RALEIGH, N.C. _ Sergei "Bob" Bobrovsky will make his eighth straight start Thursday when the Flyers visit the Carolina Hurricanes.
Bobrovsky is 6-0-1 in his last seven starts, and overall he is 8-2-1 with a 2.19 GAA and .926 save percentage. He and Carolina 18-year-old center Jeff Skinner (15 points) are the early rookie-of-the-year favorites.
After today's morning skate, James van Riemsdyk, Oskars Bartulis, Matt Walker and Michael Leighton stayed for extra work.
JVR, who was goal-less in 13 games, is expected to be a healthy scratch Thursday for the third straight game. Look for Andreas Nodl to be in the lineup.
"Sometimes things can quickly change, and just as quickly as you come out, you can go back in," van Riemsdyk said. "I know I can help the team and I'm just anxious and looking forward for the chance to get back in."
Earlier in the week, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said he was hoping the benching lit a fire under JVR.
"I'm not going to pout about it. You don't get to this point by being a baby about things like this and not reacting to it the right way," van Riemsdyk said. "I've been working hard in practice, working hard off the ice; my approach hasn't changed. I've been working as hard as I have been throughout the year, so I don't think that's been a problem. I'm just going to keep working hard and working on things that can make me a better player."
JVR said he has watched video of himself, and that he needs a few more "lucky" bounces and "maybe be a little stronger on the puck in the offensive zone. Obviously, there are some things I think I need to continue doing. I was being stroing in my own end and playing strong defensively. I haven't really given up much there."
Van Riemsdyk said he wasn't thinking about getting sent to the AHL Phantoms. The Flyers sent Eric Wellwood to Adirondack earlier in the week.
"That's something that's obviously completely out of my control," he said. "I'm not worried about (that). Obviously I want to be here. I know I can help the team. I think I've shown I can play at this level and be a successful player when given the opportunity, so I'm excited to be here and work."
As a rookie last season, van Riemsdyk scored 15 goals.
* * * * *
.The Flyers are 13-0-3 vs. Carolina in the teams' last 16 meetings.
* * * *
For constant Flyers' updates, follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BroadStBull