WASHINGTON -- As it turns out, there are no absolutes when it comes to Flyers injury news.
When Kimmo Timonen and Andrej Meszaros, along with Braydon Coburn, missed Saturdays practice, reporters were told all three were given maintenance days.
But while that seems to be the case with Coburn, it was not the case for Timonen and Meszaros. Now, according to general manager Paul Holmgren, both defensemen are out indefinitely with lower-body injuries.
Missing Sundays game against the Washington Capitals means Timonens Iron Man streak ends at 248 consecutive games played.
Timonen, who averages 21:21 minutes on ice each night, has played noticeably less recently. He played just 14:30 Feb. 28 in San Jose and 16 minutes Thursday against the New York Islanders. In both games, he has seemed beleaguered.
In place of Timonen and Meszaros, Andreas Lilja and Erik Gustafsson returned to the lineup as the teams third defensive pairing.
The Flyers recalled Gustafsson on Sunday, surprising not just Flyers fans and media, but the young defenseman himself.
It was quite a bit of a surprise, Gustafsson said of his recall. I was getting ready to play in Albany yesterday and then they called me in the afternoon and told me I was coming here.
Gustafsson has played 18 games with the Flyers this season, registering one goal and two assists. In 19 games with the Adirondack Phantoms, he has one goal and 10 assists.
Earlier in the day, coach Peter Laviolette said he was pleased with what hes seen from Gustafsson this season, calling him a puck-moving defenseman.
Gustafsson expects to ease right back into the lineup, despite not having had a full practice with the Flyers since the last time he was with the team, back before the team acquired defenseman Pavel Kubina and Nick Grossman ahead of the trade deadline.
I'll be with Lils (Lilja), and I don't think there's going to be any problems, Gustafsson said. We've played together three or four games in the preseason and the last game before I was sent down.E-mail Sarah Baicker at firstname.lastname@example.org