Flyers notes, quotes and tidbits: Shayne Gostisbehere's status, alternate captains, rookie talk

Flyers notes, quotes and tidbits: Shayne Gostisbehere's status, alternate captains, rookie talk

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Shayne Gostisbehere was one of the first players on the ice for Tuesday morning’s workout.

Gostisbehere looked good and displayed no signs of an injury he suffered in the preseason finale against the Islanders. General manager Ron Hextall attached an “upper body” designation to the blueliner's injury on Sunday when Gostisbehere was sandwiched by two Islanders defensemen. While Hextall provided a “we’ll see” answer to Gostisbehere’s availability, the Flyers' third-year defenseman sounded supremely confident that he would be ready to play Wednesday night in the season opener against the Sharks.

“I’m good to go. I’m so excited,” Gostisbehere said. “Obviously, you feel better as the day goes on. I think for me it’s just mentally getting ready for the season and the first game of the year. I know we’ve all been waiting. We got the young blood in the lineup, too. I think the boys are going to be ready.”

Here are the defensive pairings head coach Dave Hakstol put together for Tuesday’s practice:

Ivan Provorov-Andrew MacDonald

Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas

Brandon Manning-Robert Hagg

Sam Morin-Shayne Gostisbehere

Gostisbehere has primarily played on the left side, but feels comfortable on the right with the 6-foot-6 Morin as his playing partner.

“Having him back there is a nice calming effect,” Gostisbehere said. “Big Sammy’s a menace down low. He tells me, ‘I’m going to win every battle I have,’ and I believe him because the puck just squirts to me.”

Of course, there’s nothing to say that Hakstol won’t pull a switcheroo Wednesday morning and reshuffle his pairings for the game. The only combo that would appear to be set in stone is Provorov and MacDonald.

Wearing the 'A'
By virtue of a player vote for the alternate captain role, forward Valtteri Filppula will wear the "A" for all home games this season and defenseman Andrew MacDonald will wear the "A" for all road games. They join Wayne Simmonds as the team’s alternate captains to Claude Giroux.

Hakstol changed up the procedure and allowed the players to vote on their new alternates, who replace Pierre-Edouard Bellemare now with the Vegas Golden Knights. 

Take a number please
On their first day of practice In San Jose, the Flyers' five rookies had a slightly different look — on the back of their helmets. All five rookies will be wearing different numbers to start the season. Some players had requests. Others just accepted whatever number the organization provided.

Sam Morin, No. 5  The number he wore with Team Canada, last worn by Braydon Coburn.

Travis Sanheim, No. 6 — The number he wore with the Phantoms, last worn by Andreas Lilja.

Robert Hagg, No. 8 — Never worn it before, last worn by Nicklas Grossmann.

Nolan Patrick, No. 19 — The number he wore with the Brandon Wheat Kings, last worn by Jordan Weal.

Taylor Leier, No. 20 — Never worn it before, last worn by R.J. Umberger.

The last time the Flyers started the season with five rookies on the opening night roster was 1992 when Eric Lindros, Vyacheslav Butsayev, Jason Bowen, Tommy Soderstrom and Dmitri Yushkevich started the year in orange and black. 

“It is a different feel,” Hakstol said. “It kind of struck me [Monday]. Some of the young guys were hanging out together as we got off the plane, just before we boarded the team bus. Instead of one or two guys hanging out together, there’s a small group of six to seven guys. That brings a little bit of a different outlook and different energy to the team. I think it’s been very good for our team, veterans included.”

Moment of silence
There will be a moment of silence prior to the singing of the national anthem as the NHL remembers and honors the victims who lost their lives in the deadly shooting Sunday night at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Doing what he does best, Oskar Lindblom catching fire

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Doing what he does best, Oskar Lindblom catching fire

Before this week begins, it's time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers' prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

Oskar Lindblom, LW, 21, 6-1/192, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Flyers fans can't wait to see this at the NHL level.

Last weekend, Lindblom potted a goal in three straight games for the Phantoms, giving him 16 on the season through 54 contests. All three tallies came within close range as the Swedish winger's scoring IQ continues to grow during his first AHL season.

Since going scoreless in his first six games, the 2014 fifth-round pick hasn't gone more than four straight games without a point.

Lindblom surprised many with his vast development leading up to the 2017-18 season. While some were disappointed he didn't make the Flyers' roster out of training camp, a 20-goal campaign at Lehigh Valley will be a nice accomplishment along his path to Philly.

Travis Sanheim, D, 21, 6-4/199, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Just how much of a difference-maker is Sanheim? The Phantoms are 9-1-2 since the 2014 first-round pick joined them after he was sent down by the Flyers.

Over Lehigh Valley's 3-0-1 week, Sanheim extended his point streak to seven games with five more assists, putting him at 12 helpers in as many games.

Seeing plenty of minutes and responsibility, Sanheim has collected 13 points to go with a plus-11 rating.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel, RW, 21, 5-11/187, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Aube-Kubel is another Phantom worth noting here.

The 2014 second-round pick put up five points (one goal, four assists) in four games last week, continuing his surge in Year 2 of his AHL development. He now has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his last 12 games.

After a feeling-out process last season, Aube-Kubel is coming on strong in 2017-18, as he's a plus-20 and third on Lehigh Valley with 37 points (15 goals, 22 assists).

Quick hits
• Ho-hum for Morgan Frost, who had a six-point week through three games. At 94 points, Frost is six away from 100, while his plus-54 rating remains best in the OHL.

Here's a glimpse into his vision and skill:

• Goalie Carter Hart picked up a win and a shootout loss over the weekend. In total, he made 60 saves on 65 shots.

Maksim Sushko tallied two goals (including this one below) and two assists through three games last week. A 2017 fourth-round pick, the 19-year-old has 48 points in 47 games for Owen Sound.

• Wingers Isaac Ratcliffe and Matthew Strome, also 2017 draft picks, recorded three points each in a pair of games.

• Playing for the first time since Jan. 31, German Rubtsov returned from an undisclosed injury to notch an assist over three games last week. The Flyers' 2016 first-round pick has 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in 27 games for Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

• In Michigan's two-game sweep of top-ranked Notre Dame, Cooper Marody tacked on three more assists, giving him 26 overall, which is tied for most in the Big Ten.

Here's his primary helper from Sunday's 1-0 win:

Anthony Salinitri pushed his point streak to seven games with an assist Friday and a goal Saturday. The 2016 sixth-round pick has 25 goals and 25 assists in 56 games.

• During the four-game week for the Phantoms, Mike Vecchione scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season, while adding an assist.

Philippe Myers had an assist Tuesday for his first point since Jan. 26, while Samuel Morin (undisclosed injury), who hasn't played since Jan. 20, remains out.

Hall's late OT goal helps Devils keep pace with Flyers

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Hall's late OT goal helps Devils keep pace with Flyers

RALEIGH, N.C. — Taylor Hall scored on a rebound with 22 seconds left in overtime, giving the New Jersey Devils a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.

The goal extended Hall's league-best streak of games with a point to 18.

New Jersey had won the first of the teams' four meetings this season on Thursday night to start the Hurricanes' three-game losing streak.

Keith Kinkaid stopped 40 shots for the Devils.

The Devils led 1-0 after a first period in which the Hurricanes outshot them 13-9.

Nico Hischier scored New Jersey's first goal on a power play midway through the first, assisted by Sami Vatanen and Kinkaid (see full recap).

Matthews scores in final minute to give Maple Leafs win over Red Wings
DETROIT — To Jeff Blashill, the outcome came down to one simple fact.

"They made one more play than us," the Detroit coach Blashill said.

To Toronto center Auston Matthews, it came down to persistence.

"We've got a lot of chances the last couple of games," Matthews said. "We had some pretty good chances tonight, the puck just wouldn't go in.

"It was nice to finally finish it off there with a half a minute left."

Matthews scored with 30.2 seconds left to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 victory over the Red Wings on Sunday night.

James van Riemsdyk and Mitch Marner also scored for Toronto, and Curtis McElhinney made 27 saves (see full recap).

McDavid notches 3rd hat trick of season in Oilers' victory vs. Avalanche
DENVER — Late in the second period, with his team outplaying Colorado, Edmonton coach Todd McLellan couldn't believe his Oilers were trailing 2-1.

"Jay Woodcroft and I looked at each other and said, `How are we losing this game?'" McLellan said.

They didn't, thanks to another big game by Connor McDavid.

McDavid had his third hat trick of the season and fourth of his career, and the Oilers beat the Avalanche 4-2 on Sunday to snap a six-game losing streak.

McDavid now has 11 goals in the last nine games and two hat tricks. His first two goals tied the game, and his last one was into an empty net with 1:26 remaining (see full recap).

Sheahan scores twice in Penguins' win over Blue Jackets 
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Riley Sheahan scored two goals in the first period, rookie Tristan Jarry had 35 saves and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Sunday night.

Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists, and Brian Dumoulin and Zach Aston-Reese also scored for the Penguins. They have won five straight and 10 of their last 12. The win in front of a sellout crowd at Nationwide Arena moved them past Washington into first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The 22-year-old Jarry played well standing in for starter Matt Murray, who got a rest as Pittsburgh played the second leg of a back-to-back and its third game in four days. It was Jarry's first NHL action in a month after going 3-0 in three starts for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL.

Artemi Panarin and Alexander Wennberg scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 18 shots for the Blue Jackets. They have lost two straight and seven of the last nine. In what is becoming the norm lately, Columbus outshot its opponent (37-23) but couldn't score enough to win. The Blue Jackets lead the NHL in shots per game but are lingering near the bottom of the division (see full recap)