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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:
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SEPT - 2011 // OCT - 2011 // NOV - 2011 // DEC - 2011 // JAN - 2012 // FEB - 2012 

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MAR - 29
UPDATED: 6:53 p.m. from 3:51 p.m.

INJURY UPDATE
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren gave an injury update on goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov just a few minutes ago.

Holmgren announced that Bryzgalov is "Doubtful for this weekend's games and is doing better."

Holmgren also announced that defenseman Kimmo Timonen is probable for tomorrow's game vs. Ottawa.

THE FINAL FIVE
The Flyers have just five games remaining in their 2011-12 regular season, and as is the case in most years, they will certainly be meaningful games.

FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
The Flyers sit in the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with 98 points (45-24-8), just two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (47-24-6), who as the days go by, are looking more and more like the odds on favorite to be the Flyers first round opponent.

Within the Flyers (and Penguins) final five games are two meetings with each other and the possibility of a four-point swing in which valuable home-ice advantage is at stake.

That being said, there are still plenty of seeds up for grabs, but the Flyers are not playing with hypotheticals.

"We haven't talked about home-ice or the Rangers, or the Penguins or the Senators. We talked about the two points. That's really all we can control right now," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "Eventually we'll either have home-ice or we won't."

The Flyers final games will also be extremely tough challenges. Besides the two Penguins match-ups, the Flyers face the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres, who are in a fight for the eighth and final playoff spot.

What the Flyers are concerned about is what their concern all year has been - the next opponent only. Hence, the Ottawa Senators come to town holding down the seventh seed in the playoff picture.

The Sens have won two games in-a-row, and have posted a total of 14 goals in those two games, but have also given up eight goals. They too will be a desperate hockey team because their position sees them only three points from slipping out of the race completely.

BRYZ ON THE ICE
Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was back on the ice today after taking the last three days off, missing Thursday's game at Toronto, and that's good news for the Flyers and fans alike.

This wasn't just a skate-around either. Bryzgalov participated in a lengthy practice, facing shots and moving side to side very well.

"I think we were up front with that from the beginning that it was something that wouldn't be too long," said Laviolette. "I think any time you don't have a player in the lineup from an injury and there back at practice the next day, I think that's always a positive sign to get guys back and in the mix."

The Flyers enter the weekend with back-to-back games during the day, facing off against the Senators at home on Saturday and travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday for the NHL's Game of the Week on NBC. No decision has been made on whether Bryz will play or even dress for either of those games.

11:15 p.m.

BRYZ PROGRESSING
Following the Flyers' 7-1 defeat of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on Thursday, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updated the media on the injury status of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

"[Ilya] is doing fine. We believe he will practice tomorrow (Friday)."

During Monday's game vs. Tampa Bay, Bryzgalov suffered a chip fracture in his right foot during the pregame warmups. He continued and played the game, but missed last night's game at Toronto. It was his first missed game due to injury since Dec. 23, 2010, while he was with the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Flyers are expected to practice today at the Wells Fargo Center where they will take their official 2011-12 team photo.


MAR - 28
6:08 p.m.

BOB IN NET
Despite the news yesterday of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov being left with a chip fracture in his right foot after taking a shot in the skate during warm-ups on Monday, the Flyers are not in the slightest concerned about coping with so-called 'Life without Bryz'.

FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
The main reason for that mindset was cleared up on Tuesday night's conference call with general manager Paul Holmgren in which he stated that team management, trainers and even the doctors believe that the injury is not serious and will not cause him to miss much time.

It's also of no concern to the team around Bryzgalov.

"A little bit of rest before the playoffs is not going to hurt him, he's been playing well for us," said Claude Giroux. "I think everything is going to be fine."

The other reason? Sergei Bobrovsky.

"We have the luxury of having an excellent back-up goalie, probably one of the best in the NHL who would be a No. 1 on most teams," said Danny Briere.


Bobrovsky will start in Thursday's game at Toronto, marking his first time between the pipes since a 4-1 loss at New Jersey on March 11 - a span of eight games.

In fact, Bobrovsky has started just one game in the Flyers last 19 contests, making two appearances in net since Feb. 16 after coming in relief of Bryzgalov on Feb. 16 vs. Pittsburgh.

However the above numbers are no concern to the team and head coach Peter Laviolette.

"We've got great guys in the locker room here; Bob's been a terrific soldier for us all year in waiting to get in there and play more games," said Laviolette. "I know that we have a lot of faith in Bob and he was a starter for us last year."

Overall, Bobrovsky has posted a 12-9-1 record this season with a 3.03 goals-against average and .899 save percentage in 25 appearances.

Bobrovsky's last victory came against the Maple Leafs, a 4-3 win on Feb. 9 at the Wells Fargo Center. Thursday's game at Toronto will be his fourth career game against Toronto. He owns a career mark of 2-1-0 with a 2.68 goals-against average and .907 save percentage.

And if anyone out there is looking for the 'injury excuse' prior to Thursday's game at the Air Canada Centre, the Flyers most certainly will not be.

"It's just part of the business," added Laviolette. "It is what it is and there's an expectation to go up tomorrow night in Toronto and win a hockey game and none of that changes."

The Flyers will look to sweep the season series against Toronto after going a perfect 3-0-0 so far. It would be the club's first perfect season against the Maple Leafs in 14 seasons when they went 2-0-0 in 1996-97 when Toronto was a part of the Western Conference. It would also be the first time since the 1973-74 season in which the Flyers would own four victories over the Maple Leafs in one season.

MAR - 27
UPDATED: 5:20 p.m. from 3:42 p.m.

BRYZ HAS CHIP FRACTURE
Less than 24-hours after suffering a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced an injury update on several players, one of which involving goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

"An MRI revealed a chip fracture in his right foot. He will be unavailable for Thursday’s game and is day-to-day."

"We don’t think this is a serious injury," added Holmgren. "We’re hoping that he’ll be back on the ice practicing with the idea that he can play on the weekend.  It’s just going to be a little bit of pain management for Ilya."

Holmgren also added that x-rays were taken of the foot following warm-ups of the Flyers-Lightning game on Monday, where he believes he sustained the injury after taking a shot from forward Jakub Voracek from a side angle that hit an exposed part of his skate.

The x-ray did not reveal the chip and Bryzgalov played the full game.

Said Holmgren: "Ilya wants to play, he feels like he’ll be OK, but we’ll just see how it goes.  I think we’ll have a better grasp on how he is tomorrow.  He’s going to get some treatment here tonight and again come in tomorrow and work out and get treatment done... Nobody’s really concerned.  The doctors are not concerned, Jimmy McCrossin’s not too concerned.  He’s a little sore right now."

As a result, Bryzgalov will not make the trip up to Toronto on Wednesday, leaving the Flyers to recall goaltender Jason Bacashihua from their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, who will back up goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky on Thursday at the Air Canada Centre.

Bryzgalov has been stellar in the month of March by posting a 10-2-1 record with a 1.43 goals-against average and .947 save percentage, stopping 338 of 357 shots he has faced.

He has been named the first star of the game on six occasions, and has been named the NHL’s First Star of the Week twice this month, becoming the first Flyer ever to earn the award in consecutive weeks.

During the month, Bryzgalov posted a franchise-record scoreless streak of 249:43 from March 1-15, and became the first Flyers goaltender to record four shutouts in the span of five games.

In addition to Bryzgalov, Kimmo Timonen will also stay back and not travel to Toronto.

“Kimmo’s not going to play on Thursday," said Holmgren.  "This is kind of a maintenance thing we had planned.  Tonight we’ll recall Marc-Andre Bourdon, and then we’ll see where Lilja is. He could possibly play on Thursday but we’re not sure.  So we’ll have seven defensemen there, and if Lilja can play, we’ll probably make a decision on loaning Erik back or Marc-Andre.”

Timonen, who had appeared in the last seven games for the Flyers, recording two goals and five points, is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Timonen missed five games from Mar. 4-11 with a lower-body injury, which ended his iron-man streak of 248 consecutive games played.

He leads the Flyers defense with 42 points (4G-38A) in 71 games, while also recording 44 penalty minutes and a plus-minus rating of plus-10.

Defensemen Andrej Meszaros and Andreas Lilja both remain the same status on the injury front, as does forward James van Riemsdyk.

The Flyers take on the Maple Leafs at Toronto on Thursday at 7 p.m. They have just six games remaining in the 2011-12 regular season and have already clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs, becoming the third team in the Eastern Conference to do so.


MAR - 26
9:23 p.m.

WATCH: Nick Cousins at the 2011 Draft.
FLYERS, COUSINS AGREE TO CONTRACT
The Flyers have agreed to an entry level contract with Nick Cousins, the club's third round pick (68th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Cousins recently completed his third season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League where he led the team in scoring with 35 goals, 53 assists and 88 points in 65 games. His 88 points were also tied for fifth in the OHL, while is 53 assists ranked sixth.

Over parts of three seasons with the Greyhounds, Cousins recorded 188 points (75G-113A) and 178 penalty minutes in 200 games.

MAR - 24
7:50 p.m.

LILJA OUT VS. CANADIENS
Immediately following warm-ups prior to tonight's Flyers-Canadiens game at the Wells Fargo Center, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that defenseman Andreas Lilja would NOT be in the lineup and is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Flyers recalled rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson under emergency conditions from their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, this morning. Gustafsson participated in the morning skate, and is appearing in his 28th game of the season tonight.

He has a goal and three assists to go along with a plus-minus rating of plus-10 this season with the Flyers, which is tied for fifth among all NHL rookies.

Lilja has four points, all assists, and a plus-6 rating in 43 games this season. He recently missed the Flyers-Pittsburgh game on Mar. 18 due to a throat injury after being struck up high in the previous game (Mar. 17) at Boston.

**11:52 a.m.**


TONIGHT'S CLINCHING SCENARIO
For the second consecutive night, the Flyers can clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but tonight they control their own destiny. Below are the scenarios that will secure a spot in the playoffs for the Flyers.

- The Flyers defeat the Canadiens tonight (gain two points)

- The Flyers GAIN AT LEAST ONE POINT (a loss in overtime/shootout) AND the Buffalo Sabres LOSE IN REGULATION/OT/SO to the Minnesota Wild.

- The Buffalo Sabres LOSE IN REGULATION to the Minnesota Wild AND the Winnipeg Jets LOSE IN ANY FASHION or WIN IN A SHOOTOUT to the Nashville Predators.

MAR - 23
9:29 p.m.

NOT JUST YET
The Flyers did not clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight after the Buffalo Sabres defeated the New York Rangers by a score of 4-1.

The Sabres now have 82 points in the Eastern Conference, but remain in the ninth spot after the Washington Capitals gained a point in the standings by losing in overtime to the Winnipeg Jets, 4-3, who now have 78 points and are in the 10th spot with eight games remaining.

The Capitals have 82 points and own the tie-breaker over the Sabres with 35 regulation/overtime wins. Both the Capitals and Sabres each have seven games remaining.

The Flyers now control their own destiny and will have a chance to punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday night when they face off against the Montreal Canadiens. A win will guarantee a playoff spot.

5:29 p.m.

CLINCHING SCENARIOS
Without even stepping on the ice tonight, the Flyers can officially seal the deal and punch their ticket to the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Below are the scenarios for tonight's games in the NHL that will cause the Flyers to clinch a playoff berth.

The Flyers clinch a playoff berth IF:

- The Buffalo Sabres LOSE in regulation to the NY Rangers AND the Winnipeg Jets LOSE to the Washington Capitals in any fashion.

- The Buffalo Sabres LOSE in regulation to the NY Rangers AND Winnipeg Jets WIN IN A SHOOTOUT over the Washington Capitals tonight.


Should the Jets win in a shootout, the Flyers can clinch because the third NHL tie-breaking scenario would come into play.

(c) 'The greater number of games won by the Club (excluding games won in the Shootout)'

The Flyers stand at 39 wins in regulation/overtime, while the Jets stand at 30 regulation/overtime wins.

Should the Jets win tonight in a shootout, they would still earn two points, BUT their regulation/overtime wins would still remain at 30 with only eight games remaining.

If the Jets were to win their remaining eight games, the maximum number of points they could reach would be 94, the amount the Flyers currently have, BUT the Jets regulation/overtime wins would only add up to 38, which is one fewer regulation/overtime wins than the Flyers.

The official list of NHL tie-breaking scenarios are as follows:

NHL TIEBREAKERS
a) First place in each of the three divisions seeded 1, 2 and 3.
b) The higher number of points earned by the Club.
c) The greater number of games won by the Club (excluding games won in the Shootout).
d) The higher number of points earned in games against each other among two or more Clubs having equal standing under
priorities (b) and (c).
e) The greater differential between goals scored for and against by clubs having equal standing under priority (d).


MAR - 21

5:32 p.m.

DESPERATE TEAMS
You need to look no further than Tuesday's game against the Florida Panthers to know what a desperate team looks like and how they will play heading down the stretch.

FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
The Panthers were held to just 13 shots on net. Their goaltender fought off 35 of 36 thrown at him. Even after getting away with committing four penalties, including two within a span of 1:18 seconds to put them down two men in the first period alone, the Panthers tightened up and did not give the Flyers a power-play opportunity for the next 40-plus minutes.

This is the same type of effort that the Flyers expect on Thursday when the team chasing the Panthers in the standings will be visiting the Wells Fargo Center - the Washington Capitals.

"I can't think of an easy game. I can't see one on the schedule coming up, so that means we need to show up and work every day," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "Florida came in here desperate to hang on to [home-ice advantage], desperate to hang on to that division lead. Tomorrow's no different. There's just nothing easy about the end of the season."

The Caps come to Philly in the eighth and final playoff spot with 80 points, five behind the Panthers now and hanging on to their position by just two points over the rising Buffalo Sabres.

The Flyers are well aware of this and are well aware that their recent trend of falling behind in games is something they continue to work on because even with their offensive power (2nd in the NHL in goals - 229 and 3rd in goals-per-game - 3.14), they know that as many times as they have come back, they won't be able to go to that well too often. 

"We're not going to come back from two-three goal deficits too often in the playoffs," said Danny Briere. "You might get away with it once, but it's not going to happen very often, so that's the part that's a little scary about our starts right now."

The Flyers rank fourth overall in the NHL with 67 first-period goals, however they are also in the top six of NHL teams in goals allowed in the first period at 64, having allowed the first goal in four of their last six outings.

The recent trend however is no cause for alarm by any means and will not cause the Flyers to change their game-plan.

After all, the Flyers are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games, which has included a five-game winning streak both overall and on home-ice, and have earned at least a point in the standings in 11 of their last 15 games.

"We try to address everything," added Laviolette. "If something's not working or something's not right we constantly talk about it or look at it, or show video of it or work on it on the ice."

The Flyers take on the Capitals for the fourth and final time this season after going 2-1-0 so far in 2011-12. After dropping their first meeting of the season, the Flyers have won two straight over the Caps, including their last game, a 1-0 victory in Washington, DC on Mar. 4.

**9:55 a.m.**
MESZAROS HAS BACK SURGERY
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced that defenseman Andrej Meszaros had back surgery this morning. His full statement is below...

"Andrej had successful surgery this morning to remove a disc fragment that was impinging on a nerve root. He will be discharged from the hospital later today. His rehab will begin in 1 week."

The update two days earlier from Flyers GM Paul Holmgren on Meszaros estimated that he would be out for six to eight weeks, which would place him anywhere from a May 2 to May 16 return.

MAR - 19
6:08 p.m.

MESZAROS OUT 6-8 WEEKS
With a complete day off from practice today for the Flyers, general manager Paul Holmgren gave an injury update regarding several players.

The most significant news to come out of the update was to defenseman Andrej Meszaros.

"Andrej Meszaros will undergo surgery to remove a small disc fragment in his lower back on Wednesday, March 21," announced Holmgren. "Surgery will be performed by Dr Alex Vaccaro at Thomas Jefferson Hospital. Andrej will be out 6-8 weeks."

Meszaros had been sidelined for the last nine games. He recorded 25 points (7G-18A)  appearing in 62 out of Flyers first 63 games of the season.

Last season, Meszaros appeared in 81 of 82 games for the Flyers, posting eight goals and 32 points and 42 penalty minutes. He recorded a plus-minus rating of plus-30, which tied for the team lead while averaging 21:07 of time-on-ice per game. He was also awarded the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the team's most outstanding defenseman.

During the off-season, Meszaros underwent surgery to repair cartilage in his right wrist.

In addition to Meszaros, Holmgren announced that defenseman Pavel Kubina and forward Max Talbot are day-to-day with upper-body injuries, while defenseman Andreas Lilja is day-to-day with a throat injury.

Heading into tomorrow's game vs. Florida, the Flyers have had 361 man-games lost this season due to injury or illness, 115 of which have been by defensemen.

MAR - 18
11:23 p.m.

LILJA-TALBOT UPDATE; MANNING RECALLED
Prior to the start of today's nationally televised game vs. Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren gave an injury update to defenseman Andreas Lilja and forward Maxime Talbot. Lilja is listed as day-to-day with a throat injury, while Talbot is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The pair were injured in Saturday's game at Boston. Lilja played just over a minute of ice-time before being struck up high in the first period. He left the ice and did not return.

Talbot played just under seven minutes through the first two periods before leaving the ice following a five-minute fighting major early in the second period.

Holmgren also announced that the Flyers have recalled 6'1'', 195-pound defenseman Brandon Manning from the club's AHL affiliate in Adirondack this morning. This is the second NHL recall for Manning, who appeared in three games for the Flyers (Mar. 8-11) where he recorded a plus-minus rating of plus-2, four shots on goal and an average of 14:19 ice-time.

In 34 games with the Phantoms of the AHL, his first professional season, Manning has five goals and five assists for 10 points and 77 penalty minutes.


MAR - 17
UPDATED - 3:05 p.m.

TALBOT; LILJA INJURED
During the first period of today's Flyers-Bruins game at Boston, Andreas Lilja was struck up high in front of Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov at the top of the crease.

In addition, forward Max Talbot suffered an upper-body injury and would NOT return to the game following the second period of action.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that Lilja would NOT return to the game and is still being evaluated

Lilja left the game at the 14:53 mark of the first period, appearing in just 1:16 of ice-time and four shifts. He has averaged 13:37 of ice-time per game so far this season.

Lilja has three points, all assists, and 34 penalty minutes to go along with a plus-minus rating of plus-6 in 40 games this season, his first with the Flyers.

Talbot appeared in just 6:59 of ice-time during the game and a total of 11 shifts. He received a five-minute fighting major after dropping the gloves with Bruins' defenseman Johnny Boychuk approximately four minutes into the second period. He did not return after serving the penalty.

Talbot is one of four Flyers to have appeared in all 71 games for the Flyers so far this season. Matt Carle, Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds being the other three.

MAR - 16
6:13 p.m.

ANOTHER TOUGH WEEKEND AHEAD
Flying out of Long Island immediately following their 3-2 win against the Islanders on Thursday, the Flyers took to the ice for practice at Boston University's Agganis Arena this afternoon instead of having a day off.

FLYERS PRACTICE AT BU
  watch: LAVIOLETTE
  watch: BRIERE
  feature article: SIM-CITY
  fly-by: A RECORD & A WIN
Remaining Schedule
  FOLLOW: @NHLFlyers

Clearly the Flyers have no intentions of letting their foot off the gas pedal while in the midst of their recent streak that has seen them keep pace in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Flyers come into Boston having won seven of their last eight games, but enter another weekend of back-to-back games against very tough opponents, which can, and will have significant impact in the ever-changing standings atop the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Flyers face off against the defending champion Boston Bruins in a Saturday matinee before heading back home to Philly to face off against the Penguins, who have now added Sidney Crosby to their roster.

But as Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette points out, to pay attention to standings and who is playing who is pointless with so many games left. The focus has, and always will be, one opponent at a time with a blind-eye on all other teams.

"It's all irrelevant because nobody knows what's going to happen," said Laviolette. "Twelve games is a lifetime when you put it amongst 12 teams. What we do know is going to happen is we're going to play the Bruins tomorrow afternoon, there's two points at stake and they're a valuable two points."

The Bruins enter tomorrow's game struggling as of late, losing their last four games and allowing an average of 5.25 goals by the opposition during that stretch.

Still despite those stats, the Flyers will by no means take them lightly.

"I know they've been struggling but it's going to be a tough game because you know how it is when a team is struggling," said Danny Briere. "Teams have a lot of meetings and their intensity is going to be at a very high level. We have to be able to respond to that."

BRYZ BACK AT IT
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette won't be giving Ilya Bryzgalov a rest in net after his historic shutout streak run. Laviolette announced that Bryzgalov will get the start in net tomorrow against the Bruins.

Bryzgalov has won each of his last seven starts in net, but Laviolette points to a win outside of his current streak that he notes as the starting point in which Bryzgalov has been dialed in.

Coming out of a 5-4 shootout victory in Calgary in which he stopped four out of Calgary's five players, Bryz has posted a goals-against average of 0.99, a save percentage of .964 and all of this while losing his very next game.

Since that 1-0 loss at San Jose, Bryzgalov has stopped 195 of 202 shots that he has faced.

MAR - 14
5:09 p.m.

ALL AROUND GAME
Following last night's 3-0 win over the Devils, the immediate buzz was centered around the
man in the cage.

FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
Ilya Bryzgalov posted his third shutout in-a-row (tying a franchise record), fourth in his last five starts and sixth of the season. Such numbers leave no doubt that he is back to form, confident and in the zone. And that's very good news for Flyers fans at a very important time of year.

But if you ask the man himself, he'll simply credit all of his success to the men in front of him.

"We were very physical, hungry around the net, shooting the pucks, blocking the shots, killing the penalties pretty much the whole game," said Bryzgalov. "It was a good game, how the guys played.”

The Flyers allowed just three shots on net in the third period, but the even more positive sign was the decrease in shots allowed each period. The Flyers allowed less than 10 shots on net in each period, yielding eight in the first period and six in the second frame.

"It's hard to think of something else that would top that," said Matt Carle. "We gave up three shots in the third period which is huge, and even from a special teams stand point as well is how well we played on the PK."

The Flyers have allowed just two goals while on the penalty kill in their last eight games, going 22-for-24 and operating at 91.6 percent. They have also gone seven of their last eight games not allowing a single power-play goal from the opposition.

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette likes what he sees not just from the defense, but the team's all around game.

"Last night I thought our team played exceptionally well. Our team game was terrific in all zones; we made good decisions with the puck we defended; we tried to block every shot we could [and] offensively we were able to generate a lot."

Their next opponent, the New York Islanders, are fighting recent struggles, dropping each of their last four games, including one in overtime and one in a shootout to go 0-2-2 in that span.

Still, the Islanders have proven to be a tough opponent for the Flyers this season. The Flyers won their last meeting by a 6-3 score in Philadelphia, but three of the other four meetings have been decided by one goal, including two that saw the Islanders walk away with victories.

MAR - 13
6:38 p.m.

TIMONEN, VORACEK RETURN
Kimmo Timonen
Prior to the Flyers-Devils game at the Wells Fargo Center, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette confirmed that defenseman Kimmo Timonen will return to the lineup.

Timonen participated in morning skate today in Voorhees, N.J. with his teammates.

He has missed the last five games due to a lower body injury. The Flyers game on Mar. 4 at Washington was the 5'10'', 194 pound defenseman's first missed game in parts of the last four seasons after appearing in 248 consecutive games.

"Mentally it's been great actually. I've played a lot of hockey in the last four years and obviously the last 10 days I didn't do much," said Timonen after the morning skate.

Timonen has not missed more than five games of an NHL season in his last seven years, as well as nine of his overall 12 seasons in the NHL.

In 63 games so far this season, Timonen has posted 34 assists and 36 points to go along with 40 penalty minutes and a plus-minus rating of plus-8. He averages 21:20 of ice-time on the blueline per-game.

Timonen also recorded his 500th point in the NHL with an assist on Jaromir Jagr's goal in the Flyers' 6-3 vs. Islanders on Mar. 1.

Flyers forward Jakub Voracek will also return to the lineup tonight. Voracek had been sidelined since the Flyers 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Mar. 6 after receiving a hit from Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall. He missed the following three games due to an upper-body injury and has missed a total of four games all season.

Voracek has recorded 12 goals and 23 assists for 35 points in 64 games while posting a plus-5 rating.

BRYZ RETURNS IN NET
Ilya Bryzgalov will put his five-game winning streak and his shutout streak of 136:13 on the line as he returns as tonight's starter after taking a night off in the Flyers first part of the home-and-home series at New Jersey on Sunday. Previous to that Bryzgalov had made 11 straight starts in net.

During his five-game winning streak, which has included a pair of back-to-back shutouts, Bryzgalov has posted a 0.98 goals-against average and .968 save percentage, including a 3-0-0 record on home ice.


MAR - 12

5:10 p.m.

ANOTHER CRACK AT IT
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette, along with the players in his locker room, were clearly not happy with their effort, and in-turn, the result in Sunday night's 4-1 loss at New Jersey.

FLYERS-DEVILS
But if there was ever an ideal time for a loss against a division opponent, last night was it because the Flyers will get right back on the horse and battle the Devils again, but this time on home-ice.

"It's good to get back. It's a division game [and] it's a big game," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "You come off of a loss where you don't play the way you want to and get the results you're looking for, you get to go back at it against the same team."

Tuesday's game will be just the second time all season that the Flyers will have been a part of a home-and-home series. The only other came at the beginning of January, when they swept a pair of games against the Ottawa Senators on Jan. 7-8.

It is also the last home-and-home of the 2011-12 season.

As of recent, home-and-home series have become a thing of the past for the Flyers. Last season the Flyers played just one home-and-home and it was against the Devils.

In 2009-10 the Flyers had four sets of home-and-home series, compared to 2008-09 when they had six sets.

Despite the decline in series, the one constant has been against their rivals just up the turnpike. The Flyers have played a home-and-home series against the Devils in five of the last six years and in each of the last four seasons.

The Flyers have also had a good amount of success in recent years against the Devils, having swept both ends of the series in each of the last three seasons with their last loss coming in both games back in 2006-07. Overall the Flyers are 6-2-1 in their last five home-and-home series against New Jersey.

History will pay no attention to the numbers on Tuesday however, because what's at stake is perhaps the most important two points to date in the Flyers season.

The Flyers and Devils are deadlocked at 85 points in the Eastern Conference with the Flyers ahead because of tie-breakers. They have one game in hand on the Devils, however New Jersey owns the season series over the Flyers with three victories to their credit.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. and you can watch all the action on CSN or listen live on 94 WIP radio.

MAR - 11
5:36 p.m.

HARRY Z RECALLED; BOB IN NET
With the Flyers arriving late last night, flying straight from Toronto to Newark and combined with losing an hour from Daylight Savings Time, the Flyers did not have a morning skate at the Prudential Center.

There was however one addition to their pre-game meetings. The Flyers recalled forward Harry Zolnierczyk from their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms.

This is the second recall of the week for Zolnierczyk. He was recalled on Thursday, but did not play in the Flyers-Panthers game and was loaned immediately back to Adirondack the very next day, where he was in the lineup for the Phantoms game against the Norfolk Admirals in Glens Falls, N.Y.

He also appeared in the Phantoms game against Albany on Saturday, where he recorded an assist to help the team to a 4-3 win over the Devils.

Just prior to tonight's game Flyers head coach also announced that Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start in net tonight at the Prudential Center, breaking the streak of Ilya Bryzgalov's 11-straight starts.

Bobrovsky's last start came on Feb. 12, a 4-3 loss to the Red Wings at Detroit. He also appeared in 23 minutes of ice time in relief of Bryzgalov in the Flyers 6-4 loss vs. Pittsburgh on Feb. 18.

So far this season, Bobrovsky holds a 12-8-1 record with a 2.99 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 24 games played. He is 1-1-1 lifetime against the New Jersey Devils.

MAR - 8
7:05 p.m.

MANNING IN; KUBINA OUT
Prior to warm-ups, it was announced that rookie defenseman Brandon Manning will make his NHL debut in tonight's Flyers-Panthers game.

Manning takes the place of defenseman Pavel Kubina, who is out of the lineup due to an upper-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day.

Manning becomes the sixth Flyer to make his NHL debut tonight, the 12th rookie to play on the Flyers this season and the 15th person on the roster to play his first game as a Flyer this season.

He was recalled by the Flyers this morning from the club's AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms where he recorded nine points (4G-5A) and 75 penalty minutes in 32 games.

Kubina has played in all six games since being acquired by the Flyers on Feb. 18, recording two assists. He missed four games due to injury with the Tampa Bay Lightning back in December due to a lower-body injury.

12:24 p.m.

VORACEK OUT
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced following the team's morning skate that forward Jakub Voracek will NOT play in tonight's Flyers-Panthers game at the Wells Fargo Center.

To fill roster spots, defenseman Brandon Manning and forward Harry Zolnierczyk have been recalled from the team's AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms (MORE HERE...)

Holmgren also announced that forward James van Riemsdyk's surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot went well. He will be out for 4-6 weeks.

MAR - 7
4:53 p.m.

ONE AT A TIME
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette made it perfectly clear today that while the team has important games in the next 5-7 days against opponents fighting for their playoff lives and for positioning, the Flyers concern is one team only - the Florida Panthers.

FLYERS TV INTERVIEWS
The reason being that the Panthers are simply the next opponent and when Friday comes, the Toronto Maple Leafs will take center stage.

"I'm really concerned about Florida right now and not so much where things [in the standings] fall. Typically if you worry about your own business, worry about winning your own hockey games, that's really all that matters,” said Laviolette.

The log-jam in the Eastern Conference sees just a three-point difference from the seventh seed (78 pts) to the second seed (81 pts). The fight for the Southeast Division is extends to even more teams, specifically four teams within six points of the title. The Flyers play the Panthers twice and the Tampa Bay Lightning once more.

Said Laviolette: “Nobody has a crystal ball to see how we will do and you certainly can't tell how other teams are going to do. So there's no sense of even going down that road, eyeballing teams, spots or scenarios. There's just too much time and too many games left."

With the team currently on a roll now and riding a three-game winning streak, the Florida Panthers are a team that the Flyers know cannot take lightly despite the fact that they have won both meetings, both of which came at Florida and by a close, 3-2 margin.

Close games are one-thing Flyers fans should get used to during this time of year.

"If you look around the league it's not uncommon to see the shots against at 18, 22, 25,” added Laviolette. “They seem to be getting tighter; the checking seems to be getting a little more desperate and every game means something and the teams that sometimes are the hardest to play are the ones that really have the longest stretch to get in the playoffs."

UPDATE FROM THE GM
The Flyers continue to get bit by the injury bug and last night was no exception.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren spoke to the media following an optional skate for the team today and ruled out defensemen Andrej Meszaros and Kimmo Timonen for tomorrow's game vs. Florida. He also admitted that Jaromir Jagr will probably not play on Thursday either.

Meanwhile Holmgren did state that forward Jakub Voracek seemed ok today but the team will see how he feels in the morning. Ultimately Voracek will have to pass a baseline test to see where he is at in terms of playing.

To compensate for the possible losses of Jagr and Voracek for the game tomorrow, Holmgren did also mentioned that the club will most likely recall someone from their AHL affiliate in Adirondack.

The rules for recalling a player are slightly different at this time of year however. A team can only recall a player, under normal conditions, a total of four times until the end of the regular season. They have already used two recalls on Eric Wellwood and Erik Gustafsson.

The only clause in that rule is if the player recalled is under emergency conditions. This will not count against the four recall total.

Emergency conditions, as stated in the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, would be when a team is under the roster minimum of 12 forwards, six defensemen or two goaltenders and MUST have a player.


MAR - 6
10:40 p.m.

JAGR, VORACEK INJURED
Following the Flyers-Red Wings game, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren gave an injury update on forwards Jakub Voracek and Jaromir Jagr, both of whom exited the game early and did not return.

Jagr is day-to-day with a hip injury, while Voracek received stitches to his upper and lower mouth area. Both players will be re-evaluated tomorrow, according to Holmgren.

Jagr appeared in just over nine minutes of ice time (9:19) on 13 shifts and did not register a shot on goal. He left in the second period and did not return to the bench for the third.

Voracek left the game after taking a big hit from Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall at the 7:26 mark of the second period. He played a total nine shifts for a total of 9:31 in ice time.

Prior to leaving the game, Voracek tallied his 12th goal of the season to tie the game up at 1-1 in the first period. The goal was unassisted and his 35th point of the season in 64 games. He has missed just one game so far this year - the Flyers 4-3 loss at Detroit on Feb. 12.

MAR - 5
4:37 p.m.

MAINTENANCE DAYS
Much has been made of the Flyers schedule ahead and with good reason. Their 1-0 win at Washington kicked off a string of four games in seven days.

Flyers fans should get to know that stat very well, because that schedule will repeat itself twice more in March essentially adding up to 12 games in a 21-day span, which includes three straight weekends of back-to-back games.

Needless to say strength & conditioning become a very important part of a player's life during this stage.

"I think it all starts in the summertime when you're really working out," said defenseman Matt Carle, who is now one of four Flyers to have played in all 64 games so far this season.

"This is what you're preparing for because the grind of an 82-game schedule isn't easy. These days in between games are huge for recovery and getting prepared for the next game."

And while points are points in the NHL standings no matter what time of year they come from, what separates March & April from the rest of the calendar year is maintaining one's health and conditioning as teams get increasingly desperate for those points.

"There's going to be a lot of hits and bangs on your body these next three weeks and to get proper rest is very important," said Scott Hartnell, who along with Carle has played all 64 games this season. "It seems like no team is out of playoff contention."

For those of you wondering, Wayne Simmonds and Max Talbot are the other two Flyers to dress in all 64 contests.

The Flyers remain in a very pivotal slot of the Eastern Conference standings. With 79 points, they are the fifth seed, which as of Monday afternoon, is two points from replacing the fourth seeded Pittsburgh Penguins and the all-important home-ice advantage. It is also a very slippery slope to fall to the seventh seed, which is owned by the Ottawa Senators, just three points back at 76 points.

Fans might not have noticed it on the scoresheet since mid-February, but the two additions on the blueline that the Flyers acquired around the trade deadline have already made a sizable difference, and will continue to do so now that both Kimmo Timonen and Andrej Meszaros are out of the lineup indefinitely due to lower body injuries.

"The players that were picked up were veteran defensemen," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "They were picked up for a reason. They're here to kill penalties, they're here to provide valuable minutes and here to play against the Zetterbergs and Alex Ovechkins of the world and I think that they've come in here and done a nice job."

At the forefront of getting the job done has been goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who has found his groove after making a season-high eight consecutive starts following a bout with the flu in early February.

In just his last three starts, Bryzgalov has posted a .951 save percentage, allowing just four goals and 81 shots, and a 1.33 goals-against average.

The Flyers will look to make it three straight when they face off against the Red Wings in an emotionally charged game on Tuesday, when they will retire Hall of Fame defenseman Mark Howe's #2 to the rafters. An honor that hasn't happened in Flyers history in close to 22 years.

MAR - 4
6:15 p.m.

TIMONEN-MESZAROS OUT
Just prior to warmups before the Flyers-Capitals game in Washington D.C., Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren gave an injury update regarding defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Andrej Meszaros, who will be out of the lineup tonight.

"Kimmo Timonen and Andrej Meszaros will be out indefinitely with lower body injuries."

Timonen was one of five players on the Flyers roster to have appeared in all 63 games this season. He has 36 points (2G-34A) and 40 penalty minutes to go along with a plus-minus rating of plus-8. His 34 assists are second-best on the Flyers and third overall among NHL defensemen.

He also had the longest current ironman streak on the Flyers, having appeared in 248 consecutive games over parts of the last four seasons.

Timonen's ice-time had diminished from his standard amount over the last two games. He appeared in just 16 minutes in the Flyers' 6-3 win over the Islanders on Thursday, and the game previous to that, just 14:30 of ice-time in the Flyers' 1-0 loss at San Jose.

Meszaros has missed just one game previous to tonight's contest, the Flyers' 7-2 win vs. Buffalo on Feb. 16.

In 62 regular season games, Meszaros has seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points and a plus-6 rating. He averages 20:39 of ice time per game.

This is also just the third game that Meszaros has missed as a member of the Flyers, appearing in 81 of 82 games last season.

Defenseman Erik Gustafsson, who was recalled by the team earlier in the morning, is in the lineup, joining Nicklas Grossman, Pavel Kubina, Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle and Andreas Lilja.

The 23-year-old Gustafsson has appeared in 18 regular season games for the Flyers posting a goal and two assists for three points and a plus-minus rating of plus-8.

He recorded his first NHL goal in the Flyers' 7-2 win vs. Buffalo on Feb. 16.


MAR - 2
2:14 p.m.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren updated the status of James van Riemsdyk today:

"James will have surgery on Mar. 6 to repair a broken bone in his left foot. Dr. Steven Raikin will put a plate in to help with the healing process. James will be out 4-6 weeks."


MAR - 1
8:14 p.m.

JVR INJURED
Entering the second period of play, Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk was not on the bench.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren gave an injury update soon after.

"James has a broken bone in his left foot and will not return. He will see Dr. Raikin tomorrow for further evaluation."

Midway through the first period of the Flyers-Islanders game at the Wells Fargo Center, van Riemsdyk blocked a shot from the point by Islanders' defenseman Milan Jurcina and was slow getting to the bench.

He went out for his next shift, but shortly afterwards did not return. He appeared in just 3:15 of ice time and a total of five shifts.

The 22-year-old van Riemsdyk has missed 20 games so far this season, 15 of which were due to a concussion from Jan. 14 to Feb. 16. He has a total of 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points and 24 penalty minutes through 43 games.

More information will be available following the Flyers-Islanders game.

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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