Mike Halford

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux

Hakstol splits up Voracek and Giroux


Flyers captain Claude Giroux and fellow top-liner Jakub Voracek haven’t clicked through the first nine games of this season.

So for game No. 10, they’re breaking up.

Well, technically they’ve been broken up — by head coach Dave Hakstol, who will skate Giroux alongside Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds tonight against Buffalo. Voracek, meanwhile, will play on a new-look line with Brayden Schenn and Scott Laughton.

The move was made, presumably, in the hope of sparking Voracek, who has zero goals this year despite sitting fifth in the NHL in shots, with 40. It could also be a boon for Simmons, who has just one goal this year after scoring 29 and 28 the two seasons prior.

Hakstol picked a pretty good time to hit the ol’ line blender. The Flyers are up against a Sabres team allowing 3.30 goals per game — fourth-most in the NHL — and a pretty inexperienced goalie in Linus Ullmark, who’s making just his second career start tonight.

Rookie sensation Parayko in walking boot, questionable for Saturday


The St. Louis Blues, who’ve had zero luck in the health department this season, are dealing with another injury.

This time, it’s freshman defenseman Colton Parayko, who was seen in a walking boot today, fresh off a stellar effort in Thursday’s 2-1 win over Anaheim.

Per NHL.com, Parayko is a game-time decision for tomorrow’s tilt against Minnesota.

Should Parayko miss, it’d be a serious loss for the Blues. The 23-year-old has four goals and seven points in 10 games this year and, last night, was all over the place — he scored the game-winning goal against the Ducks last night, received over 21 minutes of ice time and fired a whopping 10 shots on goal.

The last rookie to put at least 10 shots on net in a single game?

Alex Ovechkin, who turned the trick nine years ago.

If Parayko doesn’t play on Saturday, St. Louis could mitigate the loss with the return of Kevin Shattenkirk, who’s close to coming back from a lower-body injury that’s limited him to just three games this year.

In addition to Shattenkirk, the Blues already are without injured forwards Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Paul Stastny (foot) and Patrik Berglund (shoulder).

Auston Matthews hurt while playing in Swiss League

Pavel Zacha, Auston Matthews

Auston Matthews, the top-ranked prospect for the 2016 Draft, suffered an upper-body injury while playing for Zurich of Switzerland’s National League A, per NHL.com.


The 18-year-old forward may have sustained his injury Oct. 23 during a 3-1 loss against Fribourg-Gotteron when he fell hard into the boards and missed his next two shifts.

“It was during a puck battle when he did fall head-first into the wall,” Central Scouting’s Thomas Roost said. “He felt some pain and didn’t show up for the next shift. But he did come back in that game.”

Matthews had an assist and one shot on goal in Zurich’s next game two days later, a 6-3 victory against SCL.

Matthews wasn’t in Zurich’s lineup for today’s game, and the injury could prevent him from representing the United States at the Deutschland Cup, which will be played Nov. 6-8 in Germany.

Matthews was named to the Team USA roster last week, along with ex-NHLers Adam Burish, Tim Stapleton, Bobby Butler, Matt Gilroy and Jim Slater.

Goalie nods: Rask looks to build off first shutout

Tuukka Rask
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After a dreadful start to the year, Tuukka Rask picked up his first shutout on Tuesday in a 6-0 whitewash of the Coyotes.

Now, he’ll try and string together a second straight quality start.

Rask will go up against the Panthers in Florida, facing off against veteran netminder Roberto Luongo. Though Rask’s numbers on the year are still rough — most notably his .874 save percentage — the Finn can try to build on last year’s success against the Panthers (2-1-1, 1.96 GAA, .918 save percentage) and the fact that two-thirds of Florida’s top line, Jaromir Jagr and Aleksander Barkov, is out with injury.


— Battle of the backups in Buffalo, as Philly will go with Michal Neuvirth while the Sabres counter with Linus Ullmark. Both teams are in the second of back-to-back scenarios, so there could be some goals.

Jonathan Bernier plays for the first time in nearly a week when the Leafs host the Rangers at the ACC. Henrik Lundqvist will also play for the first time in nearly a week; his last game came on Saturday, when he mad 46 saves on 48 shots in a loss to Philly.

Sergei Bobrovsky versus Braden Holtby at Verizon, as the Jackets take on the Caps.

— Seymon Varlamov gets a chance to build on last night’s 34-save win over Tampa Bay, as the Avs play in Carolina. No word on a ‘Canes starter yet, but Cam Ward is expected after Eddie Lack beat the Isles on Thursday.

Andrew Hammond goes for Ottawa in Detroit tonight, and the Wings will counter with Jimmy Howard. The Hamburglar hasn’t played since last Thursday, when he allowed four goals on 32 shots in a loss to the Devils.

— Minnesota will start Devan Dubnyk against Chicago, while the ‘Hawks appear likely to go with Scott Darling after Corey Crawford played in last night’s loss to Winnipeg.

— Joni Ortio replaces the injured Jonas Hiller in Calgary, where the Habs will go with Mike Condon. Carey Price gets the night off after allowing four goals in last night’s collapse against Edmonton.

Mike Smith for Arizona tonight. Richard Bachman will make his first start of the year, and his Canucks debut, as Ryan Miller finally gets a rest.

Flames lose Hiller (lower body) for at least a week

Jonas Hiller

Jonas Hiller‘s tough start to the year got even tougher on Friday, as Flames head coach Bob Hartley said Hiller would miss at least a week with a lower-body injury suffered on Wednesday in Ottawa.

One of the major culprits for Calgary’s disappointing performance thus far, Hiller had been subpar prior to getting hurt, going 2-3-0 with a .861 save percentage and 3.67 GAA.

Of course, he’s not the only Flames netminder that’s struggled.

Karri Ramo was 0-3-0 with a .879 percentage and 4.37 GAA before getting waived, and Joni Ortio has been the best of the bunch with very mediocre numbers: .911 save percentage, 3.00 GAA.

Hiller’s injury also comes on the eve of a pretty busy week. The Flames play tonight against Montreal, Saturday in Edmonton, Tuesday inColorado and Thursday against Philly.