Zherdev demoted; dads bond with Flyers

 Flyers RW Nik Zherdev found himself on the fourth line at Thursday's practice as he switched spots with Andreas Nodl.

Coach Peter Laviolette downplayed the move, saying it had more to do with Nodl's strong play lately.

That said, the Flyers have not been happy with Zherdev's defensive lapses. Offensively, he has just two goals and no assists in nine games.

  The Flyers play in Pittsburgh Friday, and if Laviolette uses the lines he had at practice, Zherdev will be with Blair Betts and Jody Shelley, while Nodl wil be with Mike Richards and the goal-less James van Riemsdyk.

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    For the third time this season, Sergei "Bob" Bobrovsky will be in goal against the Penguins. He defeated the Pens on opening night in Pittsburgh, 3-2, then dropped a 5-1 decision (with an empty-netter) at the Wells Fargo Center.

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  Breakaways: Thirteen of the Flyers' dads made the trip with their sons to Pittsburgh as part of the team's father-son bonding weekend. . . . Defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who has a sore ankle, was given a maintenance day and did not practice Thursday. Timonen will play Friday. . . . The Flyers still haven't gotten a goal from any of their defensemen. . . . The Penguins are just 2-3 at the brand-new Consol Energy Center....Former Flyer Simon Gagne (0 points, minus-8) was put on the injured reserve list by Tampa Bay because of an ailing neck. . ...Fans attending the home game Saturday against the Islanders are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes. There will be a costume contest and trick-or-treating along the concourse. To enter the contest, fans must register before the start of the first period at the Broad Street Atrium.

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