Vinny Lecavalier joins Claude Giroux on Flyers’ top line

Vinny Lecavalier joins Claude Giroux on Flyers’ top line

This is certainly one way to help the captain and franchise player snap his goal-less streak. Reports from Tuesday’s morning practice have four-time All Star Vincent Lecavalier skating with Claude Giroux on the top line, a look that should debut when the Orange & Black return to action against the New York Rangers on Thursday.

Joining Giroux and Lecavalier is 24-year-old rookie Michael Raffl, who was called up from Adirondack when Lecavalier and Scott Hartnell went down with injuries.

Here is the rest of the lineup via Bill Meltzer of HockeyBuzz:

Raffl - Giroux - Lecavalier
McGinn - B. Schenn - Voracek
Read - Couturier - Simmonds
Hall - Talbot - Rinaldo
[Hartnell - Newbury - Rosehill]

We’ve already seen just how smooth Lecavalier can be when it comes to creating in the offensive zone during his sort time in Philly (1 G, 2 A), and Giroux is in desperate need of a jump start. The centerman hasn’t lit the lamp in 14 consecutive games dating back to last season, and most nights he hasn’t even been getting shots on net. Giroux has been limited to one shot on goal in four of the Flyers’ eight games this season.

Raffl is an interesting choice on the other wing, especially because Tye McGinn has had some success on the G line, scoring two goals against Vancouver just two games ago. While he has yet to score in three games this season though, Raffl has had some opportunities. He led the way for the Flyers with five shots against Pittsburgh last week.

Then again, is there something to be said for creating a line and giving them a chance to find some chemistry? The Flyers have been juggling the pairings seemingly every game this season, and while it’s not uncommon to try different things, neither Craig Berube nor Peter Laviolette before him has shown much patience behind the bench.

Of course, that’s the nature of the beast with the Flyers. Plus, at this point it’s really hard to argue with giving Giroux and Lecavalier a look. When the Rangers visit Philadelphia this Thursday, the Orange & Black will be attempting to clear the two-goal mark for the first time this season.

>> Meltzer’s Musings: Post-Practice Update, New Lines [HockeyBuzz]

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

BOX SCORE

SANDY, Utah -- Joao Plata scored his first goal of the season and Real Salt Lake beat the Union, 1-0, on Saturday night to snap Philadelphia's club-record winning streak at four games.

Plata tapped in his goal in the 36th minute after quickly exchanging short passes twice with Jefferson Savarino. Tony Beltran got the play started by saving the ball just before it went over the goal line.

The Union (4-5-5) had a chance to tie it in stoppage time, but goalie Nick Rimando blocked Haris Medunjanin's belt-high free kick and Salt Lake (4-8-2) cleared it after a scramble in front of the net.

Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made seven saves.

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.

Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.

It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).

The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.

There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.

Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.