BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 20: Scott Hartnell #19 of the Philadelphia Flyers controls the puck against Marcus Foligno #82 of the Buffalo Sabres on January 20, 2013 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

What’s the cause of the Flyers’ struggles?


Usually you want to try to avoid reading too much into a rough start to the season, but with the 48-game schedule, a 0-2-0 record is concerning. After dropping games against Pittsburgh and Buffalo, Philadelphia needs answers quickly if they want to avoid digging a bigger hole for themselves.

One of the areas that they’ve struggled in early on is killing penalties. Philadelphia was merely adequate in that regard last season, but they’ve already surrendered five power-play goals in just two contests in 2013. That accounts for the Flyers’ entire goals deficit so far.

“There’s lots of things, but yes, we have to be better in that area,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said in a CSN Philly report. “… the penalty kill we have to look at it and work at it.

“Every day is a new opportunity, but we gotta get on track here, get a win in the column and moving in the right direction.”

Flyers captain Claude Giroux suggested that the team needed to get off to a better start in Sunday’s 5-2 loss to Buffalo and Danny Briere’s absence due to a hairline fracture in his wrist is also hurting them.

Whatever the problems might be, the Flyers need to address them quickly. The condensed schedule means that Philadelphia won’t have much time to reflect on its early losses. After getting Monday off, they will play five games in just eight days. That stretch includes two games against the New York Rangers and one against another division rival, the New Jersey Devils.

“We gotta change the situation quickly if we want to be part of the playoff race,” Ilya Bryzgalov noted.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.