top 10, click here.


Monday, December 8

4:52 p.m.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren updated the status of defenseman Matt Carle this afternoon. Carle has missed the last three games with an upper body injury and had an MRI today.

“Matt Carle had a MRI done today which was negative," said Holmgren. "He remains day-to-day with an upper body injury. We are hopeful that the anti-inflammatory medicine he has been taking will bring relief soon."

Carle, 23, has two goals and three assists in 23 games this season with the Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

1:49 p.m.
After a complete day off on Sunday, the Flyers were back at practice today preparing for the first of four consecutive home games on Tuesday night against the New York Islanders (7:00 p.m., Versus, Tickets).

John Stevens made a change to his lines on Monday, flip-flopping Joffrey Lupul and Scottie Upshall. Lupul was with Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell, while Upshall skated with Glen Metropolit and Andreas Nodl.

FlyersTV: Stevens - Dec. 8 | Carter/Hartnell/Jones - Dec. 8

"I think Carter and Hartnell have been really good together, and the third guy on that line we've changed it up and looked at different things," explained Stevens. "I think Lupul adds a nice compliment because he's got size, he's got speed, and he can shoot to score. Hartsy's doing so many good things along the wall right now, we thought it would be a good fit."
Joffrey Lupul has eight goals and five assists for 13 points in 26 games this season. (Getty Images)

"We had a good practice today, and hopefully we'll carry that into the game tomorrow," said Hartnell. "Hopefully [Lupul] adds a spark and gets us going."

The Flyers have been struggling a bit of late scoring goals during five-on-five play. Just one of their last 13 goals overall has come in that situation. In Saturday's win in Carolina, Mike Richards scored shorthanded and Carter added an overtime goal during four-on-four play in the 2-1 win.

"You can't just rely on [special teams], just like you can't just rely on five-on-five," said Stevens, whose team is 4th in the league in power play and 5th on the penalty kill. "We have been creating chances five-on-five, we just haven't been finishing at the rate that we're capable of."

Still, with a 9-1-3 record in their last 13 games, the Flyers have drawn closer to the top of the Atlantic Division. The first place New York Rangers lost their third in four on Sunday night, 3-0 to Calgary, and have 38 points. Pittsburgh sits in second place with 34 points, while Philadelphia is at 32 points in third place. Both the Flyers and Penguins have played 26 games, four fewer than New York.

"We've been playing good hockey and getting better and better," said Carter.

Carle remains out - Flyers defenseman Matt Carle, who has missed the last three games with an upper body injury, will remain out of the lineup on Tuesday. He was set to get an MRI later on Monday to determine the extent of his injury after skating on his own.

Randy Jones continued to skate with the club, and is hoping to be medically cleared by the end of the week. He has December 16 in his mind as the date he would like to return.

"So far, it feels good," he said.

Hextall anniversary - On December 8, 1987, Ron Hextall became the first NHL goaltender to shoot a puck into an open net and score a goal. Relive the moment courtesy of FlyersTV by clicking here.


Saturday, December 6

12:49 p.m.
Simon Gagne confirmed on Saturday that he will be in the lineup tonight when the Carolina Hurricanes host the Philadelphia Flyers (7:00 p.m., CW-57). Gagne took part in an optional skate at the RBC Center this morning and he and John Stevens met with the media afterwards.

FlyersTV: Gagne/Stevens

Also, defenseman Kimmo Timonen will be in the lineup after he left Thursday's game late in regulation with a sore shoulder. Matt Carle remains out of the lineup with an upper body injury and did not make the trip to Carolina.


Friday, December 5

2:31 p.m.

Simon Gagne, who left Thursday night's 3-2 overtime loss to New Jersey after two periods, met with the media Friday at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone to discuss his status. Gagne made it clear that his situation is in no way related to the concussions which forced him to miss the majority of the 2007-08 season.

FlyersTV: Gagne media availability | Stevens speaks
Simon Gagne expects to play on Saturday in Carolina. (Getty Images)

"I don't think anybody should be concerned about what's going on. It's nothing," said the Flyers' leading scorer, before boarding the team charter in the afternoon. "I was not feeling good the last two days; it could happen to anybody on the team. I will be okay and I will play tomorrow."

The Flyers are in Carolina to play the Hurricanes on Saturday night (7:00 p.m., CW-57).

The official reason for him leaving Thursday's game was dehydration. Gagne mentioned that he had his fluid level checked today, and everything is looking better. There was no concussion test done, as there was no need for it, he said.

"It's natural for people to get sick. You don't have to run any tests for a concussion if you get sick," said Gagne.

John Stevens also gave updates on a couple of injured defensemen. Matt Carle has missed the last two games with an upper body injury, while Kimmo Timonen left Thursday's game late with a sore shoulder.

"Kimmo is hopeful to be ready to go tomorrow, and Matt probably will not," said the head coach.

Antero Niittymaki will get the call in net, according to Stevens.


Wednesday, December 3


2:45 p.m.
Flyers center Danny Briere will be sidelined for the next four-to-five weeks with a groin strain, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.

Audio: Briere conference call | Holmgren conference call

Briere left last night's 4-3 overtime win over Tampa Bay after the second period. Prior to that game, he had missed the 14 of the previous 16 games with various injuries.

In nine games this season, Briere has five goals and four assists for nine points and 10 penalty minutes.

2:03 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers held an optional skate at their practice facility today, and most of the players opted for a bike ride rather than getting on the ice. Philadelphia will host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night at the Wachovia Center (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).
Mike Knuble eyes his goal while standing over goaltender Martin Brodeur in a 6-3 Flyers win at the Priudential Center on October 24. (Getty Images)

FlyersTV: Stevens - Dec. 3

New Jersey remains without future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur, who is out with an elbow injury for at least the next couple of months.

"He's the backbone of the team and has been there for so many years. Maybe we'll get a different feel when we play them if they are going to be a different team or not," said Mike Knuble.

The Flyers beat Brodeur earlier this year in back-to-back games, in what was their first two wins of the season on October 24 and 25.

"The Devils are going to be the Devils. They're a very patient team, a very good checking team, they shut down the neutral zone and wait for you to make mistakes and capitalize the other way. I don't think that part changes," added Stevens. "It looks like they're rallied around the fact that he's not there and are playing some pretty good hockey."

New Jersey, 12-8-2 overall for 26 points, trails the Flyers by three points in the standings but has played two fewer games. The Devils had won five in a row before dropping a 4-1 decision in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

The Flyers have not faced the Devils without Brodeur as the starter since February 27, 2002. Brodeur was the backup to John Vanbiesbrouck in that game; a 1-0 Philadelphia victory in New Jersey.

Flyers on Avery - The big story making the rounds in the NHL over the past 24 hours is the suspension of Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery. The well-known agitator made some comments that the league deemed inappropriate.

Scottie Upshall, who, like Avery, likes to create havoc on the ice, said the following about the suspension:

"There's just got to be a line drawn," said Upshall. "It's different what you say on the ice. There's a lot of talk back and forth on the ice, but when you go and make remarks in the media about girlfriends and stuff, it's just something as a professional you wouldn't do.

"We don't have that problem in our room and that's all we worry about."

Added Knuble, "It's unfortunate for Sean to say something like that. You could tell from watching that it was pretty calculated what he was saying."


Tuesday, December 2

10:47 p.m.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren updated the status of Danny Briere following the Flyers' 4-3 overtime win over Tampa Bay at the Wachovia Center on Tuesday night.

FlyersTV: Holmgren postgame

Paul Holmgren: “He has some discomfort in the same general area that he’s been dealing with. Our doctors, right now, think it’s just some scar tissue breaking up, and we’ll see how he is tomorrow. Hopefully it’s nothing serious.”
 
Is this a concern?

“Yeah, it’s a concern. Obviously, when you have one of your better players, you want him in the lineup. But we’ll know more tomorrow.”
 
Will there be any tests run?
“We’ll see how he feels, first off, when he comes in the morning, and then we’ll go from there.”

11:46 a.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers held a pregame skate today at the Wachovia Center, preparing for tonight's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning (7:00 p.m., Versus).

FlyersTV: Briere/Cote/Upshall pregame

After the skate, Flyers center Danny Briere announced that he will be in the lineup tonight. Briere has missed the last nine games and 14 of the last 16.

Riley Cote will also be back in after missing the last 11 games, while Josh Gratton cleared waivers and was assigned to the Phantoms.


Monday, December 1

1:50 p.m.
Danny Briere was back on the ice today with the team, as Philadelphia prepares for the first of two home games this week on Tuesday against Tampa Bay (7:00 p.m., Versus).

Briere updated his status to a host of media after coming off of the ice from an hour-plus session.
Danny Briere is hoping to return to the lineup on Tuesday when the Flyers host Tampa Bay. (Getty Images)

"It's looking better and better. I don't want to say for sure; today felt pretty good," said the center, who has missed 14 of the last 16 games due to injury. "It's probable, I guess, but you have to wait and see how it reacts.

"Today, everything was really good. I don't think I was restrained by anything."

FlyersTV: Gagne/Lupul/Briere | Stevens after practice

Stevens is also looking forward to reinserting his second-leading scorer from a year ago back into the lineup.

"If he doesn't have any setbacks it's a possibility he'll play," said the head coach.

Should Briere return, he would start on a line with Joffrey Lupul and Andreas Nodl, according to Stevens. Jeff Carter, who stayed off of the ice on Tuesday for a day of rest, would play with Scottie Upshall and Scott Hartnell.

That means Stevens would keep the trio of Simon Gagne, Mike Richards and Mike Knuble intact for at least the time being.

"I don't know the statistics, but it might be the best line in hockey right now in my opinion," said Stevens. "It just seems to be a good fit right now. If Danny is able to play we'll get him back in there and get his legs back under him. It's something that will evolve we move along, but for now that's the way it's going to stay."

Remaining confident - Despite losing the last two games, one in overtime to Carolina on Friday and in Toronto on Saturday, the Flyers feel they are still playing good hockey. Prior to the loss on Saturday, the team had been on a run of nine straight games with at least a point in the standings (7-0-2).

"I don't think we played a bad game in Toronto," said Simon Gagne. "We had maybe two or three mistakes and they took their chances."

"I'd say it was just a hiccup," added Joffrey Lupul. "We played well against Carolina. We could have won that going away, but a little tough luck. In Toronto, a couple unfortunate plays. It's nothing we should be too concerned with, I don't think. It was a lot of fun to have that winning streak going, but if we keep doing some of the same things we'll be able to start a new one.

"We didn't expect to win the last 60 or 65. We know we have to get back going tomorrow; we don't want to turn this into one of those skids."

Downie returns
- Steve Downie, who was traded along with Steve Eminger for defenseman Matt Carle on November 7, was recently recalled by the Lightning and is expected to be in the lineup against the Flyers on Tuesday night.

"I'm happy for Steve. I think it's great that he's back in the NHL. When you get a player of Matt Carle's caliber, you're going to have to give up a good player going the other way. I think Steve is a great kid and I'm excited for him that's going to get an opportunity to get up and play."

Stevens also announced that Riley Cote should be ready to play on Tuesday as well. Cote has missed the last 11 games due to injury.

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 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Hartnell 2 0 2 2 2
A. MacDonald 2 1 0 1 1
J. Voracek 2 1 0 1 1
W. Simmonds 2 1 0 -1 1
L. Schenn 2 1 0 2 1
J. Akeson 2 1 0 0 1
V. Lecavalier 2 0 1 0 1
A. Hall 2 0 1 0 1
C. Giroux 2 0 1 3 1
B. Schenn 2 0 1 -1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Emery 1 1 0 .913 3.00
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