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ON THE FLY...
Official News of your Philadelphia Flyers straight from the PR Department


The Philadelphia Flyers Public Relations staff will be keeping you up-to-date on all you need to know: daily updates, multimedia and behind-the-scenes information that you can only find here! For all other official Flyers news and press releases - click here
On The Fly archives:
2007-08 Season // 2008-09 Season // 2009-10 Season // 2010-11 Season
SEPT - 2011 // OCT - 2011 // NOV - 2011

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DEC - 29

4:52 p.m.


BOB TO START; COUTURIER IN
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette announced that Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start in net tonight against the Penguins.

Bobrovsky is making his first start since the team's 4-1 win at Dallas on Dec. 21. He has also won four of his last five starts and is 7-2-1 overall this season with a 2.56 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.

"In practice bob's worked hard and he's looked good," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette following the team's morning skate. "I know he likes to play games and wants to play games, certainly he's got a tremendous work ethic; off the ice and on the ice he keeps himself extremely prepared."

Bobrovsky is also quite comfortable between the pipes here at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

He is unbeaten and owns an all-time record of 3-0-0 in Pittsburgh, which included his first NHL victory on Oct. 7, 2010 making 29 saves as the Flyers earned a 3-2 victory on the night the Penguins opened their new arena.

In another bit of lineup news, rookie Sean Couturier will also be out on the ice tonight.

The 19-year-old has missed the last four games after suffering a head injury when he took a slap shot to the back of the head in the Flyers-Bruins game on Dec. 17.

Couturier has recorded five goals and nine points in 31 regular season games for the Flyers while also being one of the team's top penalty killers, averaging of 3:03 of ice-time shorthanded which is second among all Flyers forwards and fifth overall on the team.


DEC - 28

4:15 p.m

BIG RETURN, EVEN BIGGER GAME
There have already been two homecomings for Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr in his 'return to the NHL tour' this season. But with all due respect to New York and Washington DC, it won't be like what Thursday in Pittsburgh will be.

Four times was Jaromir Jagr a finalist for the Hart Trophy as MVP, including winning it in 1999; five times was he the NHL's leading scorer, six times was he named to the 1st NHL All-Star Team and perhaps most importantly he helped lead the Pens to their first two Stanley Cup titles in 1991 & 1992.

So as you can imagine, Pittsburgh is a very special place for Jagr and if that weren't enough, consider the fact that he was the team's captain from 1998-2001 and ranks second all-time in franchise scoring (behind Mario Lemieux) in goals (439), assists (640) and points (1,079) in 806 career games.

"I'm happy for them that they built a new arena. It's good for the fans and obviously good for the club," said Jagr, who admitted he doesn't have any extra motivation for this game.

"That would be the worst thing if I want to show somebody you still have it," said Jagr. "I don't to prove anything to anybody; I don't think I would [be] playing my game if I wanted to show somebody."

It's exactly that mindset that has been appealing to Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.

"His work ethic is excellent. You get to watch him work and see how much he cares. It's not that you doubted it, it's just that you wouldn't know it. You don't get to see that first until you get to work with them on a daily basis."

Maxime Talbot is also making his long-awaited trip back to Pittsburgh and while he may not have the numbers as Jagr, he has something very personal to him and the fans of Pittsburgh that he cherishes every day.

Their 2009 Stanley Cup championship.

Talbot is known as the hero of Game Seven in the 2009 Final, recording BOTH goals in the Pens' dramatic 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings to give Pittsburgh their third Cup and first in 17 years.

"Maybe it's not nervousness, it's more excitement," said Talbot. "It's a game that at the start of the year you mark on your calendar… being back here in Pittsburgh is even more exciting. In the end, it's a hockey match and it's a big two points."

Amidst all of that is something of far greater importance to the Philadelphia Flyers. Those two points Talbot was referring to.

It's two points against a Conference and Division opponent and two points that will be very valuable considering where each team is in the standings.

The Flyers and Penguins have an identical amount of wins on the season (21) and points (46), but Philadelphia has the edge with owning the season series which consists only of their 3-2 win on Dec. 8.

It's also two points that have been very hard to come by lately for the Orange & Black having dropped four of their last five games.

Puck drop is 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet and on the radio side on 94 WIP.

DEC - 27
5:43 p.m.

SCHENN/BRIERE IN
Prior to tonight's game Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that forwards Brayden Schenn and Danny Briere will be IN tonight's lineup against the Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Schenn is returning to action for the first time since Dec. 3 at Phoenix, missing the last nine games due to symptoms from a mild concussion.

The 20-year-old has missed considerable time this season after suffering a shoulder injury during preseason that kept him out of the lineup for the opening two weeks, while also suffering a broken foot in the Flyers-Canadiens game at Montreal on Oct. 26 that kept him out of the lineup for an additional 14 games.

Schenn has appeared in just six regular season games for the Flyers in his rookie season.

Briere returns to action having missed only one game, last Friday's 4-2 loss to the Rangers. Briere was sidelined due to a bruised hand but has been practicing with the team for the past two days.

Briere is fourth on the team in points with 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points, and is one of six players on the Flyers to have recorded 10 or more goals this season.

In 31 games so far, Briere has recorded an average of 18:38 of ice-time, which is second among all forwards behind only Claude Giroux (21:23).

DEC - 26
4:59 p.m.

OTF: BACK AT IT… AGAIN
Today the Flyers got back to work and surprise-surprise hopped on their plane to play another two games on the road.
Before that, however, came a much-needed two-day break in both their road trip and hockey all together.

“I think it was a good time to get away from the game and spend time with your family,” said Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn. “[I did] nothing, just relaxed. We stayed home for Christmas and had a few family members come into town and enjoyed each others company, had some great food and had a few laughs.”

Veteran forward Scott Hartnell hosted some of his teammates, among them Brayden Schenn, Matt Read and Claude Giroux on Christmas day in some action that saw Schenn do a little cooking (mashed potatoes) and a ping-pong tournament, to which the winner hasn’t revealed himself.

Getting back to present day, the Flyers held a high-intensity, hour-long practice before they left for Tampa Bay to resume their five-game road trip - the last two in a month-long schedule that consisted of 10 out of 13 games being played on the road.

“The month has not been friendly to us,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “In saying that, if you want to pull a positive from it, I think when you’re around the holidays and the hype of the Winter Classic… to be on the road during all of that is not such a bad thing if you can win games and I think we’ve don’t a pretty good job of that.”

The Flyers have certainly done that, going 6-1-1 in eight of the 10 games and earning 13 of 16 possible points in the standings.

However, with a loss prior to the break against the Rangers still leaving a bitter taste in their mouths, the Flyers challenge now just might be the storylines and hype consisting of the Winter Classic, now that it is just a week away.

“We got the Penguins in the future and Tampa has given us fits here recently, so there’s a lot at stake,” said Laviolette. “I think every game has been just as tight as our division as well as our conference, so if we want to keep pressing up at the top, we can’t snooze for any of these.”

The Lightning stand in the team's way of not only getting back into the win column and ending a streak in which the Flyers have dropped three of their last four games, but keeping pace in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings.

The Rangers, who at 21-8-4 have the same 46 points as the Flyers, but own the tie-breaker and sit in first place in the Atlantic Division. They play tonight against the Islanders.

The Flyers currently sit in the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 21-9-4 record and 46 points, trailing the Bruins (47pts) and the Florida Panthers (43pts) who lead the Southeast Division and are locked into one of the top three spots in the Conference lead.

OVER THE HOLIDAYS…
Some news & notes from over the holidays include forwards Ben Holmstrom and Tom Sestito being loaned to the club’s AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. Defenseman Kevin Marshall returned to Glens Falls on Dec. 19.

Forwards, Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier and Danny Briere all skated with the team today in practice. Briere and Schenn skated without the yellow “no contact” jersey, as did defenseman Erik Gustafsson, while Couturier was the only member to sport the yellow sweater.

Said Couturier: “We’re going day-by-day and I felt good today, so we’ll see tomorrow how I feel. Last week was the first time I skated in a week and I felt off-balance a bit, but I’m starting to feel better.”


DEC - 23
6:19 p.m.

Danny Briere will miss his third game of the season tonight when the Flyers take on the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

During the team's morning skate Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that Briere had a bruised hand and is listed as day-to-day. He did not participate in the skate.

So far this season, Briere has 10 goals and 25 points in 31 games. The only two games he has missed was back-to-back games on Oct. 29 & Nov. 2 with an upper-body injury. 

**11:28 a.m.**


Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updated the status of some injured Flyers today just as the team took to the morning skate at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.

Among them was Danny Briere, who is not out on the ice with the team. Holmgren announced that Briere has a bruised hand and is listed as day-to-day.

On the Brayden Schenn front, Holmgren announced that he skated and did his off ice conditioning again today and has made good strides. His status is now day-to-day.

As is Sean Couturier, who also skated today and did his off ice conditioning.

The Flyers take on the Rangers tonight at 7 p.m. on CSN and 94 WIP radio.


DEC - 21
6:32 p.m. CT

WELCOME BACK CLAUDE GIROUX
The Flyers will welcome back Claude Giroux to the lineup tonight at Dallas.

Giroux has missed the last four games, having been out since Dec. 10 with a concussion he sustained in the Flyers' 5-2 win against Tampa Bay that night.

Prior to that, Giroux had scored in five straight games, recording three goals and seven assists for 10 points in that span.

He remains tied at the top of the NHL leader board with 39 points (16G-23A) in 28 games.

His return couldn't come at a better time as the Flyers could be the NHL's best team in the standings with a win tonight and a loss in regulation by the Chicago Blackhawks, who will be facing the Montreal Canadiens tonight.

Reaction from Giroux and the rest of the Flyers will follow after the game...

DEC - 20
4:38 p.m. CT
GETTING CLOSE?
Flyers fans received some positive news on Sunday, when they found out that star center Claude Giroux had begun skating with the team, albeit with a yellow “no contact” jersey on.

Then on Monday, at the team’s usual morning skate before their game against Colorado, Giroux took to the ice again with a regular jersey.

Tuesday in Dallas fans have even more news to feel positive about after general manager Paul Holmgren announced that Giroux has made positive strides over the past few days and is now listed day-to-day.

"Claude Giroux was cleared to resume all activity this past Saturday.  He is practicing hard,” said Holmgren.

His status, means just that. Giroux will eligible to play at any given moment, which could be as early as Wednesday’s game at Dallas.

“Soon probably. If it keeps doing better, pretty soon,” said Giroux, who is still playing it cautious, but took some contact today in practice. “Today was obviously pretty good… I went in the corners with [Coburn] and told him to hit me a little and it felt pretty good.”

Giroux had been listed as out indefinitely since Tuesday, Dec. 13 after suffering a concussion on an accidental hit in the head from teammate Wayne Simmonds on a play in the Flyers-Lightning game just three days earlier.

Despite missing four games and the last week and a half of action, Giroux still remains at the top of the NHL leaderboard in scoring with 39 points (16G-23A). Toronto’s Phill Kessel and Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin have caught up to Giroux and are now tied with 39 points as well. Kessel and Sedin have played five more games than Giroux.

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette likely won’t announce his lineup until after the team’s morning skate, but with the recent update from Holmgren they can now eagerly await Giroux back on the ice at any moment.

DEC - 18
7:47 p.m.

COUTURIER OUT OF HOSPITAL; HOLMSTROM'S GAME

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that rookie center Sean Couturier was released from the hospital (University of Pennsylvania) today and will be re-evaluated tomorrow. He continues to be day-to-day with a head injury.

Meanwhile Claude Giroux, who skated with the team today in Colorado, remains the same status as before - out indefinitely with a concussion.

As does rookie forward Brayden Schenn, who is out indefinitely with a mild concussion.

As a result, the Flyers have recalled forward Ben Holmstrom from their AHL affiliate in Adirondack.

"To get him up here and have those options available is important," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "His natural position is center. We lost [Couturier] who is a center and a penalty killer, so we're just getting thin in a lot of areas."

Holmstrom is one of Adirondack's top penalty-killers and is the captain of the Phantoms squad, which is a big reason why Laviolette feels comfortable should he need Holmstrom to step in in the near future.

"Absolutely. That's what he does. If we can't use guys inside their roles of what they do when they come up here or at least give them the opportunity. He's no different than anybody else and we used him that way in [training] camp. There's just not enough room to keep everybody. You can only keep 23 people."

DEC - 17
6:57 p.m.

STILL UNSURE
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren addressed the media on yet another injured Flyer following their loss to the Bruins on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

This time on rookie center Sean Couturier, who left towards the end of the first period and did not return to the game.
 
“Well we still don't know. He's at the hospital being evaluated. Fortunately, it [the puck] hit him in the helmet, but we thought it was best to just get him to the hospital and get checked,” said Holmgren.

Couturier took a puck in the back of the helmet off a shot from the point by teammate Kimmo Timonen while the team was on the power play.

Holmgren revealed that Couturier was struck in the back portion of his head, above and to the back of the top of his ear.
 
“The little test thing they do, he did really well on it. Whatever the test they do is, his scores were the same as they were in training camp,” added Holmgren. “I think it's more, what they're checking for now, is just damage to the skull and obviously checking him out to see if there's any internal damage.”
 
With the Flyers absorbing injuries one after another, the focus becomes even greater on the team play and opportunities that players will have as a result.
 
“Yeah we just gotta plow through it. We played a good team today that kind of made us look bad, but we’ve gotta bounce back.

“I don't know. I gotta count up the guys we got here,” said Holmgren on whether the team plans to recall a member of their AHL affiliate in Adirondack. “We do have some flexibility, Matt Read could play center...and obviously Schenn and Giroux are probably not options here for the near future, so, I'm not sure, we'll have to talk about that.”

The Flyers left immediately following the game for Colorado, where they will take on the Avalanche on Monday and officially kick off their five-game road trip that is wrapped around the upcoming holiday.

Their next home game will be taken outside in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic with the New York Rangers on Jan. 2.

** 2:20 p.m. **

COUTURIER INJURED
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced at the start of the second period that rookie forward Sean Couturier would not return to play in the Flyers-Bruins game due to a head injury.

With just 48.6 seconds left to play in the first period, Couturier took a shot to the back of the helmet from the point by Kimmo Timonen.

The 19-year-old forward was positioned in front of the Bruins’ net to screen goaltender Tim Thomas while the Flyers were set up on the power play when the shot from the point was taken.

Couturier left the ice under his own power, but did not return for the second period.

An update is expected following the Flyers-Bruins game.


DEC - 16
4:11 p.m.

The Flyers announced that 6-foot-3, 220-pound defenseman Andreas Lilja has been loaned to the club's AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, today following the team's practice on a conditioning assignment.


DEC - 15

8:33 p.m.

SHUT DOWN
Immediately following the start of the Flyers-Canadiens game in Montreal Flyers general manager informed the media of defenseman and captain Chris Pronger's status.

“After consultation with respected concussion specialists Dr. Joseph Maroon and Dr. Micky Collins, it is the opinion of both doctors that Chris is suffering from severe post concussion syndrome. It is the recommendation of Doctors Maroon and Collins that Chris not return to play for the Philadelphia Flyers for the remainder of the 2011-12 season or playoffs.  Chris will continue to receive treatment and therapy with the hope that he can get better.”

Pronger has missed the last 10 games with his last game coming at Winnipeg on Nov. 19. Overall, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound defenseman has appeared in 13 games this season, recording one goal and 11 assists for 12 points. He recorded at least a point in eight of his 13 games and averaged 22:28 of time-on-ice, which at the time of his last game, led the team.

Pronger appeared in the first eight games of the season before suffering a serious eye injury when a follow through on a shot from Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski caught him up high in the first period of the Flyers' 4-2 win on Oct. 24. Since that point he played in five games for the Flyers, recording five assists.

Holmgren also updated the status of Claude Giroux, stating his condition is the same and he continues to be out indefinitely.

The Flyers make a brief return home following their tilt with the Canadiens in Montreal to play the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins in a Saturday matinee at the Wells Fargo Center at 1 p.m.

7:41 p.m.

Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren gave the following update on the status of Chris Pronger:

“After consultation with respected concussion specialists Dr. Joseph Maroon and Dr. Micky Collins, it is the opinion of both doctors that Chris is suffering from severe post concussion syndrome. It is the recommendation of Doctors Maroon and Collins that Chris not return to play for the Philadelphia Flyers for the remainder of the 2011-12 season or playoffs.  Chris will continue to receive treatment and therapy with the hope that he can get better.”


DEC - 14
6:19 p.m.

OTF: LILJA; SCHENN ON THE MEND
Preparing to face off against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, the Flyers have no doubt been plagued by injuries. But those injuries are starting to heal one-day at a time.

And today was an important day for two Flyers in particular: Brayden Schenn and Andreas Lilja.

Lilja has been sidelined for the past three weeks after suffering a high-ankle sprain in the second period of the Flyers-Canadiens game on Nov. 25. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced post-game that Lilja would miss approximately six weeks.

To see him out on the ice is an encouraging sign for the Flyers. Lilja had appeared in 20 games and averaged nearly 13 minutes of ice-time per-game (12:47), while recording three assists and a plus-4 rating.

For the 20-year-old Schenn, his last game came in the Flyers’ 4-2 win at Phoenix on Dec. 3, but in a statement a few days later, Holmgren said that Schenn reported ‘not feeling himself' and that doctors believed he has a mild concussion and would be out indefinitely.

There is no timetable for his return, but Schenn did skate with the team for a little bit today and immediately following the session said he had felt good.

“When I’m out there I feel good, when I would really tell is when I’m at home and laying in bed so hopefully this afternoon, or whenever it is, I feel good. Right now I feel better than yesterday.”

For now the Flyers will keep their game focused on the Canadiens and what’s at stake is far greater than keeping their season-high six-game winning streak in tact - it’s keeping pace in the Atlantic Division with the Penguins and Rangers knocking at the doorstep with 38 points, and Eastern Conference with the Boston Bruins just two points behind the Flyers.


DEC - 13
6:23 p.m.

FILLING IN…
With news this morning of Flyers star center and the NHL’s leading scorer sidelined with a concussion indefinitely, the team will have to compensate for his average of 21:28 minutes played each game.

“We’re certainly going to miss him. He’s a terrific hockey player. When you lose players whether it’s Chris [Pronger], or Claude, or Gus [Erik Gustafsson] or Lilja it’s an opportunity for others,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “The amount a person plays has a bearing on how much others have to pick it up, so we have to pick up a lot of areas.”

Giroux is an all-around player, playing the penalty kill, the power play and perhaps most importantly against other teams top players.

“We’ve covered for Chris while he’s been out of the lineup and now we have to chip in up front and get some big performances and get guys to take care of some of the work that Claude did and collectively we can do that. Other teams do it and we’re going to have to do it tonight,” added Laviolette.

It will be Giroux’s first missed game in 213 consecutive Flyers games after appearing in the 28 games so far this season and all 82 games the two previous seasons. He appeared in the final 21 games of the 2008-09 season with his last missed game coming on Mar. 1, 2009 when he was briefly loaned to the team’s AHL affiliate at the time, the Philadelphia Phantoms.

Laviolette also made it clear that he has a lot of confidence in the guys who are in the locker room and that it is an opportunity for them to see more minutes.

“We’re not built that way; where everything is built around one person. If somebody is in the lineup for the opposition or out of the lineup for the opposition we don’t really focus on that. We talk about our game, our style, our identity, how we play as a group and how we collectively go out and win hockey games.”

Enter 19-year-old Sean Couturier, who a year ago at this time would be gearing up for the World Junior Championships for Team Canada.

As it turns out, Couturier will find himself in the middle of the top line for the Flyers between Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr.

“Obviously there’s more offense on that first line, so it’s fun to step up,” said Couturier. “For sure you have to adjust a little bit with some new line mates, but I’m just going to play my game; solid two-way game and control the puck.”

Couturier was given the task by Laviolette, who has seen his impressive two-way play and when Giroux went down towards the end of the second period, went to the 19-year-old to fill in and has stuck with him during subsequent practice sessions.

Couturier’s first full crack at it will come against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capital in just a few short hours.

* * 11:31 a.m. * *

INJURY UPDATE

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updates the status of Claude Giroux:

"Claude reported not feeling very good today. Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion."


2:30 p.m.
AHL HONORS CLARKE & BARBER
The American Hockey League announced today that Bill Barber and Bob Clarke will serve as the honorary captains at the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic, to be held January 29-30 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

Bob Clarke played his entire 15-year professional career with the Philadelphia Flyers, racking up 1,210 points and three NHL MVP awards while captaining the Broad Street Bullies to two Stanley Cup titles. The talented playmaker and eight-time NHL all-star then spent 19 seasons as the Flyers’ general manager between 1984 and 2007, and was GM of the Philadelphia Phantoms’ Calder Cup championship teams in 1998 and 2005. Clarke was a 1987 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and currently serves as Senior Vice President of the Flyers.

Bill Barber
began his professional career with the American Hockey League’s Richmond Robins in 1972 before playing 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, winning two Stanley Cups and skating in six NHL all-star games. He retired as the Flyers franchise’s career goal-scoring leader (420) and later coached their AHL affiliates in Hershey and Philadelphia, leading the Phantoms to a Calder Cup championship in 1998. Barber, who also won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year in 2000-01, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990, and is now a scouting consultant for the Flyers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

DEC - 12

6:22 p.m.

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD

Winners of five in-a-row, the Flyers take to the road and may have to do so without the services of the NHL’s leading scorer.

Claude Giroux did not practice with the team today.

"Claude is continuing to feel better,” said GM Paul Holmgren in a statement to reporters today. “He will not travel with the team today and will be seen by our doctor again tomorrow."

Before exiting the game on an accidental knee to the head from teammate Wayne Simmonds, Giroux posted two assists to bring his point total to 39, three points ahead of the next closest pursuer, Toronto’s Phil Kessel.

The Flyers however should be used to dealing with injuries by now and have coped quite well, having been without the services of Chris Pronger, Jaromir Jagr, Matt Read, Danny Briere and Brayden Schenn at times during the season.

“I’m hoping and confident that it won’t be too long,” said Danny Briere on Giroux.

However, Briere points out that a big reason for the success of the team this season has been their work ethic.

“If we don’t work, it’s not going to get us anywhere. It’s going to be the same thing with or without Claude or Chris or Brayden.”

Enter 19-year-old Sean Couturier, who at practice today moved up to center the line with Hartnell and Jagr on either side of them.

“It’s pretty fun. Obviously you have to always be ready with them out there. You get some passes that you don’t expect some times,” said Couturier.

Following practice the Flyers traveled to Washington D.C., which officially kicks off a long and winding road-heavy scheduled that will culminate in biggest and best regular season game of the NHL’s regular season.

Before that, however, remains a tough task.

The Flyers-Caps game on Tuesday marks the first of seven out of eight games on the road. Their only trip back to the Wells Fargo Center is a Saturday matinee against the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins on Dec. 17.

Knowing these Flyers though. It shouldn’t be a problem.

“It’s a grind, this month,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “Our home/road games, we seem to be doing ok on both. The road has been fairly consistent. The games that we’ve played, we’ve been happy with the effort on the road.”

The Flyers own the NHL’s best winning percentage on the road (.750) with a 10-3-1 record. They are also just one of four teams in the NHL with 10 wins on the road this season.

An accomplishment, along with their five-game winning streak, that has placed them at the very top of the Eastern Conference standings with 39 points and an 18-7-3 mark.

“If we can get through this month and keep doing what we’re doing, the schedule is in our favor for the second half, so that’s a positive,” added Laviolette.

The Flyers are also third overall in the NHL behind the Minnesota Wild (43 pts) and Chicago Blackhawks (40 pts). Both the Wild and Blackhawks have played two more games than the Flyers.

Now might be the perfect time to hit the road for the Orange & Black. The Flyers’ five-straight victories have seen them record 21 goals, nearly 40 percent of which have come on the power play (8-of-21). Three of the five games have also come on the road.

As with every game this season, the Flyers can’t look too far ahead, especially with the opponent that lies before them on Tuesday in the Nation’s capital.

“Every inch you have to fight for and it’s always a tough game,” said Scott Hartnell, who has five goals in each of his last five games. “They have a lot of depth, good goaltending and big, strong D, I think every one of them is 6-foot-, 6-foot-3.”

**12:53 p.m.
**

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren gave the following update on Flyers forward Claude Giroux.

"Claude is continuing to feel better. He will not travel with the team today and will be seen by our doctor again tomorrow."


DEC - 11

2:58 p.m.

INJURY UPDATE
Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren gave the following update on Claude Giroux, Ilya Bryzgalov and Erik Gustafsson on Sunday.

Claude Giroux
Claude felt better this morning. He will be evaluated again tomorrow morning.

Ilya Bryzgalov
Doing much better. Should be ready to play on Tuesday.

Erik Gustafsson
Doing better. Will begin rehab and skating this week. Still 10 days to 2 weeks from playing.

The 22-year-old Gustafsson underwent successful surgery on his wrist on Nov. 17 and was expected to be out of action for six weeks. His last game was Nov. 5 against Columbus where he recorded his first NHL point (assist) and a plus-6 rating as the Flyers defeated the Blue Jackets by a score of 9-2.


DEC - 10
10:59 p.m.

GIROUX; BRYZGALOV LEAVE GAME
Claude Giroux did not return to the ice in the final period of the Flyers’ 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning after colliding by accident with Wayne Simmonds with around two minutes to go in the second period.

Following the game Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren addressed the media on Giroux.

“Claude was obviously injured late in the second period. He was evaluated by our doctors and held out for precautionary reasons in the third period, and we’ll evaluate him tomorrow and see how he is.

Continued Holmgren: “No not really a headache or anything like that. This really is just the precautionary at this stage where we just didn’t want to put him back in there at that time. It’s a game in December, and obviously he is one of our better players, so were just err on the side of caution here.”

Giroux posted two assists on the night to extend his five-game point streak in which he has 10 points (3G-7A). The streak has also placed him at the top of the NHL leaderboard in overall scoring with 16 goals and 23 assists for 39 points.

In addition to Giroux, goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov left seven minutes into the third period with Sergei Bobrovsky coming in relief of a 4-2 game at the time.

“It’s an injury issue, lower body,  [it happened] during the third,” added Holmgren. “We don’t think it’s anything serious.  It’s an off-day tomorrow for the players… I would assume that he will be fine for our next game.”

Bryzgalov is credited with the win tonight, which along with the Flyers is his fifth consecutive victory.

DEC - 9
12:01 p.m.

  Laviolette // Holmgren

OUT INDEFINITELY
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren made a statement concerning the injury status of defenseman Chris Pronger:

While Chris' knee is improving, he has struggled with other issues that are concussion-like symptoms. Chris will see Dr. Joe Maroon and Dr. Mickey Collins on Wednesday, December 14th in Pittsburgh for further evaluation. Chris will be out indefinetly.

Holmgren also addressed the status of rookie forward Brayden Schenn, who has missed the last two games due to an upper-body injury.

Brayden reported “not feeling himself” on December 5th. Our doctors believe he has a mild concussion. Brayden will be out indefinitely.

DEC - 8
8:03 p.m.

TOPIC OF CONVERSATION
With his play over the last four games, Claude Giroux is starting to turn heads and become the topic of many conversations throughout the NHL.

NHL Network's EJ Hradek talks about the NHL's leading scorer on NHL LIVE today. Click HERE for the full video

RANGERS RESPOND: MESSIER TO PLAY
In response to the Flyers adding their Hall of Fame goaltender to the Flyers-Rangers Alumni Game at Citizens Bank Park, the Blueshirts have comeback by adding a Hall of Famer of their own.

The New York Rangers announced that Mark Messier will lace ‘em up and skate on New Year’s Eve taking on the Flyers greats outdoors.

Messier, who spend 10 seasons with the Rangers and 25 total years in the National Hockey League recorded 1,887 points, which ranks second all-time in the NHL, with 694 goals and 1,193 assists.

For a complete roster of BOTH the Flyers Alumni & Rangers Alumni competing, click below:

FLYERS-RANGERS LINEUP



DEC - 7

3:59 p.m.

SCHENN OUT; JVR IN; BRYZ IN NET
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced following the team's morning skate that forward Brayden Schenn will be out of tonight's lineup vs. Sabres at Buffalo due to an upper-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day.

With the subtraction of Schenn, comes the addition of forward James van Riemsdyk, who is expected to enter the lineup for the first time since missing the last four games for the Flyers.

van Riemsdyk has eight goals and eight assists for 16 points in his 20 games for the Flyers this season. He also averaged at a point-per-game pace in the month of November, recording four goals and nine points in nine games.

So far this season, van Riemsdyk has has missed five games due to injury.

Look for Ilya Bryzgalov to get the start in net tonight vs. Buffalo. Bryzgalov was the first goaltender off the ice at the morning skate and has come off two successful road victories this past weekend.

The Flyers take on the Sabres tonight at 7:30 on VERSUS.

** 12:25 p.m.**


Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced following the team's morning skate that forward Brayden Schenn will be out of tonight's lineup vs. Sabres at Buffalo due to an upper-body injury.

More lineup details, including the status of James van Riemsdyk and the starting goaltender are expected to be announced later today.

DEC - 5
5:05 p.m.

POWER SURGE
A driving force behind the Flyers recent success has been the resurgence of the team’s power play.

Over the past two games the Flyers were 5-for-12 on the power play (41.7 pct). Overall the team moved up to the sixth spot in the league, operating at 20 percent (24-for-120).

The recent success however, hasn’t been random.

“We worked a lot of hours on the power play last week and obviously it paid off and got us a couple wins,” said Claude Giroux. “When the power play gets a couple goals it brings momentum to the team.”

The Flyers are second in the NHL in power-play goals (24) and a big reason for that is the Flyers’ leading scorer in Claude Giroux, who also happens to be tied for the overall scoring lead.

“He became a guy that we counted on in all situations; he became a top player for our club,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “With more age, more experience and more opportunity, he’s starting to show exactly what his game is and how good it is.”

Anchoring that power play is alternate captain and veteran blueliner Kimmo Timonen.

Timonen has posted four assists in his last two games and is the Flyers leader so far this season with 17 helpers, along with Claude Giroux, and ranks tied for 10th in the entire NHL.

“His rate of play is excellent and his leadership in the room has been excellent on the ice and in practice,” added Laviolette. “But to me I think what’s most impressive [about Kimmo] is his durability. He’s like the mail; he just shows up every day. He’s a steady, steady force and a steady influence on our team.”

JVR ALMOST READY
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren updated the media on the following injuries and among them was the status of forward James van Riemsdyk who has missed the last four games with an upper-body injury.

He remains day-to-day but is listed as “possible” for Wednesday’s game at Buffalo.

Forwards Danny Briere and Brayden Schenn had a maintenance day and did not partake in practice on Monday, as did defenseman Andrej Meszaros.

All three players will rejoin the team tomorrow in practice and the trip to Buffalo.


DEC - 4

3:05 p.m. ET

SUPER STAT SUNDAY
Here are a few stats to get your through your Sunday before the Flyers resume practice on Monday.

Following their two-game swing out west, the Flyers come home for a brief stay before traveling to Buffalo on Tuesday. What they brought back was a 2-0-0 record and the NHL’s leading scorer.

Claude Giroux posted two goals and added an assist to bring his point total to 32 on the year. That’s good enough to be tied for the NHL lead in points, alongside Toronto’s Phil Kessel.
Claude Giroux celebrate's his game-winning goal against Anaheim on Dec. 2. (Getty Images)

The last Flyer to lead the NHL in points after 25 or more team games was Eric Lindros, who in the 1998-99 season was tied for the NHL lead with 43 points after 33 team games. In a bit of ironic twist, Lindros was tied for the league lead with none other than Jaromir Jagr.

Only once this season has Giroux gone two-straight games without recording a single point.

Giroux’s 15 goals are tied for fourth in the league and his four game-winning goals are tied for second, as does his point-per-game pace (1.28) which is only behind Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, who has 12 points in his seven games this season.

Moving back to the team side of things, the Flyers have won four of their last five games to move into a tie for the second-most points in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference (33).

The Flyers are back in the top spot for most goals scored per game (88) and have the most average goals-scored per game (3.52).

They have 11 players who have recorded at least 10 points so far this season. That is tied for the second most in the NHL (with Boston), falling only behind the Vancouver Canucks, who have 12 players.

After a brief drop off, the Flyers penalty-killing unit is back to their dominant ways having killed 12 of their last 14 times shorthanded.

Giroux’s line mate, Jaromir Jagr returned to action on this recent road swing and didn’t lose an ounce of touch. Jagr posted four points (2G-2A) in the two outings to keep up his point-per-game pace.

On the other side of the line, Scott Hartnell continues to produce and ranks second on the team in both goals (11) and points (22). Hartnell had a pair of goals and an assist in the last two contests.

Both Kimmo Timonen and Danny Briere have been contributing lately as well. Timonen had four assists in the last two games, and has six assists in his last six games played. Briere has four assists in his last two games as well, and has recorded six points (2G-4A) in his last six games.

Speaking of having good games, Matt Read led the charge in Saturday’s game with a goal and two assists to bring his point total up (17). He currently ranks second among all NHL rookies with 10 goals and his 17 points are tied for fourth. Read is also tied for the NHL rookie lead in plus-minus with a plus-9 rating.

So far this year, Flyers rookies have accounted for 17 goals and 32 points through 25 games.

DEC - 2

9:01 a.m. PT

WALKER RECALLED

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced at noon ET today that the team has recalled defenseman Matt Walker from their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. He will be available to play in tonight's Flyers-Ducks game at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

Walker was placed on re-entry waivers on Thursday by the Flyers.

DEC - 1
4:02 p.m. PT

CHANGE OF PLANS??
The Flyers came out to Anaheim a full two days in advance mostly to get more team bonding in and get used to the three-hour time difference. What they weren’t planning on is changing their game plan on the Anaheim Ducks that they thought they knew.

That has changed.

Enter ex-Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau, who has now taken over the bench of the Ducks as of 24-hours ago.
  Laviolette // Briere


“Everybody is excited and they want to make sure to make a good impression in front of the coach right away. A new coaching staff wants to make changes with our system, which is something we have to learn quickly,” said Ducks’ forward Teemu Selanne to the Anaheim Ducks website on Thursday. “We have to start focusing on tomorrow's game and not worry about anything else. We have a job to do.

Although the Flyers approach of worrying about their own game doesn’t change at all, they expect a highly charged team to take the ice on Friday night.

“I would think it would be a really hard-fought game. They’ll be wanting to prove that they’re worthy of ice-time or power-play time, so we have to be ready to play them,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette, who was in a similar position as Boudreau on Dec. 5 when the Flyers took on the Capitals in his Flyers debut.

Whatever system Boudreau brings to the table doesn’t mean the change will come overnight and the Flyers are now facing a Washington Capitals-like team.
Graphic Courtesy of TSN.ca

“Even if that happens down the road, I don’t think that will be the case tomorrow night,” said Danny Briere. “You don’t turn around a team with a new system in just one day. Just look at our experience here with Peter. It took us 3-4 weeks to play the way he wanted us to play.”

Game time on Friday is 10 p.m. ET and can be seen in high definition on The Comcast Network (TCN).

ONE STACHE TO RULE THEM ALL
November is Movember for many players on the Flyers and throughout the NHL, and all throughout the month certain Flyers players were growing out their moustaches in support to raise funds and awareness for men’s health and specifically prostate cancer.

In an online poll conducted by TSN.ca, Flyers center Claude Giroux won a two-round showdown to win the ‘Movember Faceoff’.

In the semi-final Giroux took on Canadiens’ Erik Cole, while in the final he faced off against Coyotes’ Paul Bissonnette.

Against Bissonnette, Giroux received close to 93 percent of the 5,000 votes cast.

WALKER ON RE-ENTRY WAIVERS
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told the media today that they have placed defenseman Matt Walker on re-entry waivers.

Should no team claim him at the noon deadline, he could very well be in the lineup for the Flyers-Ducks game on Friday night. Earlier in the week, forward Andreas Nodl was put on waivers by the Flyers and the Carolina Hurricanes opted to claim him.

Walker appeared in three games for the Flyers, going scoreless with 16 penalty minutes this season before being loaned to the club’s AHL affiliate in Adirondack. With the Phantoms, Walker has a goal and an assist, and 21 penalty minutes in 10 games.

** 7:29 a.m. PT **

BRING ON DECEMBER

The Flyers took an early trip out to the West Coast, arriving early Tuesday evening and will stay through Friday’s game against the Ducks in Anaheim.
  Laviolette

“If we can get out here, get adjusted to the time zone, I think the most important thing are the points, so if that helps then it makes sense.” said Laviolette on climbing League standings.

But there is a flip-side to that coin.

“It’s a lot of time away from home in a long month, so that’s the one negative of it.”
James van Riemsdyk skates with the Flyers in Wednesday's practice in Anaheim.

The Flyers will indeed have to get used to life on the road.

Their schedule sees them play just three games at home during the entire month of December, leaving 10 games away from the Wells Fargo Center, including a five-game road trip that will take them from Colorado to Dallas, down to Tampa and out to Pittsburgh.

The Flyers are not just in a fight for Eastern Conference supremacy, but in a dogfight in their own division, which has gotten a lot stronger this season.

So much so, that the difference between the first place in the Eastern Conference and sixth place are separated by three points. Teams can’t get too comfortable because the difference between eighth place and 13th place is a mere four points.

The Flyers, with a 13-7-3 record, currently sit in a tie for second place in the Atlantic Division with the New York Rangers (13-5-3) at 29 points. The Rangers however have played two fewer games than the Flyers and so far own the head-to-head match up.

The Flyers do however have one distinct advantage in their chase to the top. They lead the Eastern Conference with 13 wins in regulation.

The Devils (12-10-1), have dropped two straight, but still are in a good arms-length reach of the Flyers and Rangers with 25 points.

The return of Sidney Crosby has boosted the Pittsburgh Penguins even further up the standings and has extended their lead the Eastern Conference with 32 points at 14-7-4.

And then there’s the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. No one in the NHL is hotter than they are and no one had a better November, going unbeaten in regulation at 11-0-1. Their surge has put them atop the Northeast Division with 31 points and a 15-7-1 record.

Still the Flyers are just one win away from catching the Bruins and leapfrogging the Toronto Maple Leafs, who at 30 points has played two additional games with 14-9-2 mark.

The good news for the Flyers is that they appear to be not too far off from the early season success that they enjoyed.

Jaromir Jagr is expected to return in one of the next two games, while James van Riemsdyk is getting closer to his return as well. Despite missing games, van Riemsdyk averaged a point per-game pace in November with four goals and nine points.

And then there’s rookie Brayden Schenn, who after early struggles with injury is ready to not just be a part of the Flyers lineup, but be a big role-player in it.

“He’s a talented guy and I’m sure he wants to get in here and be a factor for our team,” added Laviolette. “He’ll get some chances now with some guys out of the lineup to come in and play in situations and get himself going.”

Schenn is coming off of a broken foot and will get to see a good amount of action this month. During his AHL stint this season, he has posted very impressive numbers. Schenn has six goals and 12 points in just seven games with the Phantoms, who went 5-2-0 with him in the lineup.

With quarter-pole of the season in the dust, the Flyers press on into perhaps their most difficult month. Then again, going 7-3-1, the road has been a place where they have found most of their success.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 6 5 1 0 20 20 10
2 NYI 5 4 1 0 20 15 8
3 OTT 5 4 1 0 14 10 8
4 WSH 5 3 0 2 18 11 8
5 TBL 5 3 1 1 17 10 7
6 DET 5 3 1 1 11 8 7
7 PIT 4 3 1 0 16 10 6
8 CBJ 5 3 2 0 15 12 6
9 NJD 5 3 2 0 17 16 6
10 NYR 6 3 3 0 17 20 6
11 BOS 7 3 4 0 15 17 6
12 TOR 6 2 3 1 15 19 5
13 PHI 5 1 2 2 17 21 4
14 FLA 5 1 2 2 5 11 4
15 CAR 4 0 2 2 10 15 2
16 BUF 6 1 5 0 8 22 2

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
W. Simmonds 5 5 2 3 7
J. Voracek 5 2 5 -2 7
C. Giroux 5 2 5 -3 7
M. Streit 5 1 5 -1 6
B. Schenn 5 1 2 0 3
V. Lecavalier 3 1 2 -1 3
A. MacDonald 5 1 2 -2 3
M. Read 5 0 3 -1 3
M. Del Zotto 5 0 3 -3 3
S. Couturier 5 2 0 -2 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Emery 1 0 1 .907 2.73
S. Mason 0 2 1 .865 3.78
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