Philadelphia Flyers

Instant Replay: Oilers 6, Flyers 3

Instant Replay: Oilers 6, Flyers 3

BOX SCORE

EDMONTON, Alberta — Things went from bad to worse for the Flyers on their Western Canada road swing.
 
After a competitive loss in Calgary, the Flyers were steamrolled by the Oilers, 6-3, on Thursday night at Rogers Place. Edmonton led 5-1 at one point.
 
What hurts the Flyers even more is that the Islanders moved ahead of them in the Metropolitan Division standings.
 
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a bone bruise in his leg. He rotated as a seventh defenseman. He had a tough first period, as did the Flyers, who trailed 2-0 early.
 
The Oilers scored twice in 1:15 to make it 4-1 in the second period.
 
Connor McDavid had a three-point effort, giving him six points in four games against the Flyers in his short career.
 
Back-to-backs
This was the 14th set of back-to-back games for the Flyers this season. They are now 8-4-2 in the second game of back-to-back sets.
 
Mr. Softee
Goes to Michal Neuvirth for the Matt Hendricks goal just 2:14 into the game.
 
Upheld
The Flyers challenged that Mark Letestu was offside on Hendricks’ goal. Upon review, the goal was upheld even though Letestu entered the zone well ahead of the puck. Even with review, the NHL can’t get it right often enough.
 
Notable goals
The Oilers’ fourth goal hit Brandon Manning, then Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and went into the net. It began as a point shot from Adam Larsson.
 
Goalie report
Neuvirth was making his sixth start in seven games. He gave up two goals on just eight shots to start the game and gave up four on 12 shots. Not a very sharp outing, eh? The last time the Flyers gave up six goals was Jan. 14 in a 6-3 loss in Boston.
 
Power play
Does it matter? The Flyers got a score in the third period from Brayden Schenn for their first power-play goal in three games. 

Ivan Provorov replaced Jakub Voracek on the first unit on one of those power plays, but Voracek assisted on the goal the Flyers scored. 

The Flyers were 1 for 3 on the power play in the game.
 
Penalty kill
None.
 
Injuries
Jordan Weal suffered an upper-body injury late in the first period. The Flyers went with 10 forwards for the rest of the game.
 
Fights
Scrums early and often. The Oilers seemed to be targeting Manning and Patrick Maroon tuned him up pretty good in a second-period fight. Props to Manning for standing in there and not going down.
 
Scratches
Defenseman Nick Schultz (healthy) and forwards Dale Weise and Roman Lyubimov (both healthy).
 
Up next
The Flyers are off on Friday. They will practice Saturday in the outskirts of Vancouver and meet the Canucks on Sunday night.

NHL Notes: Rangers ink Mika Zibanejad to 5-year extension

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USA Today Images

NHL Notes: Rangers ink Mika Zibanejad to 5-year extension

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers have signed center Mika Zibanejad to a $26.75 million, five-year deal.

Zibanejad will count $5.35 million against the salary cap through 2021-22 as the Rangers count on him to take on a bigger role following the trade of Derek Stepan. General manager Jeff Gorton announced the contract Tuesday morning, before the team and Zibanejad were set to go to arbitration.

The 24-year-old Swede had 14 goals and 23 assists for 37 points in 56 games last season, his first with New York. The Rangers acquired Zibanejad from the Ottawa Senators for Derick Brassard a year ago.

Zibanejad has 188 points in 337 NHL games with the Senators and Rangers since Ottawa drafted him sixth overall in 2011 (see full story).

Olympics: Team Canada names Burke GM for 2018 Games
Sean Burke will be the general manager and Willie Desjardins the head coach for Canada at the first Olympics without NHL players since 1994.

Hockey Canada named its management and coaching staffs for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics on Tuesday. St. Louis Blues assistant general manager Martin Brodeur will work under Burke on the management side, while Desjardins will be assisted by Dave King, Scott Walker and Craig Woodcroft.

Canada has been grooming Burke for this responsibility for some time as he served as assistant GM for the 2017 world championships, GM for the 2016 Spengler Cup and Deutschland Cup and director of player development for the 2016 worlds. Desjardins coached Canada's 2010 world junior team and assisted in 2009.

USA Hockey has not yet named its GM or coach (see full story).

Sabres: Goalie Lehner re-signed to 1-year deal
BUFFALO, N.Y.  -- The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed goaltender Robin Lehner to a $4 million, one-year contract.

The team announced the deal Tuesday. Lehner was a restricted free agent.

The 26-year-old Swede showed he could stay healthy last season, setting career highs with 59 games played, 23 wins and two shutouts. He ranked third in the NHL with 1,758 saves and finished with a .920 save percentage and 2.68 goals-against average.

Bothered by injuries and concussion problems, Lehner had never before played more than 36 games in his NHL career. The Sabres took a chance on Lehner when they traded a first-round pick to the Ottawa Senators for him at the 2015 draft.

Lehner will again be a restricted free agent next summer when this contract expires.

Devils: 3 restricted free agents re-signed
NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils have re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Mirco Mueller, forward Joseph Blandisi and goaltender Scott Wedgewood.

Mueller got a two-year deal worth an average of $850,000 a season, Blandisi a two-year, two-way deal worth an average of $680,000 in the NHL, and Wedgewood a one-year, two-way deal worth $650,000 in the NHL. General manager Ray Shero announced the contracts Tuesday.

Re-signing Mueller for two years was the most significant move after New Jersey acquired the 22-year-old from San Jose before the Vegas expansion draft. The Swiss defender has just six points in 54 NHL games with the Sharks, but still is considered a good prospect after being a first-round pick in 2013.

Mueller will make $775,000 next season and $925,000 in 2018-19.

There's a new game in town: The Philadelphia Rebels

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John Boruk/CSNPhilly.com

There's a new game in town: The Philadelphia Rebels

The opportunity to watch a Briere play again in Philadelphia will be an exciting reality for hockey fans this season.

No, Danny Briere isn’t coming out of retirement as the former Flyers forward has committed to handling the day-to-day operations of the organization’s newest ECHL team.  

However, Briere will be keeping close tabs on his younger son, Carson, who’s currently on the Philadelphia Rebels' 30-man roster and is setting his sights on making the team’s final cuts during training camp.

“It’s great,” Briere said Monday. “Growing up here for most of my life, I love Philly. It’s fun getting to play in the same city that [my dad] did. Whenever I think of him playing, I always think of that playoff run [in 2010] for the Flyers.”

After spending the past two seasons at IceWorks in Aston, Pennsylvania, the NAHL’s (North American Hockey League) Rebels are moving their operation to the Penn Ice Rink at the Class of 1923 Arena, where they made the formal announcement on Monday. It will be the organization’s third different home rink in the past four seasons after relocating from the Rio Grande Valley in 2015.

“It was a no-brainer,” team owner Marko Dundovich said. “When the opportunity presented itself, it was very easy. I think it will give the boys a better opportunity to play, get them seen and I think it’s going to continue to grow here, and our business and organization will do much better here.”

The Rebels and junior hockey simply didn’t attract a broad appeal in the Philadelphia suburbs like ownership had hoped, and as a result, attendance lagged as the team typically averaged around 125 fans a game.

“It was the first time we tried Junior A hockey here,” Dundovich said. “If we had a 300-, 400- or 500-person fan base, we would have been OK in Aston, but I think it was tough to sell a junior hockey ticket in Aston. It’s a difficult sell in a small town.”   

Conversely, hockey fans in Philadelphia haven’t had much of an alternative to the Flyers since the Phantoms left the city in 2009 for Glens Falls, New York. Rebels forward Aaron Maguyon, who stays with former Flyers captain Keith Primeau throughout the season, feels the team cannot only fill the 2,500-seat ice rink, but the players will greatly benefit from the college vibe.  

“I think it prepares us for the future and playing college hockey, for sure, so in that way, it’s like a sneak peek for what’s to come," Maguyon said. "I think it helps pull guys closer together. We have restaurants we can go to or just activities we can do in the city."

According to the league website, the NAHL set a new single-season NCAA record with 280-plus commitments, and the Rebels had 12 commit to Divison I programs. Head coach Joe Coombs has built a tier-II junior hockey powerhouse over the past two years. Last season, the Rebels finished with the NAHL’s best regular-season record, advancing to the championship game of the Robertson Cup in Duluth, Minnesota, where they came up short in a 2-0 loss to the Lone Star Brahmas. 

“This is business,” Coombs said. “Let’s bring the game to the people. Over the last two years, we struggled with our attendance. I didn’t even know this place was here — UPenn hockey rink — and we couldn’t think of a better venue right here in University City to try and market our brand of hockey and bring our game to the people.”  

And who knows? You might just see a few former Flyers in the seats, as well.