Lecavalier in, Hartnell out as Flyers face Rangers

After missing three games with an unspecified injury, Vinny Lecavalier will return to the Flyers’ lineup against the visiting New York Rangers Thursday night and will move to right wing.

Lecavalier had been centering the second line, and he will move to the first unit to try to ignite the goal-less Claude Giroux.

Left winger Scott Hartnell will miss the game with an upper-body injury; he is listed as day to day.

Lecavalier said the Flyers’ goal is to bombard Rangers goalie Cam Talbot with a lot of shots, attempting to prevent the rookie from settling into a groove. Talbot is making his NHL debut, replacing the injured Henrik Lundqvist.

 “We know he’s going to be excited to play, obviously, in his first game. (We have to) try to get after him as quick as we can," Lecavalier said. "Get some shots and hopefully get a quick goal.”

“We have to get shots and traffic, all the same stuff _ rookie goalie or not,” coach Craig Berube said. “Nothing changes.”

How sad is he that Lundqvist, who is 9-2 against the Flyers in the last two seasons, isn’t playing?

“I’m not answering that question,” Berube said with a laugh.

The Flyers (1-7) and Rangers (2-5) are off to awful starts and have each scored a total of 11 goals.

Here is the Flyers’ expected lineup:   

  • Michael Raffl-Claude Giroux-Vinny Lecavalier.
  • Tye McGinn-Brayden Schenn-Jake Voracek.
  • Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Simmonds.
  • Zac Rinaldo-Max Talbot-Adam Hall.
  • Defense: Nick Grossmann-Braydon Coburn; Kimmo Timonen-Erik Gustafsson; Luke Schenn-Mark Streit.
  • Goalie Steve Mason (1-5, 2.37 GAA, .923 save percentage).

Breakaways. Mats Zuccarello, who is pointless in seven games, will be a healthy scratch for the Rangers, who have been outscored, 29-11….The Flyers have lost four straight, and their 1-7 record is their worst start in franchise history…..Lecavalier is seven assists shy of 500 in his career.