Flyers

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.”

Flyers 5, Devils 2: Jakub Voracek's brilliant effort results in big home win

Flyers 5, Devils 2: Jakub Voracek's brilliant effort results in big home win

BOX SCORE

The Flyers should thank Jakub Voracek.

He was brilliant Saturday with two assists and the game-winning goal to push the Flyers past the Devils, 5-2, at the Wells Fargo Canter.

This was a quality — and needed — victory for the Flyers (4-4-0), who climbed back to .500 following an ugly showing Thursday in Columbus.

It was quality because the Devils (4-2-0) came in as one of the NHL's hottest teams to start the 2018-19 season. New Jersey opened the year with four straight wins over the Oilers, Capitals, Sharks and Stars by a combined score of 17-4.

Voracek passed John LeClair for 12th on the franchise's all-time assists list at 311, adding to his big day.

The game went down to the wire before Wayne Simmonds and Scott Laughton tacked on empty-netters to finish the deal.

• Voracek's game-winner in the final five minutes was on a nifty move. Not many have his handles and ability in the open ice. He single-handedly made plays.

• Nolan Patrick was back Saturday after missing the past three games with an upper-body injury. It was a productive return. Off a superb pass from Voracek, the 20-year-old center scored his first goal of the season with Nico Hischier behind in pursuit.

The goal gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead with 1:04 left in the second period. Patrick back in the lineup is huge on multiple fronts, especially his two-way focus down the middle. The offense will come, but the little things he does are game-changing traits.

• Travis Konecny is starting to heat up. He scored an important goal on the second-unit power play a little over six minutes after the Devils struck first in the opening period.

It was vital to get that goal back, especially from the No. 2 man-advantage group. Konecny aggressively ripped a shot from the circle for his second goal in as many games. He has four points in his last three games after putting up just one in his first five.

• Jordan Weal is a player. Yes, he did commit three penalties, with the third resulting in the Devils' game-tying 2-2 goal early in the final frame.

But he's smart, he's skilled, he wins faceoffs and he has to stay at center. It would be hard to justify him sitting much this season.

It's no coincidence Konecny has gotten going with Weal centering his line over the last three outings. Weal saw second-unit PP time Saturday and he won the faceoff that led to Konecny's goal.

The 26-year-old can play — he just needs to be in the right spots. He helped the Flyers have a 44-16 advantage in the dot.

• For the first time this season, head coach Dave Hakstol separated top defensive pair Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov. Gostisbehere was with Christian Folin, while Provorov teamed up with Robert Hagg.

This was a good time to try breaking up those two and create a little more balance and complementary pairs.

• Brian Elliott wasn't tested a ton but he did make some of those timely saves when it's a point-blank shot and you need your goalie to come up big. He stopped 19 shots.

Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid entered 6-1-0 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in his career against the Flyers. He made 16 saves.

• The officiating was not great. The first-period hooking penalty called on Michael Raffl was a ticky-tacky one and led to the Devils' game-opening marker.

During a second-period power play, Weal was whistled for embellishment and Hakstol made sure to give the officials an earful.

• The Flyers are off Sunday and then host the Avalanche Monday night at 7 p.m. on NBCSP. Gritty shirts will be given to all fans in attendance (see story).

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Flyers vs. Devils: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Devils: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Not only are the Flyers struggling to prevent goals at an alarming clip, but they also now welcome one of the NHL's hottest teams to start the 2018-19 season.

The Flyers (3-4-0) play host to the Devils (4-1-0) on Saturday afternoon, aiming to find a cure for their defensive and goaltending woes.

Let's look at some notables before puck drop:

When: 1 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m.
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Following a disastrous 6-3 loss Thursday to the Blue Jackets, the Flyers have allowed 31 goals through seven games, second worst in the NHL to only the Red Wings, who have permitted 32 and are 0-5-2.

The 31 goals surrendered matches the most in franchise history over the first seven games of a season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Flyers also yielded 31 in the opening seven games of the 2008-09 campaign.

• And it doesn't get easier with the Devils coming to town. Before losing Thursday to the Avalanche, 5-3, New Jersey rolled through the Oilers, Capitals, Sharks and Stars by a combined score of 17-4.

The Devils are scoring four goals per game, tied for third best in the league, while allowing the fewest at 1.80.

However, forward Travis Zajac and defenseman Ben Lovejoy both suffered lower-body injuries Thursday and will not play against the Flyers. The 33-year-old Zajac has four points (two goals, two assists) in five games, while the 34-year-old Lovejoy sports a team-best plus-5 rating.

• The Flyers could see the timely return of Nolan Patrick, who has missed the last three games because of an upper-body injury. The 20-year-old center practiced Friday and is set to be back either Saturday or Monday.

Through three games and 3:30 of a period, Patrick has no points and a minus-5 mark. Still, the offense will come and his two-way focus would be a major boost for a team in need of much better forechecking and coverage, top to bottom.

A return would also set up another matchup between the top-two picks of the 2017 draft. No. 1 overall selection Nico Hischier had four points (two goals, two assists) in four games against the Flyers last season.

• Rookie center Mikhail Vorobyev may sit for a second straight game, especially if Patrick reinserts the lineup. It's not a bad time to have Vorobyev watch from the press box for a few games and understand what it takes to play night in and night out at the NHL level (see story).

• Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid is 4-1-0 with a 1.61 goals-against average and .941 save percentage through the first five games this season. In seven career matchups against the Flyers, Kinkaid is 6-1-0 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

• This is the first of four regular-season meetings between the Flyers and Devils. Dave Hakstol and company went 2-1-1 against New Jersey last season after going 1-3-1 vs. the Devils the year prior.

Projected lineup

Forwards
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Wayne Simmonds
Oskar Lindblom-Jordan Weal-Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton-Nolan Patrick-Jakub Voracek
Michael Raffl-Jori Lehtera-Dale Weise

Defensemen
Ivan Provorov-Shayne Gostisbehere
Robert Hagg-Christian Folin
Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas

Goalies
Brian Elliott
Calvin Pickard

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