Mike Halford

Evgeny Medvedev, Travis Zajac

After ‘healthy scratch,’ Flyers send Medvedev (upper body) back to Philly

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Strange development in the midst of Philly’s Western Canada road swing — just one day after making Evgeny Medvedev a healthy scratch in a 4-1 loss to the Canucks, the Flyers sent the veteran Russian back to Philly with an upper-body injury.

More, from the club:

[Flyers GM] Ron  Hextall added that the club will know more once he is examined tomorrow by team doctors.

Medvedev missed last night’s game in Vancouver after appearing in the first 10 games of the season for the Flyers, as well as five out of a possible six preseason games where he recorded a goal and four assists.

We noted yesterday that Medvedev’s scratch was a bit of a surprise, given he was a lineup fixture since the beginning of the year (and, despite relatively modest production, had fairly good possession metrics).

Unless the Flyers are looking to rack up frequent flier miles, going back to Philly essentially ends Medvedev’s road trip. That means he’ll miss tonight’s game in Edmonton, Thursday’s tilt in Calgary and Saturday’s finale in Winnipeg.

Related: Hakstol: ‘We’re not happy. These aren’t easy times’

Video: Who did it better — Brassard or O’Reilly?

Plenty of new looks in latest installment of PHT Face Off — Brough shaved his beard, I wore plaid and Jenna played tiebreaker in deciding who had the better backhand assist:

Derick Brassard, setting up Mats Zuccarello’s second goal in a hat-trick performance against the Leafs,

Or…

Ryan O'Reilly, who assisted on Nicolas Deslaurier’s insurance marker in a win over Philly.

Let us know who you thought did it better in the comments section, or vote in the poll.

Sabres don’t expect Bogosian back soon, or early return for Lehner

Philadelphia Flyers v Buffalo Sabres
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Buffalo’s allowing 2.92 goals against per game — ninth-most in the NHL this season — and, as such, would probably love to have their starting netminder and top defenseman in the lineup.

But it doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen in the near future.

Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played at all this season due to a lower-body injury, and Robin Lehner — still sidelined with a high ankle sprain — aren’t close to getting back into action, Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News.

Of the two, Bogosian is the more surprising development.

Lehner was supposed to miss 6-10 weeks with his injury, and it’s only been four. Byslma shot down the idea of an early return, saying the Swedish ‘tender is “working really hard, but he’s not close yet to getting back on the ice.”

Bylsma then told the News he didn’t expect Bogosian to be out this long, and doesn’t “have a good answer” as to when the 25-year-old will be back. The next step for Bogosian will be practicing fully with teammates, something he’s yet to do.

Bylsma also mentioned Bogosian’s comeback has been slow, as the injury forced him to miss a significant chunk of training camp.

‘Long-term project’ Zadorov healthy scratched for second straight game

Chris Wagner, Nikita Zadorov
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Last month, Nikita Zadorov was dubbed “top-four material on the Avs’ blue line” by the Denver Post.

How times have changed.

Tonight, Zadorov will be parked in the press box for the second straight game when the Avs host the Flames at the Pepsi Center, per head coach Patrick Roy.

What’s more, Roy took the interesting approach of explaining where Zadorov stands within the organization:

It’s a curious comment, to say the least.

Zadorov was one of the key pieces acquired in the Ryan O'Reilly trade with Buffalo. He’s a 6-foot-5, 220-pound specimen with pedigree, having been selected 16th overall in 2013.

While there were bumps in the road during his time as a Sabre — like his suspension for returning to the club late after last year’s All-Star break — there was also promise.

Zadorov scored 15 points in 60 games for Buffalo last season and, as the Post mentioned, looked to be a fixture for Colorado in the early parts of the year, getting over 21 minutes of ice time in two of the first three games.

He also played all 10 games to start the season, making Roy’s “long-term project” line ring a little hollow.

With Zadorov out, the Avs will roll tonight with a defensive unit comprised of Erik Johnson, Francois Beauchemin, Tyson Barrie, Nick Holden, Brad Stuart and Brandon Gormley, who’ll replace Nate Guenin.

Goalie nods: Wings go with Howard versus Bolts, again

Steven Stamkos, Jimmy Howard
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Jimmy Howard‘s last win came on Oct. 13, when he stopped 20 of 21 shots against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

So it makes sense that, tonight, the Wings will start Howard when they go up against… the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Howard gets the start ahead of Petr Mrazek, who stopped 33 of 36 shots in Saturday’s 5-3 win in Ottawa.

Overall, Detroit’s goaltending has been a bright spot in an otherwise uneven start to the year; both Mrazek and Howard have save percentages above .920, and that’s no small feat considering the Red Wings yield 32.6 shots against per game, second-most in the NHL.

Tampa Bay has yet to confirm it’s starter, but Ben Bishop is expected to go.

Elsewhere…

Tuukka Rask starts for the Bruins, who host Dallas. The Stars played Monday night and Antti Niemi was in goal, so it’s likely Kari Lehtonen gets the nod.

— Quick rematch in Brooklyn as Cory Schneider goes for the Devils and Jaroslav Halak goes for the Isles. These two faced off on Saturday in New Jersey, with Schneider making 24 saves in a shootout victory.

— Marquee matchup at MSG tonight as Braden Holtby and the Caps square off against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers.

— Red-hot Mike Condon (4-0-0, 1.50 GAA, .944 save percentage) looks to keep rolling as Montreal hosts Ottawa. The Sens will counter with Craig Anderson.

Jake Allen, the NHL’s reigning second star of the week, will make his fourth consecutive start for the Blues. Jhonas Enroth is expected to start for L.A., who had Jonathan Quick in net for Monday’s 4-2 loss in Chicago.

Karri Ramo makes his second straight start for the Flames, who take on the Avs in Colorado. Semyon Varlamov gets the nod for Patrick Roy’s club.

— Edmonton will go with Anders Nilsson, after Cam Talbot‘s ugly outing in Saturday’s loss to the Flames. Philly has yet to name a starter after Steve Mason played in Monday’s 4-1 defeat to Vancouver.