Flyers

Ron Hextall, Dave Hakstol talk with Radko Gudas about hit

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Ron Hextall, Dave Hakstol talk with Radko Gudas about hit

VOORHEES, N.J. — Flyers general manager Ron Hextall and coach Dave Hakstol talked individually with Radko Gudas on Friday about his unnecessary hit on Buffalo rookie Daniel Catenacci that earned Gudas a five-minute major for charging.

Even more, it earned yet another review by the NHL’s department of player safety — that’s four this year — and for the second time this month, Gudas did not receive a hearing, according to sources Friday (see story).

So the Flyers’ broad-shouldered defenseman dodged yet another suspension.

He didn’t dodge the wrath of his coach or GM. Their concern was whether Gudas understands time, place and whether the kind of borderline play he made was worth it with 3:33 left in a game the Flyers were winning, 5-1.

“There’s a big picture to all of it in terms of our main concern," Hakstol said. "Our main goal right now is to do all the little things necessary to win hockey games. 

“In keeping with that, how individually does everybody do their part to help us win games. That’s the basis of my conversation with Radko.”

The Flyers don’t need the extra scrutiny that Gudas is bringing upon the team with more regularity these days. Gudas admitted he met with Hextall.

“We talked in the morning, briefly,” Gudas said. “He was making sure I am paying attention and doesn’t want me to get suspended again. Be a good hockey player and make a good hit.”

Even though Gudas' hit on Catenacci was considered “legal” by the NHL, it doesn’t necessarily mean it was a “good” hit nor even necessary in that situation when a vulnerable player with his head down was already engaged with another Flyer (Chris VandeVelde).

Catenacci will not play for the Sabres tonight because of a possible concussion.

“Nothing really I want to comment on,” Gudas said. “You guys all saw it. I really can’t comment. It’s a hockey play. Everything can be done differently. I don’t take a look at it and say, ‘I should have done this or that.' I did what I did. It happened.”

Big hits — and questionable hits — are in Gudas' nature, just as they were in Zac Rinaldo's when he played here.

Yet the larger issue is whether Gudas recognizes that he is bringing unwanted attention to the Flyers at a crucial time of the season when tight games can easily be won or lost on an unnecessary penalty.

Does Gudas get it?

“That is part of the conversation we had,” Hakstol replied. “What are we doing to help ourselves win hockey games?”

It remains to be seen whether Hakstol punishes Gudas with less ice time or even benches him on Saturday against New Jersey.

Hakstol said there might be lineup changes but wouldn’t say who would come out.

He did say, however, he was happy with the two forward changes he made against Buffalo — R.J. Umberger and Jordan Weal.

If Gudas sits, Evgeny Medvedev would re-enter the lineup.

Injuries to Scott Laughton, Tyler Pitlick, a lopsided fight for Joel Farabee and Flyers lose to Wild

Injuries to Scott Laughton, Tyler Pitlick, a lopsided fight for Joel Farabee and Flyers lose to Wild

BOX SCORE

With a 4-1 defeat to the Wild, the Flyers have two straight losses and they lost two more players in the process.

Alain Vigneault's team stomached a discouraging night Saturday at Xcel Energy Center, suffering consecutive losses in regulation for the first time since Oct. 27-29.

The Flyers (17-10-5) have scored just one goal in three of their last four games, resulting in three regulation losses. In their previous 17 games, the Flyers lost in regulation only twice.

The Wild (16-12-5) improved to 9-1-3 at home and 12-3-4 overall since Nov. 5.

• The Flyers entered the game without forwards Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma diagnosis), Travis Konecny (concussion), Michael Raffl (broken right pinkie finger) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder).

Their only extra healthy player was defenseman Robert Hagg.

News on the health front got worse during the action as forwards Scott Laughton and Tyler Pitlick left the game with undisclosed injuries and did not return.

Some more roster maneuvering could be on the way as early as Sunday morning. The Flyers have no time to rest up.

• Flyers defensemen were not sharp.

Philippe Myers had a bad turnover on Zach Parise's first-period goal. Ivan Provorov had the same in the second period, which led to Eric Staal's second goal of the night to give the Wild a 3-1 lead.

Travis Sanheim and Justin Braun were also a step behind and not in good position on Staal's first goal, which turned out to be the game-winner during the opening stanza.

Just one of those games in which the Flyers were off from top to bottom.

• As a result, Carter Hart was sprawling all over the place, trying to save the Flyers. He finished with 24 stops on 27 shots.

• Joel Farabee dropped the gloves with Marcus Foligno and it was a rough matchup for the 19-year-old.

• James van Riemsdyk got the Flyers on the board 1:34 into the game. However, the lead didn't last long and the Flyers finished with just 18 shots.

• The Flyers' power play went 0 for 3 and is 6 for its last 55 (10.9 percent).

• Lindblom's jersey hung symbolically in the team's dressing room. The Flyers are rallying behind their 23-year-old brother and teammate as he starts his fight against cancer (see story).

• The Flyers are right back at it Sunday when they visit the Jets (5 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

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Flyers rallying behind Oskar Lindblom after his Ewing's sarcoma diagnosis

Flyers rallying behind Oskar Lindblom after his Ewing's sarcoma diagnosis

The No. 23 jersey of Oskar Lindblom hung proudly and powerfully in the Flyers' dressing room of Xcel Energy Center.

It was a sign of unity.

The Flyers are rallying behind Lindblom, their 23-year-old brother and teammate who has been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue around the bones (see story).

Teammates were emotional but strong Saturday night.

“I just went in the room and I saw it, it’s kind of tough not to be emotional," Claude Giroux told reporters before the Flyers' game against the Wild after seeing Lindblom's jersey. "But it’s good for everybody to see his jersey there.”

The team announced Lindblom's diagnosis on Friday afternoon. The Flyers then had to open a back-to-back set on the road against the Wild on Saturday and the Jets on Sunday. 

“He’s a fighter, he’ll get through this," Ivan Provorov said to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Taryn Hatcher before the game. "We love him, we’ll support him all the way and he knows we’re here for him. He’s not fighting this fight alone and we’ll do everything that we can to make sure he feels that there’s all people supporting him.”

The Flyers' captain knows that is most important.

"When one of your teammates is going to go through a fight like this, we’ll all behind him," Giroux said. "We’re there to support him. … We love Oskar a lot, he’s a strong kid."

(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

(Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Images)

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