Flyers put Nolan Patrick on IR, recall 7th D-man

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Flyers put Nolan Patrick on IR, recall 7th D-man

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers' depth has certainly been tested in the early going.

On Tuesday, the team placed rookie center Nolan Patrick (upper-body injury) on IR. Patrick and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (upper-body injury) both skated Tuesday but neither player will be on the Flyers' road trip, which starts Wednesday night in Chicago.

"Status quo," general manager Ron Hextall said after practice Tuesday. "Obviously, it's good that they're on the ice. They're both day to day."

When asked if either player could be available when the team returns home Saturday against Colorado, Hextall said he "didn't want to speculate."

In a corresponding move, the Flyers have recalled Will O'Neill to serve as the seventh defenseman on the trip. O'Neill was on the ice Tuesday morning after getting the call Monday night.

"I'm excited, obviously. Little bit of a long time coming for me," O'Neill said. "It's pretty cool. Like I said, it's the first call I've received like that and I knew that someone was trying to call me so I kind of had a little bit of an idea what it was, but it was pretty cool for a few seconds there."

The 29-year-old blueliner has yet to make his NHL debut. Originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers — now the Winnipeg Jets — he spent four years in that organization's minor-league system. After playing one season with the Penguins' AHL affiliate, O'Neill signed a two-year, two-way deal with the Flyers before last season.

"Will's a solid two-way player," Hextall said. "T.J. (Brennan) has been out down there and Will's kind of picked up some of his minutes. He's done a good job for us."

In 56 games in 2016-17 with the Phantoms, O'Neill registered three goals and 28 assists. 

In other injury news, defenseman Samuel Morin was never actually recalled by the team. The 22-year-old apparently hid an injury and was more dinged up than initially thought.

"Our intention was to recall him," Hextall said. "Sam's a tough guy and didn't disclose 100 percent of his injury because he plays through things and he's got a little nick that's going to keep him out here for a bit. Not days. Maybe a couple weeks."

Coots potent on power play
Sean Couturier's offensive game has seen a huge boost since his promotion to the Flyers' first line, centering playmakers Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux.  

Now, the seventh-year centerman has accompanied his linemates on the first power-play unit. The move worked out last night as Couturier lit the lamp on the PP to get the Flyers on the board during a disappointing loss to previously winless Arizona.

"It's been nice," Couturier said. "Get a few good looks in the slot there and a good shot last night. We've only had two or three power plays the last two games so we're still trying to get some chemistry and get a feel of it but so far it's good."

Couturier has been known as a defensive stalwart in the middle for the Flyers but is already up to nine goals this season. Being surrounded by the likes of Giroux and Voracek, Couturier is well on his way to surpassing his career high of 15 goals. 

"He's a big body. He's got a good presence around the net," Giroux said. "He's pretty hot right now. Anytime it looks like he has a chance to score right now it's going in. He's playing some good hockey right now."

Provy's the man
Young defenseman Ivan Provorov has seen his time on ice increase in each of the last four games. Last night, the 20-year-old blueliner received a career-high 28:07 of ice time.

Provorov seemed up for the challenge, recording three assists and making an unbelievable play at the blue line to set up the game-tying goal with time running out in the third.

Is Hextall concerned about Provorov's workload?

"Well, you monitor everything on a day-to-day basis," Hextall said. "We're aware of it and we're keeping track of it but Ivan is geared to handle a lot of minutes the way he plays. He's in great shape. His body's built for it. In saying that, he still is a young guy and we'll stay on it on a day-to-day basis."

Flyers call up Danick Martel, Samuel Morin

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Flyers call up Danick Martel, Samuel Morin

Mired in a five-game losing streak and in last place in the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers on Wednesday recalled defenseman Samuel Morin and forward Danick Martel from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Both players are expected to be in the lineup Wednesday against the Islanders in New York. In corresponding moves, the Flyers sent forward Matt Read, who cleared waivers Tuesday, and defenseman Mark Alt to the Phantoms.

The 22-year-old Martel has been on fire with the Phantoms. He leads the AHL with 14 goals in 17 games this season, including a hat trick in the season opener to go along with a six-game scoring streak.

“He’s taken a step this year, for sure,” Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said Tuesday. “He’s been a good player the last couple of years, but this year, he’s clearly taken a step. He’s a dangerous player when he’s on the ice. That’s a good thing. One game in Hershey he must have had six or seven chances. We’re happy with Danick.”

Morin started the season on the Flyers' roster and remained through their four-game road trip. He suffered an injury in an Oct. 28th game against Hartford and tried to play through it in the event he would be called up to rejoin the Flyers. Morin returned to the Phantoms' lineup last week.

“Mark has played well for us,” Hextall said before Tuesday's 5-2 loss to Vancouver. “We like Sam. We kept him on the opening road trip. People, I hope, know what we think of him. He certainly knows what we think of him and right now, he’s playing 20-plus minutes. That’s where he’s at.”

Wednesday’s game at the Barclays Center could mark the first time the Flyers have played much-heralded defensive prospects Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg and Morin in the same regular season game.

“It’s certainly not a perfect world, but as you get injured, you say, we don’t live in a perfect world,” Hextall said. “Is it necessarily what we want? No, not really. We’ve got five young guys, two last year that are pretty big pieces. We’re pretty young right now with some pretty important players. In saying that if a young guy’s ready to play and he’s our best option then that’s what we’re going to go with.”

Best of NHL: Vladimir Tarasenko records 4 points as Blues rip Oilers

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Best of NHL: Vladimir Tarasenko records 4 points as Blues rip Oilers

ST. LOUIS -- Vladimir Tarasenko had two goals and two assists and got in a rare fight Tuesday night, helping the St. Louis Blues to an 8-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

Brayden Schenn also had two goals and two assists, and Jake Allen stopped 26 shots for the NHL-leading Blues.

Tarasenko's fight came in the second period. In just the third scrap of his six-year career, Tarasenko tangled with Matt Benning and landed a solid right hand much to the crowd's delight.

Tarasenko was reacting to Benning's near-collision with Schenn that was almost a knee-on-knee hit.

It was Tarasenko's second career Gordie Howe hat trick -- a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game. The other one came on Nov. 13, 2014, against Nashville.

St. Louis (16-5-1) scored two goals in each of the first two periods before adding four in a wide-open third.

Tarasenko got his 11th goal 3:16 into the first period on two deflections. Shooting from the slot, he scored when his shot hit Connor McDavid's stick and then Adam Larsson's stick for a 1-0 lead.

Tarasenko has 14 points in his last 13 games (nine goals, five assists) against the Oilers (see full recap).

Stars rally for home win over Canadiens
DALLAS -- Devin Shore and Jason Spezza scored 59 seconds apart late in the second period to lift the Dallas Stars over the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Shore had no goals in the first 19 games this season, but scored for the second straight game to tie it 1-all at 18:22 of the second. Spezza, who also has scored in consecutive games after netting only one goal in the first 19, put in a rebound just less than a minute later.

Shore had an assist on Spezza's goal. So did Tyler Seguin, who scored into an empty net with 27 seconds to play.

Ben Bishop made 29 saves for Dallas on his 31st birthday. He allowed only a power-play goal by Brendan Gallagher at 12:04 of the second. Gallagher scored on a rebound after Charles Hudon sent a slap shot from the blue line.

After that, the Stars killed off all three Montreal power plays in the third period.

Canadiens goalie Charlie Lindgren had 26 saves.

Neither team scored in the first period. The best chance came with 2:15 remaining, when Mattias Janmark skated in alone on Lindgren, who stopped the shot with his glove and smothered the puck on the ice.

Montreal had a 4-on-3 power play to end the first period and start the second. The Stars killed off that penalty and finished 4 for 5 on the penalty kill.

The Canadiens had a scoring chance 4 minutes into the second when Brandon Davidson's wrist shot trickled past Bishop. Gemel Smith knocked the loose puck out of the crease for the Stars.

Gallagher had two close-in chances on rebounds after Hudon's shot and poked the second into the net for the game's first goal (see full recap).