VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers bolstered their blue line Monday and they didn’t have to complete a trade at the deadline to make it happen.
Defenseman Radko Gudas returned from a two-game suspension and 6-foot-7 Samuel Morin was recalled after playing two games with the Phantoms.
Gudas hasn’t played since performing a tomahawk chop over the helmet of Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov last Tuesday. Gudas was forced to miss Thursday’s game at Montreal and the Stadium Series game against Pittsburgh.
“I didn’t think [the two games] was unfair,” Gudas said. “It’s the league’s decision and I have a history. I barely had a hold of my stick and unfortunately I connected. It’s a fast game and I don’t really have an excuse for that. I didn’t think it was anything bad, just an accident. I explained that to the league, as well, and they gave me the two games.”
Gudas will be back in the lineup Tuesday against Buffalo and was paired with Shayne Gostisbehere during Monday’s practice. Morin practiced with his teammates but hasn’t been activated to the roster. He played two rehab games with the Phantoms and endured some cramping in his first game on Feb. 15.
“First period was awesome, but after that I was so tired and by the third period I couldn’t play anymore,” Morin said.
Morin’s second game came this past Friday against the Charlotte Checkers, a game in which he dropped the gloves with Checkers defenseman Josiah Didier.
“It was awesome,” Morin said. “I hadn’t dropped the gloves in a year and I was feeling good to get back at it. Obviously it was weird timing at the end of the game, but [Didier] was going hard at one of our best players. I was trying to defend him. That’s part of my job.”
It was Morin’s first game action since tearing his ACL in a playoff game last May.
At some point, interim head coach Scott Gordon will have to determine when to proceed with getting Morin and Philippe Myers into the Flyers' lineup. Both young defensemen are expected to be healthy scratches against the Sabres.
“The players are still looking at the playoffs. Whether we add a player or subtract a player, the goal hasn’t changed,” Gordon said. "It’s just a question of getting that experience here and where we’re at and what we do moving forward.”
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