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Flyers place D Shayne Gostisbehere on waivers

Casey DeSmith gets the surprise call to enter the second period vs. New York in relief of starter Tristan Jarry and comes up huge, making 19 saves on 20 shots and shutting the door to secure a 2-1 victory for Pittsburgh.

[UPDATE: Gostisbehere has cleared waivers.]

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Flyers placed defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere on waivers on Tuesday, a surprising move that comes as Philadelphia is attempting to stay in the playoff hunt.

Gostisbehere has five goals and six assists for 11 points in 25 games, and he was benched for a three-game stretch two weeks ago. He produced three assists in five games since returning to action.

The 27-year-old’s production has dropped off since scoring 13 goals and adding 52 assists for a career-best 65 points in 78 games in 2017-18. Gostisbehere has managed just 19 goals and 59 points in his last 145 games.

Selected in the third-round by the Flyers out of Union College, Gostisbehere was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie team in 2016 after scoring a career-high 17 goals.

He is in the fourth year of a six-year, $27 million contract and represents a $4.5 million salary cap hit.

The move comes a day after the Flyers rallied from a three-goal, third-period deficit for a 4-3 overtime win at Buffalo and extended the Sabres’ winless skid to 18 games - matching the NHL’s longest in 17 years.

Gostisbehere registered no points and finished fourth among Flyers defensemen with 19:35 of ice time.

The teams complete a two-game series on Wednesday.

Philadelphia improved to 6-9-1 in its past 16 games and won back-to-back for the first time since a three-game winning streak from Feb. 24-28.

At 17-13-4, the Flyers began Tuesday in fifth place in the East standings, a point behind Boston in the race for division’s final playoff spot.