Saturday, December 27, 2014

Kubina back in Flyers' lineup

Defenseman Pavel Kubina, who has missed the last seven games with an upper-body injury, will return to the Flyers' lineup Tuesday night against visiting Florida.

Kubina back in Flyers' lineup

Pavel Kubina took part in the Flyers´ morning skate on Tuesday. (Alex Brandon/AP)
Pavel Kubina took part in the Flyers' morning skate on Tuesday. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Defenseman Pavel Kubina, who has missed the last seven games with an upper-body injury, will return to the Flyers' lineup Tuesday night against visiting Florida.

Sitting out "has been real hard, but the team has been playing great and it's been fun to watch," Kubina said after Tuesday's morning skate in Voorhees. "Injuries are a part of this game and it happens. I'm just glad I can go back in and play tonight."

Max Talbot and Andreas Lilja, each of whom missed Sunday's dramatic 3-2 OT win over Pittsburgh because of injuries, also took part in Tuesday's morning skate. Lilja was paired with Kubina.

All three players are expected to be in Tuesday's lineup against streaking Florida.

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At 6-4, 258 pounds, Kubina gives the Flyers some needed beef on the back line. He was injured against Detroit on March 6, but wouldn't specify the injury.

With Kubina and the 6-3, 220-pound Lilja back, Erik Gustafsson (5-10, 180) and Brandon Manning (6-1, 195) will not be in the lineup.

 "It happens all the time _ every year more than a few guys go down. That's why this team is so good, because we have great depth on the back end and up front," said Kubina, mindful the Flyers will be without the services of Andrej Meszaros (back) for at least six more weeks.

Lilja was injured in Boston Saturday when Andrew Ference's first-period point shot was deflected and hit him in the throat. Lilja was gasping for air and rushed off the ice before being examined at a Boston hospital.

"Obviously, it was scary," Lilja said. "I couldn't breathe from the start, but nothing is broken, so it's good. Everything is good."

The Flyers are on an 8-1-1 run; Florida has won four straight for the first time since 2008.

 Ilya Bryzgalov, 8-0-1 in March with a 1.19 GAA and .960 save percentage, will start for the Flyers. Scott Clemmensen (2.83, .903) will play for the Panthers.

Here were the Flyers' lines at practice: Hartnell-Giroux-Jagr; Read-Schenn-Simmonds; Wellwood-Briere-Voracek; Talbot-Couturier-Rinaldo.

* * *

Jody Shelley will also be scratched on Tuesday.

Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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