Saturday, February 13, 2016

Wings more depleted than Flyers; Lavy defends Bryz

And you thought the Flyers had injury problems.

Wings more depleted than Flyers; Lavy defends Bryz


   And you thought the Flyers had injury problems.

   The Detroit Red Wings, who resemble a M*A*S*H unit, will be severely depleted when they face the Flyers on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Mark Howe’s No. 2 Flyers jersey will be retired in a pregame ceremony.

   The Red Wingswill be without leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk (59 points), captain Nicklas Lidstrom (plus-25), goalie Jimmy Howard (2.05 GAA), winger Todd Bertuzzi (12 goals), and defensemen Jakub Kindl (plus-6) and Jonathan Ericsson (plus-17).

   All are injured.

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   Howard’s replacement, Joey MacDonald, has been superb. In 10 games, he is 7-2-1 with a 1.69 GAA and .933 save percentage.

   The Flyers, who have played most of the season without captain Chris Pronger, will be missing three injured players: defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Andrej Meszaros, and winger James van Riemsdyk.

   Revived goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, whose save percentage has finally inched over the .900 mark, will make his ninth straight start for the Flyers. Bryzgalov is 24-13-6 with a 2.72 GAA and .901 save percentage. In his last nine starts, he has a 2.16 GAA.

    A pre-game ceremony will include a career video montage of Howe, and there will be some guest speakers.

   “Mark was the best Flyers defenseman ever,” said club executive Bob Clarke. “Every game he played was to help the Flyers win. There was no "I" in Mark’s game.”

   * * *

   Lavy on Bryz. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette when asked Tuesday about center Danny Briere being quoted by CSN as saying Bryzgalov has been better teammate lately: "I think Bryz has been fine all year."

   Briere said the leadership group recently sat Bryzgalov down and told him he needed to redirect the focus off himself and onto the team.

   "The last couple of weeks, he's actually been a great teammate, and hopefully he stays that way," Briere told CSN.

    * * *

    It's been a while. The Flyers are aiming for their third straight win for the first time since they won seven in a row from Dec. 2 to Dec. 15.

    * * *

    Crosby and Flyers. Sidney Crosby was cleared to skate, which means the Flyers may face the Penguins' star three times in the season's last month. The Flyers meet Pittsburgh on March 18, April 1 and April 7.

     Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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