OTTAWA — Flyers general manager Ron Hextall improved his surging team greatly by acquiring veteran goaltender Petr Mrazek from Detroit on Monday, but will he make another move to counteract deals made by some of his Metropolitan Division rivals?
The clock is ticking, and Hextall is not on the team’s current road trip because he is working the phones.
The trade deadline is at 3 p.m. Monday, and Hextall could add a winger or a veteran defenseman before time runs out.
Complicating matters is that Hextall doesn’t know when winger Wayne Simmonds will return from an injury – or how it will affect his play when he gets back in the lineup.
Simmonds missed his third consecutive game Saturday because of what is believed to be a hand injury, which he may have suffered in a fight against the Rangers’ Tony DeAngelo. He is expected to miss another nine to 16 days based on Hextall’s original time frame. Simmonds is third on the team with 20 goals and leads the Flyers with 10 power-play tallies.
Rick Nash, Evander Kane, Mike Hoffman, Mats Zuccarello, Thomas Vanek, and Alex Galchenyuk are among the wingers who are reportedly available.
After missing Thursday’s game with an injured left foot, Travis Konency returned to the lineup and played on the top line as the Flyers whipped Ottawa on Saturday, 5-3. Konecny looked like his feisty self. He had three shots, two hits, two blocked shots, and a plus-2 rating. He also was in the middle of a few scrums.
“I’m 100 percent,” he said. “I felt real good.”
Even though Konecny didn’t score, his teammates gave him the Ric Flair robe as their MVP Saturday.
Patrick keeps rolling
Nolan Patrick scored a goal for the fourth straight game and had nine shots, the most for a Flyers rookie since Dennis Seidenberg had 10 against Boston in a 2002 game.
Third pairing rises
Third-pairing defenders Radko Gudas and Brandon Manning have struggled recently, but they excelled in Saturday’s victory.
Manning had a career-high three points (all in the third period), three hits, four blocked shots, and a plus-3 rating, while Gudas had six hits and four blocked shots and was plus-3.
The Flyers are the first team to be winless in 10 consecutive games and have points in at least 10 straight (they are at 11) in the same season since Buffalo in 2007-08, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Flyers sat in last place in the Metropolitan Division after games played Dec. 3, 12 points out of first place. After Saturday’s win, they temporarily were tied for first place. … The Flyers have points in 11 straight (9-0-2), equaling their longest such streak since 2005-06. … The Flyers have won six straight on the road for the first time since 2008. … Michael Raffl, who had replaced Konecny on the top line Thursday, dropped to Scott Laughton’s third line. … Rookie left winger Oskar Lindblom, who came close to scoring his first goal, played on the second line, which is where he finished Thursday’s game against Columbus.